Environmental Champions Renew Pact

April 24, 2015 - A group of environmental champions from the government and private sector made a renewed Earth Day pact last April 24 to commit on pro-active environmental initiatives in the country. Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection and Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Secretary Neric Acosta and Climate Change Commission’s Vice-Chairman Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering led the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signing “to contribute to the goals of the Green Economy Initiative in addressing climate change mitigation through the market.”

In their most daring move to showcase what environmental action for Earth Day is all about, the signing event was held inside the LLDA, the first government green building model located in Quezon City (QC).

The LLDA Green Building, as highlighted by Sec. Acosta, has various features that conform to the standards set by Building for Ecologically Responsible Design Excellence (BERDE) designed to be energy-efficient, climate-smart, ecologically-adaptive and occupant-friendly.

“We have here ecologically-friendly design and facilities such as those for recycling water, collecting rainwater, LED lighting, to name a few. And we use natural lighting for most of the day which saves on the consumption of electricity,” Sec. Acosta said. “The LLDA headquarters is designed to reduce its electric consumption by at least 20 percent. Its shallow building width maximizes natural daylight with wide windows that allow natural ventilation,” he added.

The host green city was highlighted by the presence of the staunch eco-governance Mayor Herbert Bautista during the signing. He expressed thanks for the European Union Switch Asia programme and UN Environment programme (UNEP) for selecting QC as one of their supported projects for Green Public Procurement (GPP) implementation.
Mayor Bautista also expressed his support for green procurement not just for QC, but as well as for other Local Government Units (LGUs). “I encourage the organizers of this program to also speak before the League of Cities in order to inspire more LGUs to adopt the best practices for ‘building green,’” he said.

Dubbed as the biggest public-private event partnership group for the environment, these champions belong to a Converners’ Committee formed to promote the advocacy event – the Kalikasan Green Purchasing, Green productivity towards Green Philippines (kalikasan GP3) 2015 Conference & Exposition to be held on july 23-25 at the SMX Convention Center, SM Aura Taguig.

The event aims to promote green consumerism and green business in the country through its conferences with thematic sessions on Ecolabelling and green public procurement, sustainable buildings, and green tourism while an eco- product exhibition will feature State of the art environmental technologies, renewable energy technologies, energy efficient machine and equipment, organic Product, non-toxic industrial and household products, green packaging, and environment service providers locally and abroad among others.

A Green Jobs Fair will also be held in the event where companies will offer “green jobs” to work seekers. Series of contest are scheduled to include Green Technology invention Contest, kalikasan Photo Contest, OPM composition for the Environment and Indigenous Foods Culinary promoting culture and the art convention.

From the private sector, Philippines Green Building Council Chairman Raymond Rufino of The Net Group said “PhilGBC reaffirms its construction industry commitment to set standard for green buildings and would work for the development of more green communities in the future”. PhilGBC, incidentally, will host the Green Costruction Conference tract for the July event.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) for its part “recognizes the need to set standard for accrediting green hotels in the country and would work with the National Ecolabelling Programme-Green choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) and the UNEP in the development of these standard.” The DOT will handle the Green Tourism Conference tract on July.

Others present during the signing were the event organizers DTI USEC Victorio Mario Dimagiba and DENR USEC Jonas Leones, chairman and Co-chairman repectively of the NELP-GCP, which certifies green product and services in the market based in ISO 14024 application of the international Organization for standardization.

The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Philippine chamber of commerce and industries (PCCI), the Philippines Business for the Environment (PBE) and SM supermalls are also included in this group.

The event is being managed by the Philippine Center for Environment Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc. – the Administrator for the National Ecolabelling Programme Green Choice Philippines.