In the hearing of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ budget yesterday, Congress gave strong support to the environment programs being implemented by the Aquino administration. In fact, more than a dozen members of the House of Representatives expressed commendation on the government’s environmental performance.

The DENR reported that the Cadastral Survey Program which was signed into law on February 11, 1913, was able to complete only 46% of the entire land area of the Republic of the Philippines in nearly 100 years. The remaining 54% is expected to be completed within the Aquino administration. Likewise, the National Greening Program (NGP) which aims to plant 1.5M hectares, expects to reverse the forest cover of the country. By 2016, there will be more forested areas than denuded. Similarly, DENR expects to complete the 1:10,000 geohazard maps of the entire country by next year.

DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje is grateful to the pervading environmental consciousness in the three branches of government. Recently, the judiciary also showed strong environmental consciousness in its green decisions i.e. the Manila Bay Mandamus and the various Writs of Kalikasan issued.

Correspondingly, the June 2014 SWS survey indicated that the government’s environmental protection efforts ranked first of the seventeen concerns monitored by the said survey. Also, Pulse Asia’s March 2014 report indicated a leap of 7 percentage points on the “protection of the environment” from +41 in December 2013 to +48 in March 2014.

Paje thanked the DENR employees, for their dedication and hard work and the civil society, people’s organization and other environmental partners and stakeholders for their vigilance and heightened consciousness. ### 




Role of youth in climate change adaptation and mitigation to be discussed in forum

The critical role of youth in climate change adaptation and mitigation will be tackled in a forum on Friday at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City.

Close to a hundred students from various universities and colleges in Metro Manila, including youth leaders from various organizations, are expected to participate in the youth forum organized by the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The forum, entitled “Responding to Climate Change: The Voice of the Filipino Youth,” is also being supported by the Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management (PATLEPAM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV).

“Our young people are especially capable to promote environmental awareness because they continue to live in era where environmental issues have loomed large,” EMB OIC Director Jonas Leones said.

“They can certainly introduce fresh ideas and outlooks to issues that affect the state of our environment,” Leones added.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda and Secretary Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission are expected to deliver messages to the participants.

Among the topics to be discussed during the forum include the 2013 Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC). Dr. Rodel Lasco, a co-awardee of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 and scientific director of the OML Center, a private foundation committed to research in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, will present the IPCC report.

Also included for discussion are the integrated efforts that would enable the youth sector to plan coordinated actions to respond to climate change issues and concerns in the country, including the need to reduce vulnerabilities and enhance the resilience of communities.

A United Nations study has noted that the Filipino youth is actively engaged at local, national and global levels in raising awareness, running educational programs, nature conservation, promoting renewable energy, adopting eco-friendly practices and implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. (Jessica Estrella)# 



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