DENR leads govt in hosting Asian confab on green industry

August 16, 2009 11:25 am 

MANILA, Aug. 16 –Government preparations for the first International Conference on Green Industry in Asia (ICGIA) are now in high gear, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza said today.

Atienza, chairman of the ICGIA National Organizing Committee, said the conference would highlight the adoption of a ministerial declaration and plan of action that feature a mechanism for the regular review of progress towards the greening of industries in Asia.

He said the declaration would be witnessed by some 700 participants, including Asian ministers, senior government officials, business leaders, top officials of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, the ASEAN Secretariat, prominent experts, media and civil society representatives.

The first International Conference on Green Industry in Asia will be held at the Philippine International Convention Center on Sept. 9 to 11, 2009.

The event is being hosted by the Philippine government, through the DENR, and organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

“The efforts exerted by our government personnel to ensure the success of this landmark conference are truly noteworthy. With the private sector and the UN bodies, our personnel are one in the goal of encouraging our industries to adopt eco-friendly practices to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert climate change,” Atienza said.

The conference is anchored on the theme, “Managing the transition to resource-efficient and low-carbon industries.” It aims to promote and emphasize ecologically sound business practices. It also serves as a platform for industry leaders, economics experts, ecologists, and governments to exchange information and experiences.

Through Administrative Order No. 256, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo designated the DENR to lead country efforts on the conference as she favorably noted the country’s gains in moving toward greener industries. Citing the DENR as a prime mover for sustainable development, she zeroed in on the pivotal role of DENR in conjunction with other agencies' efforts for sustainable development.

Other NOC-member agencies include the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES).

"Climate change is one of the biggest problems we face today. The shift to a low carbon economy will change how industries operate, the products we use and our lifestyles. Business and consumers can benefit from significant savings and resource efficiency measures," Atienza said.

Government Agencies Go Green

Among government agencies organizing side events for the conference to support the conference goals are the DTI with its “Business Matching” Program and the Department of Tourism (DOT) with its “Greening of Tourism” Program.

“Business Matching” aims to bridge the gap between small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in accessing resources toward greening. The department will provide technical resources t in synch with global standards for environmentally-sound business.

The DOT, which has intensified ecotourism, develops and promotes “green tours” which feature not just great views and panoramas but also offer information on how to conserve and protect these natural wonders. Green tourism programs are conducted with local government units in the tourist areas.

The DOE will facilitate a three-day event running parallel to the ICGIA, the PowerTrends Exhibit 2009 set at the World Trade Center and incorporates the Energy Expo 2009 and the Electech 2009 exhibits.

This exhibition on energy, power and electrical technology will center on new and sustainable energy technologies. The event aims to showcase the advanced technologies to meet climate change, improve power, energy and lighting efficiency. The DOE and the DOST will also present eco-friendly products and fuels.

With UN bodies on board the making of ICGIA, the DFA also plays a significant role in the conference.

Local and international policy-makers will also speak on the strategies that companies and governments can use to ensure eco-friendly practices.

Industry leaders from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce will also present the different ways industries can cut down on resource usage and improve waste management.

The regional gathering will also lay down the regulatory and institutional framework for lower carbon emissions and resource-efficiency.

Atienza will lead ministerial round table sessions on "Low-Carbon and Resource-Efficient Industrialization: Challenges and Opportunities" and "Policies and Strategies for Resource-Efficient and Low-Carbon Industries” (PNA)

RMA/PR

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