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The Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) advocates that existing forests in the Philippines should be restored and conserved as a part of disaster risk reduction plans.
From rainforests to mangrove forests, the Philippines is rich in biodiversity that is a huge part of the country’s composition, which also serves as a protection from natural calamities.
However, due to several illegal logging and deforestation activities in the mountains and forests, fewer trees hold the soil together, which resulted in larger possibilities of lands getting flooded with deeper waters.
The Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) states that the restoration and conservation of the country’s existing forests should be included at the center of the disaster risk reduction plans.
According to the group based in Laguna, these ‘nature-based’ solutions are also considered as adaptation measures that aim to cause ‘no regrets.' It will also bring benefits to many communities across the country, even with or without disasters taking place.
ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim said that these ecosystems not only cushion the country from the severe impacts of climate change, but through protecting them, it will also provide us clean water, ensure us food security, and regulate a host of diseases.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization recently released a Global Forest Resources Assessment report, and it revealed that the Philippines has an over-all forest cover of 7,014,156 hectares. It is basically 23.4 percent of the country’s total area of 30 million hectares, based from the land cover data released in 2015.
Due to the devastating effects of the consecutive onslaught of typhoons in the country with Typhoon Ulysses (international name Vamco) being the most recent, conservationist called for better and greater protection of forest areas and watersheds that serve as protection against flash floods and other natural calamities.