The Biodiversity Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has developed the Philippines Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan that will serve as a road map in conserving biodiversity and critical ecosystem services in the country for the next 13 years.
To implement the action plan, the bureau said at least P334 billion (P24 billion annually) is needed to cover actions on forest, coastal and marine resources, inland wetlands, caves and cave systems, protected areas, invasive alien species, agrobiodiversity, access and benefit-sharing and urban biodiversity.
Constructed with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), other national government agencies, academe, civil society and development partners, the plan will address threats brought about by encroachment in forested areas, pollution, overfishing and poor land management practices that are leading to biodiversity loss at an alarming rate.
The UNDP, through its Biodiversity Financing Initiative, has vowed to help the department to contribute in closing the financing gap by identifying, accessing, combining and sequencing sources of biodiversity funding to meet national needs.
“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 the 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.