March 21, 2018
On March 21, 2018, the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) joined the world in celebrating the International Day of Forest 2018, which is annually celebrated on March 21. The one-day event entitled “Building Forests: A Symposium on Forests and Sustainable Cities” was held in Crown Plaza Manila Galleria in Ortigas Center. The symposium provided a venue for discussing vital issues concerning the role of forests in urban centers.
The event was officially opened by FMB Director Nonito Tamayo, followed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization Representative to the Philippines Jose Luis Fernandez. The speakers discussed the need to prioritize sustainable approaches to development considering the growing population, fast-paced increasing urbanization and the changing environmental landscape. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the increasing need for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction as backdrop, the presentations aimed to look into various efforts by different stakeholders to ensure that forests, which protect and provide for the population, are protected.
The Representative of the 1st District of Davao Oriental, Hon. Corazon Nunez-Malanyaon also graced the event by giving the inspirational message. The presenters include environmental planners, architects, foresters and specialists from the government, private sector and the academe with topics ranging from the overarching vision of the Philippine Government on Sustainable Cities as envisioned by the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 to the private sector’s efforts in protecting trees in the midst of urbanization. The PDP was presented by Supervising Economic Development Specialist Loida Panopio of the National Economic Development Authority. The succeeding presentations focused on the importance of open spaces, sustainable architecture, green infrastructure and forest trees given by DBM Assistance to Cities Fund Program Manager EnP Julia Nebrija, Arch. Liza Morales-Crespo of Liza Crespo Ecotecture, Eton Properties Landscape Manager For. Lorenz Palec, Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners Dr. Leonora Gonzales, EnP and DENR Assistant Secretary Corazon Davis.
The symposium ended with a challenge to adopt sustainable lifestyle at the micro level to sustainable programs at the macro level to protect our forests. Participants of the symposium include representatives from the DENR, LGUs, private sector, professional organizations and students from different universities.