The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (DENR-ERDB) will be hosting a regional research and development (R&D) conference featuring urban ecosystem experts from across Southeast Asia to discuss urban parks and green cities.

The “R&D Conference on Urban Parks and Green Cities: A Sustainable Future in Southeast Asia” will bring together delegates from member countries and dialogue partners of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from October 11 to 13 in Metro Manila.

The conference aims to provide a platform for the government, research community, and institutions for the exchange of information generated from R&D as it targets sustainable development and management of parks and green cities.

It also intends to address the emerging issues and concerns, knowledge gaps, and challenges faced by urban parks and green cities.

DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga will deliver the keynote speech during the conference. Likewise, the event will feature experts in the field of urban ecosystem and its components, namely: Dr. Simplicia A. Pasicolan and Dr. Gem B. Castillo of the Philippines; Prof. Yun Hye Hwang of Singapore; and Dr. Zulkiflee Abd Latif of Malaysia.

Dr. Pasicolan, the first division chief of the newly created Urban Ecosystem Research Division of the ERDB, will be sharing important insights and recent research undertakings pertaining to green and resilient urban communities.

On the other hand, Dr. Castillo will speak about developments on urban biodiversity, ecosystem and economics. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the Environment and Economics Center for Studies, and National Director of the Economy and Environment Group Philippines.

Meanwhile, Associate Professor Yun Hye Hwang of the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture will take the lead in tackling the management and impact of urban parks.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, nations started to acknowledge the increasing importance of urban parks in the human well-being. Prof. Hwang will talk about this further during the conference.

Dr. Zulkiflee Abd Latif, the Director of the Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development at the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, will talk about governance and policies anchored on achieving greener cities.

Through the conference, ERDB Director Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer hopes that emerging issues and concerns, knowledge gaps, and challenges being faced by urban parks and green cities will be thoroughly discussed through the participation of delegates from ASEAN member countries and dialogue partners across the globe. ###