The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct the 4th National Environmental Law Enforcement (NELE) Summit on July 14-16, 2021, to provide updates on efforts to prevent and fight environmental crimes.

Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that holding the NELE summit during this health crisis is "a good opportunity to revisit the environmental law enforcement (ELE) components to make sure they are updated, and to make sure that the policies are relevant and timely."

"There could never be a much better time for holding the NELE summit, as it is during this quarantine that we have more challenges in apprehending environmental law violators who are taking advantage of the immobility and lesser resources that we have," Cimatu said.

According to Cimatu, holding the NELE Summit this 2021 is "especially significant, especially when most environment and natural resources (ENR) laws are already 20 years old and older, and during this time that the agency gears up for the creation of an Enforcement Bureau."

"The previous NELE Action Plan has already expired last 2020. With this summit, we hope to create a new Action Plan that would serve the needs of the ever-changing and evolving modern society," Cimatu said.

With the theme, "Sustaining inter-agency collaborations for intensified ELE towards a better environment amidst pandemic,” the NELE Summit has been a venue for updating the latest developments on ELE, such as new laws and policies, implementing guidelines, programs, and tools and technologies.

It has also been the venue for ensuring continuous coordination and cooperation among the agencies involved and giving recognition to partner-agencies and institutions, as well as individuals.

During the summit, participants are expected to share their respective agencies’ and branches’ major highlights or milestones on ELE for the last 15 years; identify the contribution of the agencies in mainstreaming environmental and natural resources protection in the national strategies and policies; and formulate responsive strategies that will expedite actions for urgent ENR concerns in support of Philippine development.

They are also expected to receive information on the state of the environment, that is, state of the forest and protected areas including the caves and wildlife resources, urban environment and marine and coastal areas including the fishery resources; review selected ELE technologies and identify needed advancement to cope up with the current enforcement needs and changes; and assess the implementation and update the ELE action plan. ###