The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has tapped the expertise of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) to gauge the actual impact of the government’s massive reforestation program in addressing climate change.
DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said the ADMU will help the agency in assessing the effectiveness of the National Greening Program (NGP) in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which contribute to global warming and weather extremes.
Under the DENR’s GHG-NGP project, a deal to hire the services of ADMU was finalized on January 23 during a contract signing between DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis and ADMU president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ.
The project forms part of a bigger program that aims to institutionalize and improve climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
“We recognize the expertise of ADMU and its willingness to assist us in this project, which seeks to assess just how effective a strategy the NGP is in climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly through carbon sequestration or reducing GHGs that actually make it to the atmosphere,” Paje pointed out.
NGP is the flagship reforestation program of the Aquino administration that aims to cover 1.5 million hectares with trees by 2016. It also serves as a mechanism for climate change mitigation to enhance the country’s forest stock to absorb carbon dioxide and other GHGs.
GHGs are atmospheric gases that absorb and emit radiation in a greenhouse effect, causing global warming which, in turn, leads to climate change. A periodic inventory of GHGs provides information that can be used to formulate policies and assess progress on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
As provided in its service contract, the ADMU is expected to deliver projection reports on GHG emissions from production and consumption processes, as well as an assessment on the carbon sequestration of forests.
The data will be presented in technical and documentation reports, as well as a website that will be put up specifically for the project. ADMU will also train and orient all stakeholders involved in the project.
Moreover, the university will come up with an inventory of the GHG emissions of Malacañang as a pilot office in institutionalizing the Philippine GHG Inventory Management and Reporting System, by virtue of Executive Order No. 174 issued by President Benigno Aquino III in November last year.
The DENR, on the other hand, will assign its GHG-NGP team to oversee ADMU’s performance, review outputs and assist in the coordination with other concerned government agencies.
The department will also disseminate results, as needed, for the public and other stakeholders to appreciate.
ADMU will receive P7.59 million for its services, which Paje described as “acquired through a bidding process that is aboveboard and strictly conforms to government regulations on procurement of consulting services.”
Posted By: Lynne Pingoy