World Bank extends grant to help PH reduce poverty
The World Bank has granted the Philippines technical assistance worth $700,615 to study how the sustainable use of the country’s natural resources—specifically mangroves and minerals—could help reduce poverty.
In a statement, the multilateral lender said the grant for the Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystems (Phil-Waves) project aimed to “provide data on the current state of the Philippines’ natural resources” as well as “promote the integration of principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs.”
“Ensuring sustainable use of natural resources could improve the lives of the poor as they are usually highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihood,” the World Bank pointed out.
Citing Philippine government data, the World Bank noted that even as agriculture, fisheries and forestry comprised 11.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) and a third of employment last year, poverty incidence in these sectors remained at a high of 36.7 percent in 2009.
“Sustainable management and judicious use of natural resources are thus critical to ensure that growth is pro-poor and inclusive,” the lender said.
According to the World Bank, Phil-Waves will measure mangroves and mineral resources by using the 2012 System of Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA), which is a globally accepted framework for the accounting of natural resources.
The information to be generated through SEEA will then be used by the Philippine Statistics Authority in developing macroeconomic indicators that assess “the value of these key natural resources and their contribution to the country’s GDP” by so-called natural capital accounting, it said.
“Having sufficient data on natural resources and analyzing this properly is crucial to making decisions that will help the country reach the twin objectives of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity,” World Bank Philippines country director Motoo Konishi said.
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