/ 26 October 2021

AT LEAST 275 researchers and natural resource managers were trained by the United States Agency for International Development on how to track the changes in value and contribution of natural resources to the country’s economy.

Through USAID’s Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans, and Landscapes project, the three-month training aims to support the Philippine government’s work in promoting economic growth through the conservation of the country’s ecosystems.

“When we have competent natural resource managers who are able to account for and monitor the economic value of ecosystem services in the Philippines, the country is in a better position to understand the drivers behind natural resource depletion and develop necessary interventions that will preserve the country’s biodiversity, oceans, and landscapes,” John Edgar, USAID Philippines Environment Office Director, said.

Natural resource managers and researchers from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, National Economic and Development Authority, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, and six public universities learned various methods on measuring the value of benefits derived from the environment such as food, water and fuel, soil conservation, and coastal protection.

DENR Undersecretary Edilberto Leonardo said the training serves as a foundation for incorporating environmental valuation into the design of economic plans at the local level.

“The knowledge and skills that you have learned in this activity will be applied in the actual implementation of natural capital accounting activities,” Leonardo said.

“These include updating the country’s asset accounts, or the value of resources found in Philippine forests, coral reefs, and fisheries,” he added.