Green groups urge incoming administration to appoint an environment champion as DENR secretary

June 18, 2022

Pro-environment organizations this week urged President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to appoint a champion, not a bureaucrat or merely an administrator, as environment secretary.  

In a joint statement, the groups said the appointment of a secretary who will be “a singular voice for nature and people” is a “critical pillar” in the new Marcos administration. 

The groups said the president-elect must choose someone “who will bring about transformative change” to the environment department.

“It can no longer be business as usual. We only have 3% of our primary forests left. Every year, thousands suffer and die from floods and other harmful effects of the climate crisis,” the statement read. 

“As one of the deadliest countries for environment defenders, forest and ocean guardians are at high risk of violence and intimidation from organized environment crime,” it added.

The groups said the country needs an environment secretary who is “a fierce, progressive, and passionate champion of the conservation of forests and biodiversity, the protection of environment defenders, and the enforcement of environmental laws, over and above the interests of a few.” 

The organizations that made the appeal were the Masungi Georeserve Foundation, Earth Island Institute Philippines, Manila Observatory, Kids for Kids, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, and the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines. 

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