BAGUIO CITY, July 31 — Environmental Secretary Roy Cimatu is encouraging the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to strengthen the cooperation among its 10 members in protecting the environment.
The secretary made the call during the 28th meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials of the Environment (ASOEN) at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) held last week, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera (DENR-CAR) information officer said on Monday.
Perla Nerja said that Cimatu’s call was made for a stronger cooperation for the sake of the more than 600 million ASEAN residents.
The information officer said “Cimatu stressed that ‘as we go through our meetings, let us not lose sight of the fact that we protect the environment and conserve our natural resources, not for their own sake, but for our people to live better lives in harmony with nature’.”
Challenges in providing clean air, clean water, forest degradation, reduced water supply, ecological management of solid waste and biodiversity loss were pointed out as the problems that ASEAN face in common which Cimatu said could be solved through cooperation, sharing of experiences and expertise, joint efforts between and among ASEAN member states.
He also stressed that ASEAN member countries should also work together in coping with climate change which he described as the most pervasive of all the environmental problems in the region and should be looked upon with urgency.
The ASEAN meeting was in preparation for the high-level ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on the Environment to be held in the country in September.