BIMP-EAGA hits the road to greener cities

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July 11, 2017. The Brunei Darussalam- Indonesia- Malaysia- Philippine East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) holds today its 6th Environmental Cluster Meeting to discuss the best environmental practices and the challenges faced by each member country in the road towards environmental sustainability and in the creation of green cities.

Recent studies show that Asia’s cities have been drivers of the economy and have lifted millions out of poverty. However, these studies also reveal that the consequence of the rapid development is environment degradation.

Noting this inverse correlation between the economic growth and environmental condition, BIMP-EAGA hopes to shed light on how to accelerate economic development without sacrificing the environment.

The meeting will discuss, among others, the elements of and lessons learned by member countries and the Asian Development Bank in trying to create “green cities.”

“From poachers to guardians of Almaciga trees (Agathis philippinensis),” explains DENR Region 11 Assistant Regional Director Marcia G. Isip, on how communities in Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental were convinced to stop poaching timber and wildlife and cutting almaciga and instead use tools and techniques in resin collection that do not damage the trees.

Nining Ngudi Purnamaningtyas, Head of Bilateral and Regional Cooperation Division, Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesia, cites the conservation efforts in Raja Ampat Islands in West Papua which include the declaration of the island as a Marine Wildlife Reserve and the designation of Misool Eco-resort as a “no take zone” to preserve its coral reef and marine life. The Raja Ampat Research and Conservation Center involves indigenous communities in the tourism sector, and provides assistance in diving and other water activities.

The series of meetings conducted by BIMP-EAGA are anchored on its six strategic pillars: connectivity, food basket, tourism, environment, trade and investment facilitation, and socio-cultural and education.

BIMP-EAGA was launched in 1994 as a cooperation initiative by Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines to increase trade, tourism, and investments in areas geographically distant from their national capitals but strategically located proximal to each other. For the Philippines, part of this growth hub are Palawan and Mindanao.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) hosts the 6th BIMP-EAGA Environmental Cluster Meeting being held in Aziza Hotel, Palawan.

News

Wounded DENR employee gets honors, promotion

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Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu today personally handed Joselito Eyala a Certificate of Commendation at Room 640 in Philippine General Hospital where the latter is confined and awaiting surgery to remove bullets lodged in his palate and back.

Secretary Cimatu lauds Eyala, a forester at DENR Palawan, for his “remarkable dedication to public service, bravery, and leadership” when he and his team apprehended timber poachers and confiscated an unregistered chainsaw in Sitio Casicaan, Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa on August 23, 2017 at around 5:00 pm.

The owner of the chainsaw, Florante Saycon, retaliated by firing a homemade gun that hit Eyala at the back. Eyala sustained two gunshot wounds that rendered him unconscious.

When he regained consciousness, Eyala crawled into the Casicaan River and allowed the current to carry him for five hours. He then walked and crawled in the middle of the night until he was able to get help at around 1:00 am the following day.

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