The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is all set for the 78th International Federation of Landscape Architects-Asia Pacific Region (IFLA-APR) Congress hosted by the Philippine Association of Landscape Architects (PALA).

With over 300 participants attending the event slated for November 7-9 in Cebu City, the IFLA-APR Congress is one of the biggest gatherings of landscape architects and representatives of various disciplines from across and beyond the Asia Pacific region.

The DENR has thrown its full support behind PALA in hosting this year’s IFLA-APR Congress, which carries the theme “CommonsSense: Linking the Commons and Engaging the Community in Sustainable Development.”

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the theme is relevant as it highlights the role of design in promoting social and environmental sustainability in a time of climate change.

“We firmly hope that the congress will generate valuable knowledge to make communities sustainably safer, healthier and more conducive to productivity amid the adverse impacts of climate change,” Cimatu said.

During the plenary sessions, DENR senior officials will give insights on how the Philippine government manages and responds to human and environmental pressures affecting coastal and marine ecosystems.

DENR Assistant Secretary Gilbert Gonzales will discuss the ongoing rehabilitation of Manila Bay, particularly the effect of land-based pollution to its waters and marine biodiversity, and the government’s efforts to bring back the historic water body to its pristine state.

The DENR continues to seek ways to address the massive volume of land-based pollution brought about by communities and industries surrounding Manila Bay.

Assistant Secretary MarcialAmaro Jr. will tackle the Boracay experience, particularly on how the government had successfully prevented further degradation of its coastal and marine environments during the six months the island was closed for rehabilitation last year.

Assistant Secretary and concurrent Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Ricardo Calderon will discuss the measures undertaken to efficiently manage the conservation of the country’s coral reefs and fish diversity through the establishment of marine protected area networks.

PALA is the sole national organization representing the profession of landscape architecture in the Philippines. It advocates the creation and management of ecologically sound, habitable and aesthetically-pleasing environments through landscape design. ###