The Philippines

Historical and geographical framing of ecological degradation and environmental governance

Authored by: Doracie Zoleta-Nantes

Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415625210
eBook ISBN: 9781315474892
Adobe ISBN: 9781315474885


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The Philippines is home to 16,223 plant species, 1,090 vertebrate species and about 23,000 invertebrate species (UNEP and DENR, 1997). Loss of habitat, occurring at an alarming rate, and unsustainable resource use by its expanding population and industries threaten the existence of these flora and fauna. This chapter elaborates on key policies, historical turns, social concerns, economic considerations, government programmes and community initiatives that have contributed to both the degradation of the Philippine environment and measures to address such degradation. It also analyses the economic, historical and geographical circumstances that have resulted in the exploitation of the country’s environmental resources, such as unplanned urbanization; industries that pollute the local environment; land exploitation; degradation of forests and water bodies; poor implementation of environmental policies; and differing goals of interest groups, including domestic and foreign corporations accumulating immense profits, as well as farmers, fisherfolk and small-scale entrepreneurs meeting basic sustenance needs.

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