PH at the risk of ‘natural resource scarcity’
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said the country is now at the risk of losing its natural resources, calling on for stronger measures to conserve and preserve the country’s protected areas (PAs) whom he described as “the last bastions of endemic but threatened wildlife and habitats.”
“We are facing a natural resource scarcity due to numerous factors, foremost is the degradation of our terrestrial and marine ecosystems,” Cimatu said in a statement.
According to him, the positive developments brought about by ongoing efforts to conserve and sustainably manage PAs should not lead to complacency as he reminded everyone about the painful lessons of Boracay, which had to be closed down in order for the government to address the environmental problems plaguing the world-famous resort island.
“Do heed the warnings that are starkly evident—it will be costly and disastrous for all of us. Let Boracay teach us all,” Cimatu said.
Cimatu also underscored the need for a legal instrument to protect the PAs in order to “facilitate swifter enforcement and allot more resources for conservation.”
“The Philippines, being one of the 17 mega-diversity countries in the world, has identified biodiversity conservation as a major strategy for sustainable development,” Cimatu said.
“Our centerpiece response to protect and conserve our biodiversity resources is the establishment of an Integrated Protected Areas System,” he added.