Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Bill approved on second reading

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Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas Bill approved on second reading

 

1 National PAMB Conference July 13 2015

Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje (left) and Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio Ignacio Jr. share a light moment with Senator Loren Legarda as environmentalist legislator narrates the possible positive outcomes of an expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Law which will hasten the declaration of 100 protected areas in various parts of the country, conserve the biodiversity thriving in these areas, and serve also as ‘carbon sink’ which is critically important in the global efforts to mitigate climate change, during the National Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) Conference held at Ace Hotel in Pasig City recently.

 

 

In attendance during the conference were the regional directors who are concurrently chairpersons of PAMB, key members of PAMBs, protected area superintendents, representatives from environmental nongovernment organizations and the Senate’s and House of Representatives’ Environment and Natural Committee Secretariat staff.

“If the ENIPAS Bill is enacted into law, local communities and other stakeholders will have the legal basis and incentive to participate in the management and protection of the areas.’ She stressed, “It will help conserve and protect representative samples of unique, rare and threatened species of plants and animals and habitat including cultural diversity, by declaring as national parks the remaining parcels of land under the NIPAS, thus, ensuring the sustainable use of our natural resources.”

Legarda reported that Senate Bill No. 2712, which will be referred to as the Expanded NIPAS Act of 2015 has been approved on second reading..

Paje, along with the regional directors expressed support for the Expanded NIPAS bill filed by Sen. Loren Legarda.

Legarda stressed, if the bill is enacted into law, “This is the challenge to all members of the Protected Area Management Boards. Share your passion in caring for our protected areas to people in your respective communities, to your local government leaders, to tourists so that everyone is involved in conservation efforts. Allow them to appreciate the beauty of our protected areas, but at the same time make them understand that apathy and exploitation of our natural resources and protected areas could lead to dangerous consequences, such as loss of biological diversity, both for wildlife species and their habitat; occurrence of calamities such as flooding, soil erosion and landslides; and continued illegal and unsustainable resource utilization.”

She added, “The challenge is for all of us to make our environment cleaner, greener and safer for the future generations. If we do not act today, tomorrow may be too late.”