Business sector urged to promote biodiversity

The Philippine government has urged the business sector to help promote biodiversity, a dynamic and vital component of the environment.

In a message read by Ecosystems and Research Development Bureau (ERDB) Director Marcial Amaro, DENR Secretary Ramon Paje stressed during the conference on business opportunities in biodiversity that the business sector has a big role to play in the promotion and conservation of biodiversity, pointing out the link between business and biodiversity.

“In the Philippines, businesses depend on biodiversity for their operations. They rely on plants, animals and the ecosystems to provide them with food, water, paper, fiber, medicine, building materials, and fuel, needed in their operations,” Paje said.

He also appealed to medium and small enterprises to get themselves involved in biodiversity promotion since their operations also have either positive or negative impact on biodiversity.

“If we can also enlist small and medium businesses for biodiversity promotion, we should be able to achieve truly dynamic results,” Paje said.

The conference, attended by business leaders, representatives from academe, civil society, media and other sectors from some ASEAN-member countries, aimed to encourage business to support biodiversity conservation efforts as well as discuss the current biodiversity situation in the ASEAN region.

This came on the heels of a study from the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) showing that the deterioration of biodiversity resources in the region is caused by unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

The study revealed that biodiversity resources are being over-exploited due to human lifestyle and consumption patterns which are critically incompatible with the world’s remaining natural flora and fauna.

The ACB study further showed that overfishing has threatened 64 percent of Southeast Asian coral reefs; illegal wildlife trade is valued at $10 billion to $20 billion annually.