Dec 13, 2015

Biodiversity conservation will cost 334-B pesos in the Philippines



How much do we need to save our country’s natural resources?
It is very interesting to learn that our country the Philippines is one of the 17 most diverse countries in the world in terms of ecosystem with more diversity of life per hectare than any other nation around the globe. But with the current deteriorating state of our natural resources with more deforestation, overwhelming pollution, bad land and water management biodiversity loss is now at an alarming rate.

Biodiversity in the Philippines
In a meeting held last December 11 at Makati Diamond Residences, notable speakers together with some invited people from the media discussed the issue of biodiversity in the Philippines.

To address the imminent threats, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), other national government agencies, academe, civil society and development partners, has developed the Philippines Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP). The PBSAP is the country’s viable solution in conserving biodiversity and critical ecosystem services for the next 13 years.

Through the UNDP’s Biodiversity Financing Initiative (BioFin), the DENR-BMB has  acknowledged the financing gap of implementing the PBSAP, it is estimated to be at least Php 334 billion (US $7.4 billion) over the next 13 years with an allocation of PhP 24 billion per year. This will cover actions on: forest, coastal and marine, inland wetlands, caves and cave systems, protected areas, invasive alien species, agrobiodiversity, access and benefit-sharing and urban biodiversity.

UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra


“This may sound like a huge impost on the budget but it really is not.  It should be seen as an investment in conservation and also as an economic investment with significant financial returns to the country.  It is an investment that needs to be made by both government and the private sector.  This could see a minimum return of $10 billion per year from fisheries, eco-tourism and pharmaceuticals derived from genetic resources” UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said. 


Guillermo Zuñiga, former Minister of Finance, Republic of Costa Rica, now UNDP Bio Fin Team Leader in Costa Rica
In the press briefing attended by Mr. Guillermo Zuñiga, former Minister of Finance, Republic of Costa Rica, now UNDP Bio Fin Team Leader in Costa Rica; and representatives from the Philippines Department of Finance, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the National Economic and Development Authority the results of the study were presented.

BioFin is a global partnership that aims to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner through building a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity. The Philippines is one of 29 countries involved in the initiative.

UNDP or United Nations Development Programme is the United Nations' global development network. UNDP advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. It provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from member nations. The organization operates in 177 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity.