Over 1,000 delegates from various public and private institutions across the country gathered for the 4th Philippine Environment Summit held in Tagaytay City last February 21-23, 2023.

            Organized by Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the summit’s primary objective was to provide a venue for the academe, local government units, non-government organizations, youth, and business sectors to share insights, exchange ideas, and foster convergence towards better, efficient, timely, and harmonized actions for the environment.

            “It is a great opportunity that leaders and representatives across all sectors are gathered here to strengthen our linkages and collaboration in addressing the climate emergency,” DENR CALABARZON Regional Executive Director Nilo Tamoria said in his welcome remarks as the environment head of the host region, looking forward to having meaningful sessions and inclusive discourse to arrive with sustainable solutions.

            “The DENR is here to listen. This is one of our activities wherein we feel there’s a very great opportunity for us to understand what issues and challenges we feel you might have in trying to actually work within this changing environment,” Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said to the participants who were mostly composed of the youth.

            Themed “Caring for Earth: Scaling up Solutions to the Climate Emergency”, the three-day event focused on identifying collaborative solutions to the prevalent environmental issues such as climate change and ecological destruction.

            In her keynote message delivered by DENR Undersecretary Juan Miguel Cuna, Secretary Loyzaga highlighted the importance of confronting the climate emergency using a systems lens and through comprehensive risk management.

“Because we live in a multi-hazard environment and an interconnected world, the risks we face cut across communities, sectors and scales. The interventions we design to confront this complexity must therefore be trans-disciplinal, time-sensitive, and spatially-targeted, in order for them to be transformational,” she said.

During the session on youth and climate action, Secretary Loyzaga emphasized the importance of transdisciplinarity, saying “You cannot be disciplinal. You need to be trans-disciplinal to actually solve these complex issues that are facing us today. And by transdisciplinary work, I mean, you need to listen to communities, to non-traditional partners in society. Not just to your professors, not just to professional researchers, or to those who actually work within the communities and the communities themselves.”

            The summit included plenary and parallel sessions on: Quantification of Institutional Carbon Footprint; LGU Programs that Mitigate Climate Change; Corals and Mangrove Ecosystems as Carbon Sinks; Substitutes for Fossil Fuels; Conserving Mineral and Biological Resources to Minimize Fossil Fuel Use for Extraction, Manufacture and Damage Control; Alternative Technologies that Lower Energy Use; Initiatives of Communities Towards Environmental Protection; Environmental Programs that Involve and Empower the Youth; Developing Native Products and Systems; Business to Address Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Innovative Strategies to Effectively Communicate the Climate Emergency; and Programs that Highlight Key Ecosystems that Can Mitigate Climate Change. DENR Chief of Staff and Undersecretary for Strategic Communications, Marilou G. Erni also facilitated an interactive activity to solicit insights and ideas in crafting tailor-fitted youth programs.

            Started in 2016, Philippine Environment Summit is a biennial celebration of the Philippine environmental movement, inviting all sectors and institutions to come together to accelerate the drive towards sustainable development.