Green Economy for the Philippines: Impossible or I'M-Possible?

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Green Economy for the Philippines:

Impossible or I’m-possible?

Diana Hind R. Breboneria


Dr. R.J.R. Claveria

Last November 25, 2013, the Ateneo Environmental Science Society (ESS) conducted the fourth session of EcoTalk, a series of talks covering phenomenal environmental issues surrounding the Philippines nowadays, featuring key speakers from the various departments of Ateneo de Manila University. EcoTalk aims to educate the Ateneo community on how different fields coincide with the environment, and that each and every one of us has a role to fulfill in order to save our environment from collapsing entirely.

EcoTalk 4’s topic was Transitioning to the Green Economy: The Challenge to the Present Generation and was spearheaded by Dr. Santos, a professor of Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University.

Green economy, as defined by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” It is characterized by the prevention of loss of biodiversity and the reduction of carbon emissions and pollutions.

However, as of the moment, the Philippines is not classified as a country with green economy, but rather, brown economy, with its apparent and rampant deforestation and pollution practices, excess utilization of domestic inputs, and inability to improve resource management.

In addition to the aforementioned traits, there is also a significant depletion of commercial and municipal fisheries efforts. If 3.5 metric tons of fish could be harvested per horsepower 50 years ago, it has declined to a mere 0.5 metric tons nowadays. There is also an increase in the harvest of shrimps and crabs, seeing as fish cultivation has been getting more and more difficult. To add salt to the wounds, less than 1/3 of the original 450 000 hectares of mangrove forests from 1998 have remained, and most of these are just the second...