IN THE KNOW: Protected areas
A protected area is an identified portion of land and water with unique physical and biological significance, which is protected by law against destructive exploitation.
As of 2013, there were 240 protected areas managed by the National Integrated Protected Areas System (Nipas) under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Protected areas are classified as either strict nature reserve, natural park, natural monument, wildlife sanctuary, protected landscapes and seascapes, resource reserve, natural biotic areas and other categories established by law or international agreements to which the Philippine government is a signatory.
The country’s protected areas cover 4.07 million hectares of terrestrial areas and 1.38 million hectares of marine areas, or about 14.2 percent of the Philippines’ total area.
In 2011, the DENR issued a memorandum suspending land titling in areas proposed for declaration into protected areas.
Also suspended was the processing of applications for lease, license, or permit for any project or activity within the identified area, as well as the acceptance of new applications, except for projects that are compatible with the objectives of the Nipas.
Then Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said the move would “ease environmental pressure caused by human settlements on areas that naturally maintain ecological processes, provide life support systems and preserve biodiversity.” —INQUIRER RESEARCH
Sources: bmb.gov.ph, denr.gov.ph and RA No. 7586
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.