Legarda pushes for gender equality, ocean conservation

IN CELEBRATION of this year’s World Oceans Day on June 8 and Coral Triangle Day (June 9), Senator Loren Legarda pushed for the promotion of gender equality in the sustainable conservation of our oceans and marine resources by encouraging more women participation in marine research, policy and decision-making processes, advocacy communications, and project management.

Legarda said that “Gender and the Ocean” is the focus of this year’s World Oceans Day, while the message of Coral Triangle Day, a yearly celebration of the world's epicenter of marine biodiversity, which encompasses the seas of six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Philippines, emphasizes ocean conservation under the banner of “shared waters, shared solutions.”

“We have polluted our waters and caused global warming, which are impacting much more considerably the women than men. It is precisely because of this vulnerability that we should regard women as valuable holders of knowledge and skills to prepare for and cope with these circumstances, as a means to learn on how better to protect and promote ocean health,” Legarda said.

Legarda said that, according to the United Nations, oceans absorb about 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions produced by humans, mitigating the impacts of global warming. However, human activities that cause pollution, depleted fisheries, and loss of coastal habitats heavily affect as much as 40 percent of the world’s oceans.

Moreover, women and children are 14 times more likely to die or get injured in natural disasters due to unequal access to resources. Women only earn 64 percent of men’s wage in aquaculture and have less access to decision-making positions.

“Let this year’s celebrations of World Oceans Day and Coral Triangle Day place more emphasis on women participation in promoting ocean health. Let us not forget however that both women and men must take action to save our oceans and marine life and resources from further harm and degradation,” Legarda concluded. (PR)


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