Protecting our Atmosphere for Generations to Come
The Philippines celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol by forming a huge \"25\" with the help of students and faculty members from San Francisco High School. More »
To get more universities ready to adapt to climate change, the Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management (PATLEPAM), in cooperation with the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR), will be holding the 2013 Asian Environmental Educator’s Conference on November 5-7, 2013 at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay City.
The Conference, themed “Moving Towards Integrated Climate Change Strategies,” is set to gather higher education institutions to plan coordinated actions to disseminate climate change adaptation strategies and integrate them to the curricula.
Delivering keynote messages are Secretary Lucille Sering of the Climate Change Commission, Dr. Patricia Licuanan of the Commission on Higher Education, and Secretary Ramon JP Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Mr. Mahesh Pradhan of the United Nations Environment Programme based in Nairobi, Kenya will also give an address.
Plenary Sessions on Integrated Climate Change Strategies will be facilitated by Ms. Lisa Antonio of Clean Air Initiative-Asia, Ms. Victoria Segovia of the Partnership for Clean Air, and USAID-LEDS (Air); Dr. Carlo Arcilla of the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (Land); Mr. Robert Zeigler of the International Rice Research Institute (Rice Resiliency in the Midst of Climate Change Strategies); Undersecretary Ramon Allan Oca of the Department of Energy (Energy Sector); and Atty. Roberto Oliva of the ASEAN Regional Centre for Biodiversity (Biodiversity).
Environment Portfolio Manager Ms. Amelia Dulce Supetran of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will talk about UNDP’s Integrated Climate Change Strategy Program; and Dr. Ethel Valenzuela of SEAMEO-Innotech on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Curriculum in the ASEAN. Dr. Marwa Khalifa of Ain Sharms University will give a talk on Graduate Courses on Environment, Disasters and Disaster Risk Reduction; Dr. Ruperto Sangalang of the Commission on Higher Education on the Role of CHED in Strategizing Universities and College for Climate Change Adaptation; and Mr. Albert Magalang of the EMB Climate Change Office on the Mini-Carbon Olympics.
For more information on the Conference, please contact 9284674 or 9202251, or visit the the PATLEPAM Secretariat at the EMB-Environmental Education and Information Division at the 2nd Flr. HRD Building DENR Compound, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.
“I shall return.” – Gen. Douglas Mac Arthur (Leyte Landing).
I was in Leyte for a validation activity this Tuesday and Wednesday, and if there’s one thing I would remember about the place, it is how clean it is, and how friendly everyone seems to be. It’s unfortunate that I was not able to explore the province more as I was there for just two days (and with lots to do!). However, with the very limited time I had, I’d say Leyte is really worth a “return trip”.
Our group had to go to Baybay City, and it’s about two hours away from the airport. We took the 4am flight so we were really, really hungry when we got there so our host made a quick stop at the Oriental Hotel in Tacloban for breakfast, and then afterwards, another stop-over at the Mac Arthur Park for a photo session at Leyte’s most famous landmark.
Sweet rambutan fruit harvested fresh for us; Leyte Landing monument at the Mac Arthur Park; Hotel Oriental; I fed this giant buffalo (yay!)
We then proceeded to the Visayas State University (VSU), where we spent the rest of our day interviewing and validating programs on the environment. The university has a lot to be proud of, its natural resources very well-preserved, its waters so clean that my colleague and I even took a quick dip on the beach fronting our cottage straight from our beds the next day! Incidentally, VSU has a 4.5 star rating on the popular site, Trip Advisor, so it really is a great place for all people to come.
Ostrich trying to impress us; the Infinity Pool at the Hotel Oriental; more green; more buffalos
I was operating on a one hour-thirty minutes sleep, but even then, I would say the trip was all worth it. It was a first for me to see a gigantic buffalo and be able to feed it (I love cheap thrills), I enjoyed the food tasting session we had (gellos, biscuits from local produce, juices), and I loved mingling and dancing with the professors and the very cool University President who acted as our tour guide.
Too sad the trip was so short but I would definitely return and experience the more fun side of the place — the zip-line, San Juanico, and then some more. And so, with that, I’m gonna copy Gen. Mac Arthur’s line and say…
“I shall return too.”
… And hopefully soon.
We have been doing the rounds for the validation of the finalists for the eco-schools competition we have been organizing since 2009, the Nationwide Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools.
I am part of the validating group for the Tertiary Level, and so far, we have already visited three — the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) in La Union, and Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College in Quezon City. So far, so good. So many interesting projects and environmental programs these schools offer, so I am sure the judges will have a hard-time figuring out which would emerge as the best.
What is even tough is that each university has its own field of expertise. DMMMSU, for one, has its natural resources as an advantage, having a large field for a campus which extends up to the mountains where they hold their Greening Program. They have this Cocoon Processing and Weaving Center as part of their research and development initiative, among many others which involve studying which I believe are enzymes, megazymes, and then some sea weed which they convert into better-tasting candies for more people to appreciate, which, based on their research, is anti-cancer.
Ateneo de Manila, on the other hand, has really superb technology-based environmental programs. They have this huge rainwater harvester set-up at the library, and then a water treatment facility in their own campus. They also have an electric jeepney plying around the campus offering free rides to students and visitors. What I thought was very impressive though is their extension program where a group of really brainy people converge and come up with solutions to solve a particular environmental issue at the time. They’re working on fish kills at the moment.
Last, Miriam College. What I like about this school is that environment seems to really be rooted to the core of its every student. If you talk about value formation as far as being green is concerned, I believe Miriam has it. Their approach to teaching environmental programs is very motherly — like how a mother guides her children to ensure they’d eventually lead successful lives. Plus, I love that they teach their students the idea that we are all stewards of God’s creation, and therefore, we must all do our share to protect mother earth.
Will be leaving early Tuesday for Leyte to check Visayas State University. It has previously won, so I am looking forward to see what they have to offer this time.
To gear up for the 2014 Recognition Awards for Ecofriendly Government Offices, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), will gather together national government agencies (NGAs) and government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) at the national level in Metro Manila for the one-day Forum on Strengthening Eco-friendly Offices on October 11, 2013 at the Luxent Hotel in Timog, Quezon City.
DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis says that through the Awards, exceptionally commendable environmental pursuits of NGAs and GOCCs are given recognition. Davis adds that as such, “we encourage all government offices to sustain energy management programs; to advocate the wise utilization of office supplies and materials thru waste avoidance; to support the strategy to reduce, recycle and reuse materials; to implement proper maintenance of vehicles to support clean air initiatives; and to internalize the concept of greening the environment and conservation of resources by accepting the responsibility to protect and play significant role to save the earth”.
Mr. Benel Lagua, Executive Vice-President of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), will talk about DBP’s environmental practices which made them the Environmental Excellence Awardee in the 2011 Recognition Awards for Eco-friendly Government Offices.
Others expected to deliver talks on eco-friendly office practices are Engr. Edwin Santillan of One Meralco Foundation (Energy Efficiency and Electricity Conservation); Mr. June Alvarez of the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. (Green Procurement); Ms. Shelbe Ruiz of the National Diaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (Emergency Preparedness); and Mr. Renato Cruz of EMB-DENR (Air Pollution Prevention, Water Conservation, and Waste Management). Dr. Juergen Bischoff, Team Leader of the European Union – SWITCH Policy Support Component in the Philippines, which assists this program, will also grace the event.
The government offices will be assessed as per their environmental management programs based on Policy, Promotion of Awareness, People and Practices. These Programs include Electricity Conservation, Waste Management, Water Conservation, Fuel Conservation, Air Pollution Prevention, and Greening. Programs such as Green Procurement, Emergency Preparedness, and ‘Orderliness, Cleanliness and Safety’ of the office and its premises will also be considered.
The deadline of submission for the Intent to Join is on January 2014, and submission of entries, on April 2014.
Nine national government agencies were cited for their eco-friendly operations by the DENR in the 2011 Recognition Awards. Environmental Excellence Awards were given to the DBP in Makati City, National Electrification Administration and the Philippine Heart Center, both in Quezon City. Meanwhile, Citation of Merit Awards were given to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority along Roxas Boulevard in Manila; the Department of Public Works and Highways, also in Manila; the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the National Housing Authority, both in Quezon City; and the National Economic and Development Authority in Pasig City.
For more information on the Recognition Awards, call 9284674 or 9202251, or visit the Secretariat at the EMB-Environmental Education and Information Division at the 2nd Flr. HRD Building DENR Compound, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.