Atty. Jenny Ramos, legal counsel of OCEANA, talks about illegal dump and fill famously known as “land reclamation.”

Environment experts belonging to Green Convergence Philippines gathered in the city Tuesday to talk about the different issues confronting the country’s environment.

The event themed State of the Nature Assessment 2019 (Green SONA): “Pilipinas: Paraisong Nanganganib” was attended by representatives from different sectors in the province.

Dr. Angelina Galang, president of the Green Convergence said their platform for a healthier environment is the of “raising public awareness”.

“Specifically ‘yong aming pananaw and paradigm is magkaka-konektado ang mga issues. Kasi maraming mga NGOs, mga conferences, ang focus is isang environmental issue, which is important. Kaniya-kaniya, they go deep in to that,” said Galang.

Galang said this Green SONA 2019 is aimed at strengthening the connectivity of all the issues pertaining to the environment.

She said this year’s focus is the ecology of the Philippines and current environmental concerns in Palawan.

Discussed in the forum were issues about the absence of national land-use policy in the country; large-scale reclamation activities, especially in Manila Bay; construction of large dams especially the Kaliwa Dam in Quezon province; the division of Palawan into three separate provinces; and the status of renewable energy in the country.

Guest speakers in the event were Galang; Kim Alvarez, policy advocacy and campaign officer of Kaisahan; Atty. Jenny Ramos, legal and policy director of the Oceana Philippines; Fr. Pete Montallana, president of Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN); Atty. Gerthy Mayo-Anda, executive director of Enivronmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC); Atty. Bobby Chan, executive director of Palawan NGO Network, Inc. (PNNI); Miko De Vera, assistant vice president and head of strategic initiatives, legal and regulatory office of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC); Rodnes Galicha, executive director of Living Laudato Si; and Dr. Henry Adonardo, region 4-B director of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Galang said they wanted to reach out to all sectors in Palawan in the Green SONA.

She said they are trying to address the pressing environmental challenges and those that are ahead by educating the people around the Philippines.

“I hope the Palaweños realize the blessings that they have. Maaga kayong nagkaroon ng PCSD, SEP, ‘yong ban on logging and mining in Puerto Princesa. Parang maganda ‘yong pag-umpisa ninyo, sana ay ituloy-tuloy, itaas pa ang awareness at kaalaman. Pero kailangan lahat makialam because ang impact nito ay sa tao. Ang mga tao kailangan mag-decide kung ano ang gagawin nila with their resources, but they have to understand the implications,” said Galang.

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