Monday, January 12, 2009

National confab on wetlands, climate change and biodiversity conservation in Dumaguete, the Philippines

Philippines News Agency: Some 100 participants from government agencies, non-government organizations, the academe and the private sector are gathered in Dumaguete to attend the three-day National Conference on Wetlands, Climate Change Adaptation and Bio-diversity Conservation. The conference, which reeled off Monday at Silliman University here, aims to set the stage for a national police framework on wetlands.

Undersecretary Manuel Gerochi of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) explained that the activity will also look into the country’s current actions and policies on wetlands and how these relate to climate change and bio-diversity. “Wetlands are basically a rich resource in terms of bio-diversity and ultimately, at the end of the day, loss of bio-diversity is the firm reason of climate change, he said. The Philippines has plenty of wetlands, such as marshlands, lakes, rivers, and coral reefs, that are taken for granted, Gerochi lamented.

…DENR Secretary Jose "Lito" Atienza, whose message Gerochi read at the opening of the conference, stressed that “we have a fundamental obligation to contribute to the environmental and economic prosperity of the places in which we live”.…Atienza stressed the need for collaboration among all sectors of society to minimize negative implications. “We should all believe in sustainability; the notion that environmental and economic goals can and should be pursued in a [concerted effort] and we must continue to believe in partnerships; that shaping our future is not a government-driven, top-down approach but a concensus-based, bottom-up proposition”.

… The Philippines is one of seven countries in the world with the highest bio-diversity, Gerochi noted. But, he lamented, it is also one of the 25 hotspots in the world in terms of loss of bio-diversity resources….

Mines View Park in Baguio City, Philippines

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