DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippine East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) held its 6th Environmental Cluster Meeting to discuss the best environmental practices and the challenges faced by each member country, an official said Wednesday.
DENR Region 11 Assistant Regional Director Marcia G. Isip, in a statement, said that the environment confab is geared towards environmental sustainability and in the creation of “green” cities.
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),” Isip said, 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.
According to Isip, Asia’s cities have been drivers of the economy and have lifted millions out of poverty based on recent studies. She, however, pointed out that 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,” she said.
She said that the series of meetings conducted by BIMP-EAGA were anchored on its six strategic pillars: connectivity, food basket, tourism, environment, trade and investment, facilitation, and socio-cultural and education.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is the host of this year’s 6th BIMP-EAGA Environmental Cluster Meeting being held in Aziza Hotel, Palawan.
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. (davaotoday.com)