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DENR TAPS LGUS FOR INDIGENOUS SPECIES PROTECTION

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is focusing on building the capacity of local government units (LGUs) and strengthening the protection of indigenous species and their habitats.

This is part of the agency’s thrust of promoting environmental management and climate change mitigation at the local level according to DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas Leones.

“The DENR will guide and collaborate with LGUs in implementing their respective environmental conservation and protection programs.”

Speaking during the flag-raising ceremony at the DENR Central Office, Leones said the agency will guide and collaborate with LGUs in implementing their respective environmental conservation and protection programs.

The environment official pointed out that the DENR, under the leadership of Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, aims to capacitate LGUs to enable them to implement their own environmental programs.

He also emphasized the need to enhance programs that “protect our very own indigenous practices and species by developing several livelihood programs, indigenous practices, systems, and procedures.”

“If we can harness our native knowledge, these have the potential to also boost our economy.”

“If we can harness our native knowledge, these have the potential to also boost our economy,” Leones said, citing that some countries and foreign companies come to the Philippines to learn from indigenous peoples particularly in managing natural resources.

Just this year, the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau and the United Nations Development Programme held a national inception workshop for a Global Environment Facility-funded project—“Implementing the National Framework on Access and Benefit Sharing of Genetic Resources and Associated Traditional Knowledge in the Philippines.”

The activity was conducted to increase economic opportunity and biodiversity conservation of local communities and indigenous peoples in the Philippines, stemming from fair and equitable sharing of biodiversity benefits.

It was also expected to address biopiracy which is defined as the unethical or illegal appropriation or commercial exploitation of biological resources that are native to a country or territory without providing fair financial compensation to its rightful owners.

Loyzaga had cited the need to continuously protect the Philippines’ indigenous species.

Leones said the DENR’s priorities also include establishing a nationwide geospatial system containing environmental information, accounting of natural resources, implementing climate change mitigation and adaptation measures, and anchoring DENR programs on sustainable climate action.

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