GM J.R. Nereus O. Acosta, Ph.D.

Neric Acosta served as the Philippine Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection (PAEP) and the General Manager of the Laguna Lake Development Authority under the administration of former President Benigno C. Aquino III. While his position as PAEP is co-terminus, he still currently holds the highest position in the Authority as its GM.

As Presidential Adviser, Neric counseled the President on various environmental issues concerning the delicate balance between the sustainable use of natural resources, environmental protection, and human well-being in the age of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Complimenting the mandate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), his office worked with other government agencies and stakeholders in crafting sound policies that include environmental protection and ecosystem services as one of the country's developmental pillars.

He was a Senatorial Candidate of the Liberal Party of the Philippines with the Senate Slate of then Presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III during the 2010 Philippine National Elections, and served as the Party’s Secretary General and Vice President for Mindanao. He is a former Secretary General of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and convenor of the Philippine Imperative on Climate Change.

Neric served as representative of Bukidnon province in Northern Mindanao to the House of Representatives for three consecutive terms (1998-2007). His major legislation included bills on clean water, solid waste management and biodiversity protection, and is the principal author of the groundbreaking Clean Air Act, a model of environmental legislation in Asia. He served as the House of Representative’s Chairman of the Committee on Ecology and Vice-Chairman of the Committees on Science and Technology, Human Rights, and Foreign Relations.

Neric has represented the Philippines in numerous international forums, including the United Nations Special Assembly on HIV/AIDS and the Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development, where he served as the Deputy Secretary General. To date, he is the only Asian Trustee of the board of the International Alert - a London based International Non-Government Organization for Peace Building, Conflict Resolution and Climate Change challenges around the world.

His passion for education has earned for him various scholarships. After completing his BA in Political Science from the University of the Philippines, Neric went on to complete an MA in Public Affairs (International Relations and Political Studies concentration) from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Hawaii as an East West Center Scholar. He has attended the special programs Leaders in Development (1999) and Environmental Economics (2002) at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. In 2004, he was named the first Filipino World Fellow of Yale University.

“Teacher Neric” taught at the Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University and was an Associate Professor at the Asian Institute of Management - having extensively taught various environmental governance and management courses and modules on Development Management for local government officials, Non- Government Organization leaders and civil servants.