Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Antonia Loyzaga has called for increased investments in science and technology to gain new insights and tools in the protection and restoration of the Philippine biodiversity during the 15th Conference of Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, the largest conference in the world focused on biodiversity, on December 14 in Montreal, Canada.

Serving as one of the panellists in Conservation International’s flagship event, “Innovations for a Nature Positive and Net Zero Future,” Loyzaga bared that protection and restoration comprise over 80 percent of the biodiversity financing gap, thus making it extremely important to fill this void through the accumulation of investments for biodiversity conservation.

Loyzaga, designated by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. as his representative, cited the importance of investing heavily in science and technology, particularly on improving the technical capacity of the different offices concerned in the restoration of damaged or destroyed ecosystems across the country.

“Climate change adds another layer of complexity to these tasks. We know that ecosystems and community interactions are dynamic, thus there is a continuous need to address the socioecological roots and drivers for vulnerability and development,” Loyzaga said.

She explained that improving the technical capacity of concerned government agencies will enable the successful review and assessment of national resources, including terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems.

This process, according to the DENR chief, would engage the private sector to use “spatial finance” that would aid them to accelerate the integration of nature-based solutions into their core value cycle that defines how they could offer their services with ease.

Improvement in technology would also grant constructive monitoring and analysis of data that would equip in the decision-making of regulations and legislations towards an adaptive management, she added.

“We must raise the flag for regeneration beyond restoration targets for this high ambition for nature-positive investments. Not just nature and communities bouncing back, but we need to invest in bouncing forward to anticipate future needs and risks,” Loyzaga pointed out.

Loyzaga also reiterated President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s message in his first State of the Nation Address that the preservation of the environment is preservation of life. This would mean that economies depend on air, water, food and energy sustained by a healthy environment, and not the other way around, she explained.

To attain this, Loyzaga encouraged both private sector and government to work across silos by investing in the restoration of the country’s ecosystems and biodiversity. ###