MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Loren Legarda today said that the Philippines can learn a lot from Germany’s experience in natural resources management and improving relevant policies, particularly on land use planning, coastal protection, sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Environment and Natural Resources and on Climate Change, made the statement following a study visit to Germany with fellow Philippine legislators and policymakers from October 12-17, 2014.
The German Government, through the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), extended the invitation to Philippine legislators as part of a project under the framework of the “Land Use Policy and Spatial Planning, Sustainable Forest Management, Adaptation to Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation” program supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Legarda said that the study tour provided important insights into natural resources management, which Philippine legislators can learn from especially since the Senate and the House of Representatives are working on several proposed measures, including the National Land Use Policy, Final Forest Limits Act, Protected Areas Declaration Act, and the Integrated Coastal Management Act.
“Germany’s experience highlights the strong coordination and open lines of communication between Federal (national), local governments, business and civil society. This should also be the case in our country. A national land use policy is crucial in the government’s current disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts. The cooperation and support of all sectors of society is crucial in crafting this measure and eventually effectively implementing the same,” she said.
“The Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is currently studying the outcome documents of the public hearings on the National Land Use Policy and the Final Forest Limits Act. These two measures are complementary and with the valuable support of all sectors, the committee targets the approval of the bills by the Senate before the year ends,” Legarda added.
The Senator was also impressed with how Germany has been able to meet its ambitious greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) targets by pursuing both national and local policy measures that have focused on expanding wind and solar power, improving energy efficiency in the transport and construction sectors, promoting urban development measures, and preserving natural carbon sinks like forests.
Germany’s target is 14 percent reduction in 2020 compared to 1990 levels, 55 percent in 2030, 70 percent in 2040, and 85 percent by 2050. Germany is currently off by seven percent.
“I look forward to working with the German government to see how their initiatives could be adopted in the Philippines. Meanwhile, our agencies of government and local government units should boost efforts on natural resources management through the implementation of existing laws. We must link science and policy-making; finance mechanisms for climate and energy solutions—including energy efficiency, clean technology and green infrastructure investment; and enable the private business and financial community to support comprehensive climate and energy policies and to invest in climate and clean energy solutions,” said Legarda.(MNS)