World Bank considers PHL among those most affected by degradation of the natural environment

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The World Bank has said environmental degradation in the Philippines could lead to a loss of production of $ 12.2 billion by 2030 in nature-dependent industries, making it one of the most vulnerable in the world.

In a report, The Economic Case for Nature, the bank predicts that the collapse of certain ecosystem processes, such as wild pollination, marine fisheries and timber growth in native forests, will reduce the output of industries that depend on these. services provided by nature by 18% over the decade.

Industries considered to be heavily dependent on nature’s services include agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry and fishing.

The other vulnerable countries were Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (production decline of 26% or $ 17.3 billion each) and Madagascar (23% or $ 1.6 billion). Vulnerable countries in Asia were Bangladesh (17% or $ 14 billion) and Vietnam (16% or $ 10.9 billion).

Philippine fish production is expected to decline 22% or $ 3.5 billion by 2030.

“Environmental degradation can push an ecosystem to a ‘tipping point’ beyond which it will either transition to a new state or completely collapse. Such a collapse would lead to a sharp and large-scale decline in ecosystem services, ”the World Bank said.

“Low-income and lower-middle-income countries lose the most in relative terms if ecosystem services collapse,” he added.

The report notes that nature is a “critical asset” for these economies as it represents a significant portion of their national wealth, while many low-income households depend on agriculture for their income and as a safety net.

The World Bank has estimated that degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services could reduce global economic output by $ 2.7 trillion, or 2.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) each year, by 2030.

He said traditional economic models ignore the trend of deteriorating ecosystem services, which produce “overly optimistic” estimates of economic growth.

The World Bank has urged policymakers to adopt a coordinated policy response to prevent ecosystem services from further degradation and address biodiversity loss. The response must include elements such as conservation incentives, such as carbon payment programs, in which landowners are compensated for the maintenance of forests.

He said sustainable agriculture can also help preserve nature, as can increasing public investment in agricultural research to enable farmers to increase production on land already cultivated without encroaching on forest areas.

“Preserving nature and maintaining its services are essential for economic growth. Nature-friendly policies and reforms, including agricultural subsidy reform and investments in agricultural innovation, improve biodiversity and economic outcomes, ”World Bank Group President David Malpass said in a statement. – Beatrice M. Laforga


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