THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is developing a carbon credit program through reforestation in partnership with private companies and a university, starting in Negros Occidental province.  

DENR signed on Friday a memorandum of understanding in Tokyo, Japan with Marubeni Corp., DMCI Holdings unit Dacon Corp., and the University of the Philippines – Los Baños College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UPLB-CFNR) for the project.  

The signing ceremony was part of President Ferdinand R. Marcosofficial visit to Japan.  

In this project, the government, private sector, and academic sector are working together to enhance the public good by contributing to environmental conservation and global warming countermeasures (as stated by the Philippines government), and to create economic value,said Marubeni in a statement.  

Carbon credits are tradable certificates or permits allowing the holder to emit specified amounts of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gasses in a specified period.  

According to Marubeni, the Philippines’ forest cover has declined to just over 20% of total land area in 2020 from 70% in the 20th century mainly due to excessive loggingand “conversion to agricultural land.”   

The project aims to restore biodiversity, create employment in local communities, and establish a carbon credit program through carbon absorption and sequestration by forests,the Japanese trading company said.   

In December last year, DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga proposed to craft legislation for carbon credit systems in the Philippines and to review the Climate Change Act of 2009 or Republic Act 9729. Sheldeen Joy Talavera