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Philippines, WEF push for blue carbon conservation in COP28


Bella Cariaso – The Philippine Star

December 8, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s center for nature and climate in strengthening coastal ecosystems, boosting blue carbon conservation and mitigating effects of climate change.

Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga and Neo Gim Huay, WEF center for nature and climate managing director, were the signatories of the partnership agreement.

Loyzaga leads the Philippine delegation to the 28th Conference of the Parties at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).

Loyzaga said the Blue Carbon Action Partnership (BCAP) of the WEF is supported by the government of the United Kingdom through the UK Blue Planet Fund, specifically the Climate and Ocean Adaptation and Sustainable Transition (COAST).

The COAST creates the National Blue Carbon Action Partnership (NBCAP) and brings support from WEF for the government to work with businesses, communities and civil society organizations in restoring, conserving and sustainably managing coastal ecosystems.

“The Philippines, endowed with rich biodiversity and extensive coastlines, is home to vast blue carbon ecosystems. We look forward to working with the Blue Carbon Action Partnership in facilitating the inclusive, whole-of-society approach toward developing a shared ambition for blue carbon, community resilience and inclusive development,” Loyzaga said.

Under the agreement, the NBCAP will convene communities and moderate multilateral conversations related to structuring, particularly multilateral government structure and groups.

The NBCAP will also generate new insights and roadmaps to support the creation of a national blue carbon baseline analysis and national blue carbon finance roadmaps.

It will also catalyze strategic actions to support the implementation of the blue carbon and finance roadmaps as well as global collaborations with complementary initiatives.

“We wish to unlock the Philippines’ potential to provide nature-based climate solutions not just for ourselves but for the rest of the world while supporting our programs on protected areas, and preparing our country for participating in the new blue economy,” Loyzaga said.

She said the private sector would be urged to go beyond ESG or environmental, social and governance as well as integrate biodiversity protection and climate action into core business value cycles instead of the CSR or corporate social responsibility option.

Blue carbon is stored carbon from coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrasses and marshes.

Coastal ecosystems provide essential ecosystem services such as coastal protection from storms and nursery grounds for fish, sequester and store large quantities of blue carbon from the atmosphere and the oceans, thus contributing to solving climate change.

The Philippines is the second country to partner with the BCAP after Indonesia. Both countries have an estimated four trillion tons of carbon in their blue carbon ecosystems, equivalent to over 11 trillion barrels of crude oil consumed.

The agreement will remain in effect until March 31, 2026.

The WEF is a non-profit foundation based in Switzerland and committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

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