NEDA formulates Natural Capital Accounting system

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -  The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) will develop indicators under the Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) method to come up with a proper valuation of the country’s natural resources, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said yesterday.

“This would help Filipinos understand the true economic value of these resources, change the way we regard them, and ultimately improve their management and utilization,” he said, during the National Conference on Natural Capital Accounting held in Ortigas. He said lack of knowledge on the value of the country’s natural resources have contributed to lax implementation of regulation for the protection and conservation of resources.

NEDA, he said, will be working with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) to develop the NCA system.

“We need to develop our indicators first and we need a system for natural capital accounting statistics,” said Pernia. “We will start soon. We’d like it done as soon as possible.”

The Philippines joined the World Bank’s Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) in 2010.

“Results of policy analyses and recommendations from WAVES, particularly related to Laguna Lake and Southern Palawan including mangroves and minerals, will help us in the government to formulate appropriate strategies and programs that need to be prioritized to sustain long-term development,” said Pernia.

World Bank country director Mara Warwick said a country’s economic well-being should not be measured by economic output alone but also by the health and sustainability of its ecosystems.

“Countries measure economic growth through gross domestic product or GDP. However, it’s clear that GDP is not a sufficient indicator of sustainability because it does not value the cost of environmental degradation or recognize how natural resources are being depleted in the course of meeting the demands of economic growth. Neither does it recognize the needs of communities who depend on natural resources for day-to-day survival,” she said.

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