Stakeholders Converge for Laguna Lake's Sustainable Development and Management

Stakeholders Converge for Laguna Lake's
Sustainable Development and Management

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            Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Local Government Units (LGUs), academe, and other concerned sectors and agencies join hands for the rehabilitation of Laguna de Bay using the Sustainable Integrated Area Development and Management (SIADM) approach, during a convergence workshop on November 10-11, 2016 at Splash Mountain Resort in Los Baños, Laguna.

            "Perhaps, one of the objectives (of this convergence workshop) is to not only plan out what should be done in the local area, but to also be familiar with the direction of the new administration," Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Marlo D. Mendoza said.

          DENR CALABARZON Regional Director Reynulfo A. Juan explained that the SIADM approach is one of the key strategies of Environment Secretary Regina Paz L. Lopez, which aspires to attain an improved quality of life and sustainable environment through the convergence of different stakeholders in the development and management of an area. Usec Mendoza said, "The DENR can never implement this approach by itself. This approach will never succeed unless we work together with other agencies and the private sector".

             Laguna de Bay has been identified as one of the 29 priority areas in the country for the implementation of the said approach. Its selection follows President Rodrigo Duterte's instruction to transform the lake "into a vibrant economic zone showcasing ecotourism by addressing the negative impact of the watershed destruction, land conversion and pollution". "(Even) from the time the Secretary assumed her position, one of her priorities has already been Laguna Lake", Usec Mendoza shared.

             The convergence workshop included presentations and lectures on the following: planting and marketing of Bamboo and other high-value crops by Dr. Florentino O. Tesoro of Agham Party List; Laguna de Bay Basin Master Plan by Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA)'s Cesar R. Quintos; legal framework for the management of Laguna Lake by Atty. Rolando R. Recto of Tanggol Kalikasan, Inc.; local solutions to waste in the Philippines by Zero Waste Program Manager Shelley S. Carbonel; and, guidelines in the implementation of SIADM by Usec Mendoza.

           Together with the Tambuyog Development Center, an NGO for marginalized small scale fishermen, DENR 4A facilitated a workshop and action planning to address the issues regarding the lake.

          The prepared action plan with funding requirement will be submitted to the DENR Central Office by November 30 for review and fund allocation.

News

Cimatu bares DENR's investor-friendly initiatives

           Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu has assured foreign investors that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will continue to push for clean and green energy, promote proper management of water resources and solid waste, and ensure responsible mining.

          Speaking at the gathering of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) on Thursday in Makati City, Cimatu also said that the DENR remains committed to its role in facilitating the ease of obtaining environmental clearances for investors.

        Cimatu gladly told ECCP members that the DENR has recently introduced some improvements in the implementation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIA) system, as well as in the processing and issuance of tree cutting permits for development projects.

          "One, we have provided facilities for on-line application for environmental compliance certificate to shorten the process," Cimatu said.

           He added: "Two, authority to issue cutting permits of planted trees has been delegated to the regional office. Further delegation to the PENRO (Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office) and CENRO (Community Environment and Natural Resources Office) is being considered."

           The environment chief disclosed that the streamlining of issuance of water permit is also being undertaken.

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