The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Philippine Statistics Authority, will undertake the formulation of a much-needed system for the accounting of the country’s natural resources and environmental assets.

DENR Secretary Maria Antoniya Yulo Loyzaga said the creation of the natural capital accounting system will significantly support the development of strategies for a science-based, risk-informed, ethical and equitable stewardship of the environment, which she strongly espouses in the Department.

She said that such a system will provide an enabling platform for the DENR and other government agencies to come up with specific policies and programs that integrate climate change adaptation in various economic, fiscal, social, political and environment decisions.

“What we need to do is apply a climate-risk lens to the work of the DENR, which means that climate and disaster-risk assessments will become part of the processes that we will undertake,” Loyzaga told a press conference during the DENR Multi-stakeholder Forum held last October 5 in Manila.

In a 2022 report by the World Risk Index, the Philippines was ranked first out of 193 countries on the list of global disaster risk hotspots.

Loyzaga explained that the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards is due to its physical exposure as well as its inability and lack of capacity in adopting climate change tools and technologies.

She said the planned accounting system will serve as the foundation for DENR’s priority programs, such as the establishment of the national natural resource geospatial database, calibration and streamlining of organizational processes and people, and strengthened collaboration with its stakeholders.

Loyzaga said that part of the creation of a national natural resource geospatial database is to provide an inventory that is dynamically projected, and can be accessed by the different offices, bureaus and agencies concerned to continuously check the progress of projects, and even its risks.

She added that besides climate and disaster-risk assessment, vulnerability assessment – both qualitative and quantitative – is equally important to help the DENR identify where it is headed, and what its priority areas and action areas are in moving forward. ###