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Environmental issues in the Philippines

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The Philippines is prone to natural disasters, particularly typhoons, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tsunamis, lying as it does astride the typhoon belt, in the active volcanic region known as the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” and in the geologically unstable region between the Pacific and Eurasian tectonic plates. The Philippines also suffers major human-caused environmental degradation aggravated by a high annual population growth rate, including loss of agricultural lands, deforestation, soil erosion, air and water pollution, improper disposal of solid and toxic wastes, loss of coral reefs, mismanagement and abuse of coastal resources, and overfishing. According to Greenpeace SouthEast Asia, the Philippines major historical river, the Pasig River is now biologically dead due to negligence and industrialization. Currently, the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources has been busy tracking down illegal loggers and been spearheading projects to preserve the quality of many remaining rivers that are not yet polluted.

Climate changeEdit

The Philippines, being in the Pacific Ring of Fire and typhoon belt, will be severely affected by Climate Change. Climate change will devastate the Philippines, leading to widespread destruction of the country’s flora and fauna and flooding. The capital city, Manila is also threatened by the rising sea levels. [1] Currently, government projects and measures are not enough to fully "climate-proof" the country, says the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines.

Sustainable Development Edit

Philippines: Strategy for Sustainable Development (PSSD)

Recognizing the need to tackle the environment issues as well as the need to sustain development and growth, the Philippines came up with the Sustainable Development Strategy.[2] The notion for the Sustainable Development Strategy includes assimilating environmental considerations in administration, apposite pricing of natural resources, conservation of biodiversity, rehabilitation of ecosystems, control of population growth and human resources development, inducing growth in rural areas, promotion of environmental education, strengthening citizens’ participation, and promoting small to medium sized enterprises and sustainable agricultural and forestry practices.[3] One of the initiatives signed in part of the strategy was the 1992 Earth Summit.

Upon signing the 1992 Earth Summit,[4] the government of Philippines has been constantly looking into many different initiatives to improve the environmental aspects of the country.

Asian Development Bank Climate Change Project Edit

One of the entities that came in aid was ADB (Asian Development Bank)[5] in 1991. Working in line with Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21)[6] to ensure sustainable development, the Asian Development Bank conducted several vulnerability studies on the country before generating a series of assessment on the country's vulnerable sectors and areas to climate change. The specific sectors and areas include the country's agricultural activities, water resources as well as activities going on in the coastal areas.

With the ADB Climate Change Project in 1991, transition towards a low-carbon growth path the markets for low-carbon, high-efficiency goods and services started to expand, increasing the investing opportunities for farsighted policy makers as well as businesses to reap the benefits. These benefits will come about through innovation and investments. The project itself generated even higher understanding of climate change in the region and generally helped Philippines strengthen its case for strong action globally in light of having sustainable development.[7]


Even now in 2011, climate changes still threatens the Pacific greatly. In the recent ADB report on Solomon Times Online[8] dated 15 September 2011 released from Manila, Philippines, climate change was reported to threaten to increase hunger in the pacific.

In the report, it stated that the Pacific region is either vulnerable or already experiencing the harsh effects of climate change, including worsening coastal erosion, floods, drough, and the storm surges. Economically, these conditions are affecting many of the commercial and subsistence farmers with their crop production according to Food Security and Climate Change in the Pacific: Rethinking the Options.[: Pacific Studies 1]

Development challenge

Agricultural productivity has stagnated in the last 45 years despite the region's growing population. Agglomentation also contributed to that, seeing people from the countryside seeking better work in the cities. Thus, with the aid of forecasts and climate change reports, many different efforts and initiatives can be adopted to work towards sustaining the country's development. One such effort may be to increase investment in agricultural research and development to raise productivity and resource management. Communities then has to cooperate and find the optimal way to adapt to changing agricultural needs and countries can work with each other and with regional agencies to tackle the development challenge brought forth by climate change.

The report says all national planning and policies should take climate change into consideration and infrastructure such as ports, roads, water pipes and coastal development needs to be climate proofed. Not only will all these increase regional production, connectivity and ultimately, food security.[9] Thus, the awareness and specific data The Climate Change Project carried out by Asian Development Bank will help the respective institutions to understand the extent of the damages that can be dealt by the climate changes in the region.

See alsoEdit


  1. "NASA scientist to study effects of climate change in Philippines"
  2. PHILIPPINE STRATEGY FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: A Conceptual Framework. PA 21 PSDN. Retrieved on 2011-09-13.
  3. Belinda Yuen, Associate Professor, National University of Singapore. Retrieved on 2011-09-13.
  4. Government Policies Pertaining to the Manufacturing Sector. Department of Public Information. Retrieved on 2011-09-13.
  5. Asian Development Bank. ADB. Retrieved on 2011-09-13.
  6. APhilippine Agenda 21. PCSD. Retrieved on 2011-09-13.
  7. The Economics of Climate Change in Southeast Asia: A Regional Review. ADB. Retrieved on 2011-09-13.
  8. Solomon Times Online. Solomon Times Online. Retrieved on 2011-09-15.
  9. ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK: NEWS RELEASE. Climate Change Threatens to Increase Hunger in the Pacific - ADB Report. Asian Development Bank (ADB). Retrieved on 15 September 2011.
  1. ADB (2011). Food Security and Climate Change in the Pacific: Rethinking the Options. Asian Development Bank. ISBN 978-92-9092-393-0. 

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

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