The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will play co-host next month to a three-day, first-of-its-kind summit dedicated to environmental issues and their interrelation with sustainable development.
Slated for February 9 to 11 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, the “First Philippine Environment Summit: Breakthroughs and Innovations toward Sustainable Development” will bring together some 1,000 stakeholders from various sectors.
It is co-organized by the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy. Participants include representatives from government, the academe, church groups, civil society and other environmental organizations.
The summit, with its theme “Greening Together, Growing Better,” will highlight the importance of concerted action to effectively resolve environmental problems, especially climate change, according to DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje.
Paje said that unity in resolving environmental problems was necessary to meet the global agenda affirmed in two major environmental events in 2015: the issuance of Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment in June and the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December.
“The summit will showcase breakthroughs and innovations that contribute to environmental protection while encouraging collective action in addressing policy gaps,” Paje said.
The event will be composed of plenary sessions, an exhibit on outstanding environmental practices and technologies, and a recognition ceremony for eco-champions from local government units.
Three breakout sessions will be held to feature working, sustainable and innovative programs. These are safe food, healthy environment and sustainable economy.
The session on safe food will focus on food security and safety that are compromised by the effect of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on soil. Topics include organic agriculture, safe food manufacturing, health and food, and urban gardening and solid waste management.
The healthy environment session will discuss threats of climate change on ecosystem health, with topics on healthy land, water and air, and on climate change adaptation and mitigation, disaster risk education and management. A representative from the French Embassy is also expected to give an update on the COP21 during this session.
The session on sustainable economy will discuss eco-friendly industries, eco-tourism, renewable energy and environmental governance to highlight how economic progress can be attained without compromising the environment.
The summit will culminate with the theme “Stewardship” to highlight the roles of education, the justice system, and the corporate world in achieving sustainability. Expected speakers are Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, and Lopez Group of Companies Chair Emeritus Oscar Lopez.
Other personalities expected to grace the event are Manila Archbishop Antonio Luis Cardinal Tagle, Dr. Vandana Shiva of India’s National Board of Organic Standard, and Dr. Bernd-Marcuss Liss of the UN Development Programme.