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The Experts Advisory Panel National Forum: A Gathering of Experts for the Conservation of the Philippine Environment

Posted on February 2, 2012

The Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) Experts Advisory Panel National Forum was held in Quezon City on the 19th and 20th of October 2011. The forum was organized to revive and establish the Experts Advisory Panel (EAP) that will serve as a technical arm of FPE in policy-making and implementation of its projects.

The EAP, a panel composed of scientists, scholars and environmental specialists coming from different fields and institutions, was formed through Regional Advisory Committee meetings (RAC) held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In 1992, it was envisioned to provide a science-base for FPE’s works.

Working to conserve the country’s rich biodiversity and achieve sustainable development, FPE aims to improve the quality of its projects by working with individuals who are experts in their respective fields to provide reliable bases for FPE’s supported projects. The forum was organized to solicit inputs from the experts themselves on how the panel can be operationalized and what mechanisms can be used. The two-day forum aimed to delineate the role and function of the EAP as a collective body and the terms of engagement of its members.

The first day of the forum began with a prayer led by Fr. Tito So-Quiño, followed by welcoming remarks given by Atty. Danny Valenzuela, FPE Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Armand Pacudan, Mindanao Regional Operations Manager, introduced the forum’s objectives, while Dr. Perry Ong, BOT Vice-chairperson, presented a background on the EAP and its role in the protection of the Philippine environment. Thereafter, Mr. Godofredo Villapando Jr., Acting Executive Director and Program Development Unit Manager, explained the programs and strategies of FPE, particularly, the National and Regional Environmental Agendas, and the CARRESI framework (Constituency Building, Advocacy, Research, Resource Mobilization, Environmental Defense and Sites). The last activity on the first day was an open forum on the EAP’s roles and functions facilitated by Dr. Proserpina Roxas, BOT secretary.

Two presentations about upcoming events and trends that would influence FPE’s work have been made on the second day. Mr. Milo Tanchuling, the Secretary-General of the Freedom from Debt Coalition gave a presentation about the “Rio+20” Summit and its significance to Philippine environmetal policy making. Another presentation on Green Economy was given by Commissioner Naderev “Yeb” Saño of the Climate Change Commission. He also discussed issues that need to be addressed in adopting an economic model that is geared towards sustainable development. Another open forum took place after the presentations wherein the experts engaged in discussions about the state of the Philippine environment and how FPE and the EAP should function in response to issues that confront the country. Inputs from the discussions will be discussed by the FPE management and its results will be disseminated among the EAP.

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