FPE celebrates 25th Anniversary of fostering partnerships for the environment, awards outstanding partnersPosted on December 1, 2017
The Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) recently concluded its National Regional Advisory Committee (RAC)-Partners-Experts Advisory Pool (EAP) Meeting last November 14 to 17, 2017 in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. With the theme, “Celebrating Connectedness through Conservation”, the conference celebrated FPE’s gains from 25 years of fostering partnerships and, at the same time, offered learning opportunities to calibrate its actions for the coming years. Around 120 FPE partners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao participated in the said conference.
The participants were welcomed by FPE Board Members Mr. Ramon Peñalosa and Ms. Wilhelmina Gonzales, both from Negros Occidental. Both enjoined everyone to engage the participation of the youth in biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
Additionally, Fr. Edwin Gariguez, former FPE Vice-Chairperson, emphasized relearning the fundamental meaning of connectedness – which he terms ecological spirituality – in his keynote speech. He added, “Protecting the rights of the poor must take precedence over corporate greed. Genuine development must prioritize the need to ensure ecological sustainability over market profitability. We should never sacrifice people and the environment for short-term benefit of the few.”
The conference, a biennial event, has provided updates on the state of the Philippine biodiversity, climate change, and other emerging issues. Dr. Mundita Lim of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau presented the State of Philippine Biodiversity and the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan (NBSAP). This was followed by presentations of the FPE Chair & CEO Dr. Lourdes Simpol on the climate crisis, and of the FPE Executive Director Oliver Agoncillo on the FPE experience as a civil society organization contributing to the NBSAP. The panel of reactors were Ms. Liza Paguntalan, Executive Director of Philippine Biodiversity Conservations Foundation, Inc., and Dr. Jurgene Primavera, FPE Board member and Zoological Society of London-Philippines Chief Mangrove Scientific Adviser.
Aside from this, contemporary issues such as climate change adaptation/mitigation, food security and safety, and water security and sustainability were also presented. Listed below are presentations delivered by partners during the conference:
- Experiences of the Institute of Social Order (ISO) in Jomalig Island, Quezon; presented by ISO Executive Director Dr. Liza Lim;
- the Tribal Leader’s Development Foundation, Inc.’s (TLDFI) Naci Dike Technology to rehabilitate and protect selected riverbank areas along Mindanao River Basin; presented by TLDFI Executive Director Dennis Librado and Project Officer Alvin Quer;
- Peñalosa Farms on agri-preneurship; presented by Mr. Ramon Peñalosa;
- The marine perspective of food security; presented by Dr. Felimon Romero, former FPE Board member and Professor Emeritus and Oceanography and Environmental Science Director of the Mindanao State University-Coastal Resources Management Center;
- The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) on integrating indigenous knowledge systems and practices and science in watershed management; presented by PEF Conservation Director Dr. Jayson Ibañez; and,
- The Central Philippine State University on sustainable watershed management through private-public partnership; presented by Dr. Aladino Moraca, Program Head or Agribusiness, College of Agriculture and Forestry.
One of the important highlights of the conference is the awarding of outstanding FPE partner-grantees, BCSD champions/front liners, fund managers; the 3rd Sarihay Media Awards’ outstanding media report; and posthumous award to former FPE members. (See story: FPE Awards Outstanding Partners, Media Practitioners)
More importantly, the conference presented an opportunity for the Foundation to present its accomplishments and progress in the implementation of FPE’s 2015-2025 Strategic Plan and calibrate its National and Regional Environmental Agendas (NEA & REA). The refined REA will be reviewed by FPE.
Participants gather in a commitment signing to cap off the event. A learning tour was also included for participants to have a glimpse of Negros Occidental.