The area of environment and natural resources is often overlooked as developing countries like the Philippines place more priority on economic expansion. The Aquino II administration has nonetheless made integrity of the environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation a budget priority. Last year, it pledged to ensure the enforcement of environmental laws and standards, the protection and enhancement of forest cover, adoption of energy efficient lighting in government offices, and the rehabilitation of esteros. This year, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is the 10th largest department in terms of budget allocation, at PHP23.7 billion.

Given limited resources, it’s important to know which environmental projects work and don’t work. A new study by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Danilo Israel, for instance, sought to find out whether the reforestation program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) had attained its objectives over the years and had helped mitigate the adverse effects of climate change on the forests and the natural environment. Results showed that replanting targets were partially attained, and there has been relative inefficiency in replanting activities. At site level, however, the study found increased incomes and livelihood opportunities. The study is among many undertaken by PIDS as part of the government’s zero-based budgeting approach, wherein existing programs are evaluated for their efficiency and effectiveness.

PIDS has explored other topics in environment and natural resources management, such as opportunities and constraints related to devolution to local governments, the impact of natural disasters on agriculture and natural resources, and the demand for agriculture and forestry graduates. Another important topic is the interplay between trade policy and environment policy. PIDS has recommended that the government pursue both policies in tandem, as there is “no inherent conflict between an open trade policy and good environmental policy.”

Visit the SocioEconomic Research Portal for the Philippines to access the latest PIDS research on environment and natural resources as well as related topics. Simply type ‘environment and natural resources’ in the Search box.

Assessment of the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Reforestation Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

Devolution of Environmental and Natural Resource Management in the Philippines: Analytical and Policy Issues

The Current State of Aquaculture in Laguna de Bay

Does Trade Lead to a Race to the Bottom in Environmental Standards? Another Look at the Issues

Impacts of Natural Disasters on Agriculture, Food Security, and Natural Resources and Environment in the Philippines

What’s in store for AFNR graduates in the Philippines?

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