The Philippine ICCA Consortium, along with a broad network of environmental groups, urged Congress to fast-track the passage of the Green Bills, citing the links between environmental destruction, land use change, climate change and pandemics.
At the Green Bills Policy Forum titled “Ambagan Para sa Kalikasan, Ambagan Para sa Kinabukasan” held via Zoom, the groups celebrated World Biodiversity Day 2021 and said that enacting these green policies are important steps to reduce the impacts of climate change and prevent similar pandemics like COVID-19 from recurring.
The Green Bills include the Indigenous Community Conserved Areas or ICCA bill (HB 639 / 2281), the Sustainable Forest Management Act or SFMA (HB 8179), National Land Use Act or NLUA (HB 158), and the Alternative Minerals Management Bill or AMMB (HB 112).
“The enactment of the ICCA Bill is in many ways the government’s strengthening of its mandate for indigenous peoples’ rights to their territories by legislating the cultural and spiritual values that indigenous people’s traditional governance place on certain portions of their ancestral domains. It strengthens the country’s role in meeting its treaty obligations and commitments against biodiversity loss and global warming. Full and effective protection, not merely recognition of indigenous peoples rights is what the ICCA Bill is all about,” Giovanni Reyes, president of the Philippine ICCA Consortium quoted.
Green Bills Network (GBN) coordinator Rene Clemente said that amidst all the national issues of COVID19, the West Philippine Sea and the looming political track of the 2022 elections, it is critical that the role and services that our environment and natural resources play for Philippine sustainable development are recognized.
“With the impacts of climate change and this pandemic directly threatening our lives and livelihoods, passing these green bills can provide clear policies and financial resources to mitigate the harmful impacts to affected communities”, Clemente added.
Watch the Green Bills Policy Forum here: https://www.facebook.com/124986085667637/videos/492766728732281
Learn more about the Green Bills here: https://www.greenprint.ph/