DENR to assess socio-economic impacts of protected areas

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently developed a framework for assessing social and economic impacts of protected areas to ensure that ongoing conservation efforts are effective, and contribute to human well-being and poverty reduction.

The DENR, through its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), came up with a set of guidelines on Socio-Economic Assessment and Monitoring System (SEAMS) designed to gather data or information that will serve as basis for monitoring the benefits of protected areas to local communities, especially the indigenous peoples (IPs).

BMB Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim said the system will serve as a standard method that will be used by protected area superintendents and other field implementers in assessing and monitoring the socio-economic condition of occupants in protected areas.

She also said that data and information gathered using the SEAMS shall be useful in planning and determining the appropriate management interventions that will provide improvements in the lives of the communities within and around protected areas, at the same time ensure the conservation of the important biological resources that make the protected area valuable to everyone.

Aside from the socio-economic study, the SEAMS project also seeks to locate sources and values of various ecosystems, and determine the degree of degradation or improvement in ecosystem services, uses and values, and identify the ecosystem pressures and threats, including their causes.

A multi-sectoral team will be created in each region to oversee the implementation of the SEAMS project, according to her.

Each team, to be created by the concerned DENR regional director, will be composed of the chief of the conservation and development division; the environment and natural resources officers from the provincial and community levels; representatives from the city, municipal and barangay governments; civil society organizations; and people's organizations.

The teams are expected to come up with an assessment report to be submitted to the BMB, which will then consolidate them as inputs to the State of Protected Area Report. ###


DENR leads Earth Day 2017 with environment, climate literacy drive

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with Earth Day Network Inc. (EDNP), takes the lead in this year's celebration of Earth Day with the theme, "Environmental and Climate Literacy."

The whole day activity scheduled at the La Mesa Eco-Park in Quezon City on April 22 starts off with Sandiwang at 6:30 a.m. at the park's Amphitheater.

Sandiwang is a solemn rite of thanksgiving and worship by diverse religious and cultural groups. It will be marked by prayer and meditation for the healing of the earth.

The interfaith activity will be followed by a message from Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. Other officials expected to deliver messages are Hon. Elizabeth A. Delarmente, councilor and chairperson of the Committee on Parks and Environment of Quezon City, and Mr. Isagani Serrano, president of Earth Day Network Philippines.

The program will be held simultaneously with a series of activities including the PRO Earth Run 2017: Forest Trail Edition, bird watching, tree canopy walk, and on-the spot art session in the same venue.

The morning's activities will coincide with the launch of the Forest Restoration Project at Clark Green City in Capas, Tarlac.

Events continue in the afternoon with exhibits, a tree canopy walk and band performances.

The PUP Bagong Himig Serenata will also render song numbers.

Elen Basug, chief of the Environmental Education and Information Division (EEID) of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), a line agency under the DENR, said that following this year's theme, the DENR has embarked on an intensified information drive to ensure that the Filipino youth, especially the students, are environment-and climate-literate and are “a voice for change.”

The drive also supports Earth Day Network Inc.'s (EDNI) campaign to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and its impacts.

In time for the graduation season, Basug advised college graduates to “take into consideration the environment in whatever career or profession they take.”

She noted that schools today encourage students to put value on the environment.

On April 28, the EMB will sponsor an exhibit and concert for the environment called “Earth Day Jam” at the Rizal Park in Manila. An awareness activity for watershed ecosystems will be held in Angat Dam, Norzagaray, Bulacan on the same day.

The EMB has launched on Monday (April 17) the 2017 Design Contest, "Infographics for the Environment.” The contest, to run until June 1, invites technology enthusiasts to create engaging environmental information – clean air, clean water, solid wastes, climate change, chemicals, lead poisoning, hazardous wastes, ozone layer and environmental education – into a social-friendly message that will appeal to all audiences.

Leading to the Earth Day celebration, the DENR sponsored a coastal clean-up at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area on April 8.

Mangrove tree planting was also held in Calatagan, Batangas on April 18 led by the EMB and the DENR Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service.

Earth Day is celebrated worldwide every year on April 22. It is the single biggest environmental celebration in the world participated in by more than 150 countries and over a billion people. It is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 in the United States.

In the Philippines, Earth Day is celebrated by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 2008-1481.

April is also observed as Earth Month.

Visit for details on EMB-sponsored activities. 

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