The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will establish two major information systems to improve data sharing and accounting of the country’s natural resources.
DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones said the agency requires a geospatial system to manage its readily available data, which can be useful in the implementation of government projects.
According to the DENR official, the system will aid the government’s reforestation program, the use of geohazard maps, the conduct of mining operations, the monitoring of industry compliance with environmental regulations, land administration, and the supervision of protected areas.
In addition, Leones said that the DENR anticipates that the database will improve 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.”
Leones provided examples of how the database can benefit other government agencies.
“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).”
There is a need to account for and conduct a valuation of the country’s environmental and natural resources, he added.
According to Leones, DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga’s top priority is to account for and value the country’s natural resources.
“If we can do that, we will be able to identify our priority initiatives with these resources.”
The Philippines is one of the world’s 18 mega-biodiverse countries, per the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The DENR noted that the country ranks fifth in terms of plant species and retains five percent of the world’s flora.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said that the country is one of the most mineral-endowed in the world.