DENR-Green Convergence all set for 2nd Philippine Environment Summit

It’s all systems go for the second Philippine Environment Summit slated for February 20-22 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced on Thursday.


Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu will keynote the conference organized by the DENR and Green Convergence Philippines, a large coalition of environmental and developmental organizations, networks, faith-based groups and individuals championing food safety, healthy environment and sustainable economy.


Cimatu is expected to report on the state of the country’s environment, including accomplishments and priorities for the year ahead.


“Hopefully, through this summit, our partners from Green Convergence and elsewhere will be guided by our priorities and find further impetus to contribute for the benefit of fellow Filipinos and the environment,” the environment chief said.


Deputy Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers of the United Nations Convention on Migratory Species and Senator Grace Poe are among the resource speakers invited to the environment summit, with the theme “Mainstreaming innovations for sustainable development.”


Aside from Cimatu, the summit delegates will be welcomed by Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III and Green Convergence president Angelina Galang.


Each day of the three-day summit will consist of plenary sessions in the morning and five parallel breakout sessions in the afternoon.


On Day 2 of the conference, Fr. Daniel Franklin Pilario, dean of St. Vincent School of Theology will speak about the Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change entitled “Laudato Si,” while DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones will discuss the sustainable development goals and the environmental aspects of the Philippine development plan.


Development Bank of the Philippines First Vice-President Paul Lazaro will tackle financing environmental investments, while Deputy Ombudsman Gerard Mosquera will give a presentation on the challenges in enforcing environmental laws.


The morning session will end with a launching of the book entitled “Philippine Native Tree 303,” which is an update to the book “Philippine Native Trees 101” that the Green Convergence launched in 2012.


Retail giant SM, the Film Development Council, and the French embassy in Manila will sponsor a presentation of the environmental film “Terra” featuring United Nations Environment Programme Goodwill Ambassador Yan Arthus-Bertrand.


Terra is a 90-minute documentary that shows stunning visual images depicting the relationship of humans with other species while becoming more and more isolated from nature.


On Day 3, Chambers will talk about migratory species and climate change, while Poe will speak about the right of every Filipino to safe food and environment.


Former United States Vice President and now Climate Reality Project founder and chair Al Gore sent a video message on significant strides in the climate change movement.


The summit will culminate in the symbolic signing of three partnership agreements for the management of Butuanon River Watershed in Cebu; support for the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Framework in Southern Tagalog; and the care for endangered native tree species through the Binhi Program.


The first environmental summit, which was held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City in 2016, highlighted “Laudato Si” and the adoption of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. #

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