The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will be establishing two major information systems to strengthen the data sharing and accounting of the country’s natural resources.
On August 15, DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones said the agency needs a geospatial system to manage its readily available data, which can be useful in the implementation of government projects.
The DENR official said that the system will be helpful in the government’s reforestation program, application of geohazard maps, conduct of mining operations, monitoring of industry compliances with environmental regulations, land administration, and supervision of protected areas.
Leones further said that the DENR expects the database to bolster decision-making and collaboration with other government agencies.
“If we can establish this database where all the information is already there, decision-making will be easier and we will be able to discern overlaps in our programs,” he said.
“Once we’re done with this, we can already collaborate with the database of other agencies,” he added.
Leones cited examples in which the database can be productive for other government agencies as well. For example, the database will enable the identification of geohazard risks which can inform the planning of the Department of Education and the Department of Public Works and Highways (e.g. where schools and roads can be constructed).
Leones also stated that there is a need to account for and conduct a valuation of the country’s environmental and natural resources.
“The prime concern of our Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga is that we need to account and put value to our natural resources. If we can do that, we will be able to identify our priority initiatives with these resources,” Leones said.
The Convention on Biological Diversity noted that the Philippines is one of the 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world.
The country ranks fifth in the number of plant species and maintains five percent of the world’s flora.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Statistics Authority said that the country is one of the world’s most richly endowed in terms of mineral resources.