Recognizing the crucial contributions of the Philippines in maintaining a thriving biodiversity in the Southeast Asian region, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda underscored the importance of sustaining partnerships and collaborations within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community amidst environmental challenges.
Legarda made these remarks during the 18th Founding Anniversary of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB), where she highlighted the country’s commitment to addressing various biodiversity issues in the regional bloc, including increased funding support over the years.
“Since ASEAN countries host some of the highest biodiversity and endemic species on the planet, it is crucial to have the necessary resources to protect and conserve these unique ecosystems,” Legarda stressed.
As a champion of the environment, the senator urged ACB to enhance deeper partnerships with various organizations that are instrumental in advancing its mission of responding to the challenges of biodiversity loss in the ASEAN region.
“These partners recognize the importance and criticality of the ACB’s work, not only for the region but also for the multiple endangered species that rely on the protected habitats,” the four-term senator noted, adding that more programs should also be considered to safeguard the rich biodiversity of ASEAN.
“The ASEAN Green Initiative, Access and Benefit Sharing, Business and Biodiversity, the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and other programs are all proof that ACB refuses to be boxed into a mere discipline that only a silver of attention by a handful of experts must pay attention to,” she added.
Considered an advocate and a game-changer in protecting the Philippine environment and natural resources, Legarda was recognized as an ASEAN Biodiversity Hero in 2022 for her active role in championing green development in the country through initiatives and pieces of legislation that benefited many Filipinos.