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Faith Group Urges Nature-Based Solutions as Pandemic Response

Living Laudato Si' Philippines, together with Asia Climate Change Consortium, highlighted the importance of policymaking amid the pandemic.

Nature-based solutions (NBS) for climate change are not new concepts. It’s been talked about in various forums and conferences. But with a pandemic ongoing, how important is it to talk about addressing climate change?

In a roundtable discussion held yesterday, May 20, Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, together with Asia Climate Change Consortium, talked about the importance of NBS in addressing the pandemic and how climate change had a huge impact on it. 

NBS, as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.”

But how exactly can NBS help address the effects of the pandemic and climate change? 

Nature-Based Solutions: Policymaking

living-laudato-si-encourages-nature-based-solutions-for-climate-change-and-pandemic-response
On August 6, 2020, DENR in partnership with different private and civil society organizations planted indigenous and native tree species inside the 2,659-hectare La Mesa Watershed area. (Photo from DENR)

During the roundtable discussion, Albert Magalang of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stressed the need for policy building when it comes to implementing nature-based solutions, which takes into consideration all sectors of society. (Read: A Prayer to End the Pandemic Sooner)

This comes after the lockdowns brought about by the pandemic highlighted the inequality of resources— those living in informal settlements lack access to clean water, do not have adequate space to practice social distancing and isolation, and are disproportionately affected by job loss and food insecurity. 

To address this, the DENR came up with a number of COVID-19 Green Response— one of which is watershed management. Here, the department will intensify reforestation, forest protection, and agroforestry. Through these measures, climate change effects and natural hazards will weaken. (Read: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 in India)

The DENR is also advocating for more green spaces such as parks, urban food gardens, and other green and blue infrastructure in the cities. This will help in delivering climate, economic, and social benefits in the context of long-term recovery from the effects of COVID-10 and climate change. 

Lastly, the meeting highlighted the need for public awareness and participation in combatting the effects of the pandemic and climate change. This is why environmental organizations and faith groups like Living Laudato Si’ Philippines have been actively working to promote love and care for the environment. 

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