Sep 27, 2020

Green SONA 2019 in Palawan to tackle “PH: paradise endangered”

Representatives of the environmental coalition Green Convergence show paper slogans of the issues that will be discussed during their Green SONA 2019" on August 27 in Puerto Princesa City. (Photo courtesy of Green Convergence FB page)

The environmental coalition Green Convergence is set to hold a “Green SONA” or State of the Nature Assessment in Puerto Princesa City to report on threats to the integrity of the Philippine ecology and also the creation of three provinces in Palawan.

The event will be held on August 27 in a hotel in the city with the theme “Pilipinas, Paraisong Nanganganib” starting at 8 a.m.

In a press statement posted Friday, the environmental coalition Green Convergence said the SONA will focus on the “absence of national land-use policy, large-scale reclamation activities, especially in Manila Bay, the construction of large dams especially the Kaliwa Dam, and the division of Palawan into three separate provinces”.

The status of implementation of the government’s key environmental programs such as the National Greening Program (NGP) and the country’s electrification using renewable energy shall also be tackled, the GCP said.

“These are programs of the government which Filipinos should be deciding on. But in the recent past, we are suddenly confronted with actions of China and with intrusions of the Chinese who are putting up or will be involved in mega projects in our country,” said in the press statement by Dr. Angelina Galang, president of Green Convergence.

Galang said there is no question that the destruction of the coral reefs and wildlife in the West Philippine Sea by is a direct assault to the country’s sovereignty and ecology.

She said they also need to ask the national government on what the environmental implications are of the Build! Build! Build! program.

“We likewise need to ask what the environmental implications are of the Build, Build, Build program tied as they are to the China debt that we are incurring,” she said.

Some speakers who will attend the Green SONA include Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN) president Fr. Pete Montallana, Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI) executive director Atty. Bobby Chan, Oceana Philippines legal and policy director Atty. Jenny Ramos, and Living Laudato Si executive director Rodne Galicha.

Green Convergence said they have also invited Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu to react or respond to issues raised by the speakers.

Green SONA 2019 is supported by the Energy Development Corporation and the Forest Foundation Philippines.

Participants will include NGO and government representatives, students, teachers, church groups, and concerned citizens.

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