Haribon: Conserving Biodiversity Is The Solution To The Climate Emergency
Haribon Foundation stands in solidarity with the global Climate Strike. The foundation believes that climate change is not an issue separate from biodiversity loss, as one affects the other. For instance, the destruction and loss of forests over the past decades have drastically increased the amount carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, amplifying the greenhouse gas effect. This phenomenon has led to increased global temperature and heat waves.
Additionally, a massive decline of fish catch caused by illegal, uncontrolled use, and blasting of marine habitats such as mangroves, sea grass beds, and coral reefs resulted in degraded ecosystem services that deeply affected the carbon sequestration or the ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide, hence floods and storm surges.
These just emphasise the high necessity of efforts towards climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the protection and conservation of biodiversity must be looked at interdependently, stressed the foundation.
The Philippines has committed to the Paris Agreement since 2017. The agreement aims to increase the ability of countries to respond to the effects of climate change. The country has also been a part of the Convention on Biological Diversity since 1933 with the goal to conserve biological diversity, promote sustainable use of biodiversity components, and equitable sharing of benefits from using its resources.
Haribon considers ecosystem services from biodiversity are key to eliminating greenhouse gases and protecting communities from detrimental climate change impacts such as fatal flash floods and storm surges.
Although there are existing policies and localisation efforts in the country, there should be an effective implementation of concrete environmental solution to meet the bar as urged by the foundation. Haribon’s commitments in international agreements demand double the time for the institutions to operationalise and fund conservation programs.
“We are in the midst of the sixth mass extinction,” as Thunberg puts it. Our constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology is founded on our basic human needs such as air, water, food, shelter, and clothing – all generously provided by ecosystems.
Haribon Foundation has taken up the challenge to promote a healthier Philippine biodiversity for over four decades. Among its ridge-to-reef milestones on forest restoration, marine conservation, and species protection, the group upholds the 29-year old Sustainable Forest Management Act (also known as the Forest Resources Bill), together with its partners.
According to the foundation, the proposed bill is undoubtedly the overarching policy solution for forest ecosystem as it spotlights forest protection and reforestation as the forefront solutions to respond to the climate change issue and the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity.
“We are also calling on every decision-maker in all levels to establish, strengthen and sustain conservation efforts, explore sustainable livelihood opportunities, and continuously raise public awareness on coastal and marine management,” stressed Haribon.
For more in formation, please visit the Haribon website: www.haribon.org.ph