With the government aiming for sustained economic growth of 7 to 8 percent in the medium term, there is a need to pay attention to the country’s natural resources and how they are used and managed, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“We want to ensure that our pursuit of economic growth will not compromise our future,” said Socioeconomic Planning and NEDA Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia. “While numerous laws and regulations have been passed to protect, conserve and sustain our natural resources, their enforcement have been weak and inadequate. This is why we [NEDA] have been continuously supporting natural capital accounting or valuation to help Filipinos understand the true economic value of these resources and change the way we regard them,” he said.

“Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) widens our horizons beyond GDP in terms of measuring our country’s economic performance and its sustainability,” said Pernia.

Pernia made the remarks during the National Conference on NCA with the theme “Accounting nature: capitalizing partnerships for the future” on March 30-31, 2017 at the Marco Polo Hotel, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

The two-day conference served as a platform to showcase work on NCA and exchange information and experiences on various related efforts from the both local and international arena.

It was also a venue for planners, policy makers, scientists, practitioners, and advocates to further present how natural resource accounting and valuation can provide a more holistic view of the country’s economic performance.

The institution of the NCA in the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the AmBisyon Natin 2040 recognizes the importance of sustaining and preserving the ecosystem.

This supports the growth and performance of the economy, strengthens the resiliency of communities from climate change and disasters, and improves the welfare of the poor and marginalized members of society.

Other officials who attended the conference include National Statistician Lisa Bersales (PSA), and Undersecretary Jonas Leones (DENR). In addition, an estimated number of 200 participants from various agencies and institutions, including the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Climate Change Commission (CCC), legislative offices, academe, civil society organizations and private sector attended the event.

The conference was organized in collaboration with the World Bank and in coordination with the PSA, DENR, Laguna Lake Development Authority, and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development.

For more information about the event, you may refer to the following websites: www.neda.gov.ph or www.wavespartnership.org.