High-Level Launch of the Project “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in the Philippines”
28 May 2021 | 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
UNDERSECRETARY MERCEDITA A. SOMBILLA
Regional Development Group
Philippine Statistics Authority Undersecretary Claire Dennis Mapa,
UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines Gustavo Gonzalez,
UNSD Chief for Environmental Economics Accounts Section Alessandra Alfieri, UNESCAP Statistics Division Director Gemma Van Halderen, colleagues in the government, other development partners, and stakeholders, a pleasant morning!
The High-Level Launch of the Project “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in the Philippines”
On behalf of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), we congratulate the Philippine Statistics Authority and the United Nations Statistics Division for the launch of their collaborative project “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in the Philippines”.
This project is a welcome and timely initiative as we continue to push for the advancement of environmental-economic accounting for better-informed policy- and decision-making by analyzing the interaction between the environment and the economy.
Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 Chapter on Ensuring Ecological Integrity
The environment and natural resources (ENR) sector plays a critical role in the country’s development, as highlighted in our Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 Chapter on Ensuring Ecological Integrity. Improving environmental health and ensuring ecological integrity are critical to support the 1) acceleration of economic growth, 2) strengthening resilience to climate change and disasters, and 3) improvement of the socio-economic conditions of resource-based communities. Since the environment is important to society and the economy, it should be recognized as an asset that must be maintained and managed, and its contributions should be integrated into commonly used frameworks like the Philippine System of National Accounts. Thus, upscaling natural capital accounting (NCA) including valuation of ecosystem services is included among the priority cross-cutting strategies in the PDP to achieve a healthy and resilient Philippines.
The Natural Capital Accounting
As the highest economic planning agency in the country, NEDA recognizes the significance and role of environmental-economic accounting in measuring the country’s wealth. This why NEDA formulated a system to account for the use of the environment and natural resources – the natural capital accounting (NCA). NCA measures the changes in the natural capital accounts through time and provides accounting framework to integrate environmental indicators and income accounts. By providing clear and concise numbers for many of the natural resources that we have long taken for granted, the government and its partners, through the NCA can maximize and measure the benefits of the country’s environment and natural resources. Incorporating natural capital into national accounts will also support the development of better policies, programs, and economic decisions that emphasize the importance of environment in the economy.
In relation to this, the NEDA, in partnership with other government agencies like PSA and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is working towards the institutionalization of NCA in the country. This is envisioned to put the Philippines one step closer to sustainable development, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction. This PSA-UNSD project will further contribute in the advancement of environmental-economic accounting and the institutionalization of NCA in the country.
Again, congratulations on the launch of the “Environmental-Economic Accounting for Evidence-Based Policy in the Philippines” project. May we all stay healthy and safe. Thank you!
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