MANILA (DWDD) – Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, sees stronger collaboration on environmental and climate change programs between the Philippines and Indonesia following the visit of Indonesian parliamentarians in the Senate last Wednesday (August 9, 2017).
Legarda met with the delegation of House of Regional Representative of the Republic of Indonesia led by Professor Dr. Dailami Firdaus and discussed various issues, such as economic cooperation, environmental conservation, and renewable energy development.
“We shared our environmental laws with our Indonesian counterparts who regarded them as model legislation for their country. It was good to know that the Republic of Indonesia also seeks to shift from fossil fuel to clean energy, as what we are also advocating for in our country,” she said.
The Senator also said that possible trade investments on renewable energy were discussed as well as avenues to strengthen trade relations between the two countries.
Legarda added that she wants the country to explore more on getting involved in programs to protect the Coral Triangle like Indonesia, which has been moving towards a blue economy.
The Coral Triangle, which covers over six million square kilometers and spans the oceans of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste, contains 75% of the world’s coral species and more than 6,000 species of fish.
The six countries are also part of the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), a multilateral government partnership formed in 2009 to protect the Coral Triangle and to implement a Regional and National Plan of Action that: a) designates and manages seascapes; b) applies an ecosystem approach to fisheries management; c) establishes a fully functional marine protected area system; d) strengthens climate change adaptation and resilience; and e) improves the status of threatened marine species.
“As an archipelagic country and part of the Coral Triangle, we must ensure sustainable fisheries through various approaches such as protecting, conserving and rehabilitating marine habitats, supporting growth in the fisheries sector, and building resilience and adaptive capacities of coastal communities,” said Legarda.
Legarda also proposed the establishment of a Philippines-Indonesia Parliamentary Friendship Association, with the Senator and the visiting parliamentarians as founding members, to further strengthen ties between the two nations. SENATE / MCAG