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All gears up for 1st Philippine International River Summit at Iloilo City

Submitted by on May 29, 2012 – 4:16 pmNo Comment

All systems go here at Iloilo City for the 1st Philippine International River Summit which starts tomorrow, May 30. This is a milestone event, not only for the City of Iloilo, but more so in safeguarding the future of our environment through effective river management and in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Rivers gave birth to the greatest civilizations on earth, and now with increased human activity, these cradles of life are now threatened. Most rivers are now in dire state, some are dead, but some have been given a new lease of life. Now comes the story of Iloilo River – after years of neglect, even considered dying, now benefits from a unified effort by public and private entities working together to revive it. True many rivers in the world have now been revived as well. But Iloilo River is a perfect ground for working on effective strategies in managing the river given the challenges of urbanization.

With its theme, “My River, My Life”, the summit dwell on four (4) important issues: Governance, Biodiversity Conservation and Management, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Water Quality Management. Leading experts in the field of river management, aquatic biodiversity, and global climate change from U.S.A., Canada, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines and other Asian countries will converge in Iloilo City to share sustainable river basin management practices that can be replicated to other cities.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the 1st Philippine International River Summit is the first ever Philippine initiative that seeks to provide a global platform for action on the various environmental, economic and social issues confronting rivers and river basins.  It will be a global venue in discussing effective methodologies and strategies that will greatly help policy-makers, experts, environmentalists, and political leaders in handling  challenges, opportunities, issues, and concerns in managing rivers and it relative environment. The summit shall examine a holistic approach taking into consideration not only the environment, but also the human element such as overpopulation, waste management, and its socioeconomic impact.

Expected to attend are national leaders such as President Benigno Aquino III, DENR Chief Ramon Paje; officials of various Philippine local government units; business leaders such as Manuel V. Pangilinan; and foreign dignitaries such as  Chief Minister YAB Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Bin Mohd Rustam of Melaka, Malaysia. The summit will be held starting tomorrow until June 1, 2012 at Centennial Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Alta Tierra, Jaro, Iloilo City.

muelle loney

The bend of the river as seen at the Muelle Loney. Picture taken in front of the Aduana or Old Customs House.

Preparations for the summit included a massive beautification efforts in and around the city, increased police visibility and activity, arrangements at hotels and other accommodation / convention venues among others. Indeed, the 1st Philippine International River Summit will be a coming out party for the Queen City of the South.


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