The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CALABARZON (DENR-CALABARZON) has renewed its commitment to improve the implementation of environmental laws on protected areas in the region during the 9th Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Summit in San Mateo, Rizal on August 17 to 18.

DENR-CALABARZON Regional Executive Director and Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Chair Nilo B. Tamoria said the summit’s theme, “Sama-samang Pagpapatupad ng Batas Pangkalikasan sa Pinangangalagaang Pook Upang Protektahan ang Samut-saring Buhay para sa Sambayanang Pilipino,” is in line with the four decision points presented by DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

These decision points include the establishment of natural resources geo-spatial database to manage the DENR’s readily available data, which can be useful in the implementation of government projects, investment in climate change adaptation and mitigation to avoid a decrease in protection of direct and indirect losses including nature-based solution, establishment of natural resources accounting system including valuation of ecosystem services, and improvement of compliance, monitoring and enforcement of environmental laws.

“Even before we held the 9th PAMB Summit, these decision points have already been submitted by our Secretary to the President. So these four decision points are exactly the theme of our Summit. This is contained in the sustainable, inclusive and resilient development as the major thrust and direction of our department,” Tamoria said.

The DENR-CALABARZON chief pointed out that the region’s large population, which has surpassed that of the National Capital Region (NCR), has a big impact on its protected areas and natural resources as many people depend on these resources.

Based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing, of the country’s 17 regions, CALABARZON had the biggest population of 16,195,042, followed by NCR with 13,484,462 and Central Luzon with 12,422,172.

“The rapid population growth and the protection of our remaining fertile environment and nature, that’s the additional challenge in our region. So, I am calling on the members of the Protected Area Management Board and all those who have stakes in protected areas to come together. Let’s pool our talent and strength so that we can better protect and maintain the integrity of protected areas,” Tamoria said.

Around 100 delegates, including members of the PAMB’s 18 protected areas under the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS), Protected Areas Superintendents, and DENR-CALABARZON officials and personnel joined the summit, which was conducted in-person and online.

CALABARZON has 18 protected areas, nine of which are legislated, while nine are initial components of the NIPAS yet to be assessed for potential proclamation as regular NIPAS components and enactment into law. ###