Philippines reiterates commitment to protect 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030 --

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), spearheaded the first national multi-stakeholder consultation workshop to map-out initiatives and other policy measures that must be taken for the Philippines to meet its commitment to the 30x30 global conservation pledge. 30x30 is a global initiative to protect at least 30% of the planet’s lands and water ecosystems by 2030.

Over 190 countries have pledged to the 30x30 target and are expected to contribute to this global goal through domestic action to ramp-up land and marine conservation, prioritize species facing extinction, increase coverage of effectively managed protected areas, and protect natural ecosystem services such as freshwater availability. The 30% conservation goal was determined by experts as a level that gives the planet a chance to recover and protect millions of species from extinction.

While the DENR takes the lead in advancing the biodiversity framework implementation in the country, the consultation brought together over 100 representatives from government agencies, non-government organizations, academic institutions, indigenous peoples and local communities, and private sector entities in an inclusive and participatory approach to enable mechanisms that aim to achieve the ambitious target. The three-day consultation included topics like policy and governance, social safeguards and contributions of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, sustainable finance solutions and innovations, and conservation planning. Participants gave feedback on the draft DENR policy on identifying and recognizing other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) and further inputs in succeeding consultation meetings and network building.

“There is a huge emphasis on equity and effectiveness, which are critically important qualitative elements defining the success of 30x30. We really want to strengthen governance and management of existing systems of protected areas. We want to make sure these legally protected areas are delivering biodiversity outcomes,” said Madhu Rao, Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas and Senior Adviser for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Asia Programme.

The Philippines is one of 17 mega-biodiverse countries of the world as it is home to over 70% of the world's plant and animal species. However, the country is also a biodiversity hotspot with at least 700 threatened species. On top of that, the country is among the world’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

The DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) organized the first consultation workshop, together with WCS through the 30x30 Ocean Accelerator Grant; the Embassy of the United Kingdom; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the GEF GBF Early Action Support and Biodiversity Corridor projects; the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO; Forest Foundation of the Philippines; USAID INSPIRE Project; Centre for Sustainability PH; Save Philippine Seas; Parabukas; and the Oceans 5-MSN 30x30 Consortium, composed of the Marine Environment and Resources Foundation, Rare, Oceana, Conservation International Philippines and the World Wildlife Fund Philippines.###