Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon Paje said they will continue to implement programs like the total log ban, the NGP and the new mining policy, which greatly contribute to the protection and preservation of the nation’s floral and faunal species and their habitats.
Speaking at the unveiling of the National Management Effectiveness and Capacity Assessment (NMECA), Paje revealed that biodiversity conservation, through efficient and effective management of the country’s protected areas (PA), will remain as one of the top priorities for the this year.
“We can now treat the entire forest cover of this country as a protected area because we have declared a total logging ban in our forests,” he explained, adding that massive reforestation would reduce open, denuded and degraded forestlands.
Paje said that in imposing a new mining policy that seeks to balance development and environmental protection, the government was keen on “getting its true share, so that we can pay for the environmental damages particularly to biodiversity loss caused by mining.”
On top of these continuing programs, he said, the DENR’s biodiversity team is also undergoing structural reforms to meet the changing needs of the sector.
Paje noted the threefold increase in the 2014 budget of the department’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), formerly the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).
The bureau is also implementing manpower rationalization to ensure a more efficient and effective implementation of its programs.