The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is one with the world’s environmental organizations in celebrating the 50th year of the 1972 Stockholm Conference, the first international conference on environment and development.

The Stockholm Conference, held and established in Sweden’s capital city in 1972, was marked as the first global effort in treating the environment and creating worldwide policies to manage and develop the world’s environmental resources. Its main goal is to have an integrated environment into the social and economic dimensions of development.

This year, the international meeting took place on June 2-3, 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden with the theme, “A healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.”

“We are pleased to be part of this momentous event. The DENR continues to support this vision set forth by the United Nations (UN) by formulating and committing to our environmental laws and policies,” said DENR Acting Secretary Jim O. Sampulna, noting that the agency had submitted the country’s national report that will be part of UN’s global output on the current status of 58 countries in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This 1972 global event resulted in the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment, which led to the establishment of the United National Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Environment Day on June 5.

The country’s commitment to the international agenda has been translated to the issuance of the Philippine Environmental Code in 1977, the Philippine Impact System of 1978, and the Philippine Environmental Policy in 1979.

The international conference also signaled the creation of the Philippines’ then Task Force on Human Settlements under Executive Order (EO) 419 signed by former president Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. on September 19, 1973.

Marcos, Sr. signed Presidential Decree No. 1396 on June 2, 1978 that turned the task force into the Ministry of Human Settlements, which was said to be the precursor of the DENR by virtue of EO 192, with the goal of providing communities with resources, and manage urban development, and promote innovative land and community development.

DENR Focal Person for International Affairs Albert Magalang said the Philippines is now focused on reconciling worldwide economic development with protection of the environment.

He recommended a more systematic approach in addressing the environmental threats and impacts through a risk management approach, especially probabilistic in the case of climate change analytics during the launch of the Stockholm +50 national consultations in the Philippines.

“We must view and address environmental issues from the lens of crisis management, ensuring that we prevent negative impacts by dealing directly with the risk source, systematically reducing the potential impacts if avoiding them is not possible, and enabling the affected elements to recover as fast as they can, if a strong interaction between the environmental hazard and affected elements are inevitable,” Magalang said.###