ENVIRONMENT Secretary Maria Antonia Y. Loyzaga said action to address the climate crisis will be one of the department’s areas of focus during her term.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) needs to act on the climate emergency “through science to approach national and local-scale impacts of climate change. We live in a multi-hazard environment, from industrial and what we call natural-technological hazards,” she said during the department’s turnover ceremony on Thursday.

“We need to continuously protect our indigenous species as part of our heritage and harness these resources for the benefit of our country,” she added.

The new DENR Secretary said that she is aiming to “emphasize the crucial role in the accounting of natural resources of the country.”

“We need to harness our expertise and make sure the capabilities of the different sectors and bureaus are in line and support each other. We want to invest in a scientific and risk-based approach,” she said.

“The role of the DENR cannot be minimized in terms of trying to support the economy of our country and the social and inclusive development of our nation,” she added.

In a separate statement, the DENR announced that it is collaborating with the Korean National Assembly to explore the use of a communications satellite to monitor and protect the environment.

“Korean technology will strengthen Philippines’ capabilities in the use of data generated through orbital satellites, which provide high resolution images of the terrain,” the DENR said in a statement.

DENR Director Al O. Orolfo said that satellite technology and high resolution images play a significant role in managing and protecting natural resources and the environment.

Apart from the satellite, there are two ongoing projects between the DENR and the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

These include the establishment of an Integrated Water Resources Management and Information System for the Pampanga River Basin Phase 2 and the enhancement of marine litter management in Manila Bay.

There are also potential collaborations with the Philippine Space Agency and Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, according to the DENR. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson