DENR, Mitsubishi Motors join hands to promote environmental protection, sustainable dev't

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has entered into a partnership with Japanese auto giant Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) in a bid to boost government efforts toward sustained environmental protection and sustainable development.

The DENR and MMC recently signed two agreements in which the multinational car manufacturer, under its corporate social responsibility program, vowed to support the agency's environmental projects, particularly its plan to create ecological economic zones through sustainable integrated area development (SIAD).

Both agreements were signed by DENR Secretary Gina Lopez and Undersecretary for International Affairs and Foreign Assisted Projects Jonas Leones, and MMC president and CEO Osamu Masuko.

In one of the accords, MMC agreed to cooperate with the DENR in identifying and implementing measures in support of the SIAD initiatives.

Using the SIAD approach, the DENR would assume the developmental role of providing sustainable livelihood while teaching environmental conservation to affected communities.

The MMC is expected to establish mangrove and bamboo plantations covering a total of 100 hectares within a period of 4 to 5 years.

Lopez said she was "thrilled" to sign the agreements because the MMC will "not only help make the country more beautiful, but also adapt to climate change."

Aside from planting bamboos and mangroves, Leones said the MMC also agreed to "look for other avenues to help the DENR protect the environment, specifically in tackling air pollution and solid waste management."

At the same time, Lopez disclosed that MMC will be donating an electric-powered vehicle worth US$25,000 to the DENR to promote the use of vehicles run by renewable energy in the country.

"With this kind of car, you won’t have any more gasoline expenses because you can charge it the whole night for 7-8 hours. If you charge it for half an hour, you can already go as far as 150 kilometers," Lopez said.

According to the DENR chief, the car can also serve as a generator in emergency cases when there is no electricity in a particular area.

"If we have more cars like this, we can probably clean the air in Metro Manila and save money on gas,” Lopez pointed out.
Masuko, for his part, said the MMC was more than willing to help the DENR further promote environmental protection.

He said the MMC believes that protecting the environment is an important part of corporate responsibility to society.

"As a car manufacturer, we would also want to cooperate in solving certain environmental issues and renew the resources we consume,” Masuko said. ### 


DENR honors 79 'wildlife heroes' to mark World Wildlife Day 2017

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Friday honored 79 individuals for their contribution to government efforts to end wildlife trafficking and trade, marking the local celebration of the World Wildlife Day (WWD) this year.

Now in its fourth year, the Wildlife Enforcement Awards recognized law enforcement personnel and private individuals who were instrumental in the arrest and filing of cases against wildlife crime offenders, and the rescue of various wildlife species, most of them are considered endangered.

Director Theresa Mundita Lim of the DENR's Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) led the awarding ceremony, which was held at the BMB Training Ceremony inside the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

"Protecting our country's rich wildlife resources is quite a challenge for the BMB with our limited resources. These awards allow us to recognize private entities and non-DENR personnel for their significant contribution to wildlife law enforcement," Lim said.

The awardees include 34 personnel from the National Bureau of Investigation, 18 from the Philippine Coast Guard, nine from the Bureau of Customs, six from the Pasay City government, five from the Department of Justice, and two from the parcel delivery company FedEx.

Also recognized were five private individuals who provided other forms of support such as photo-documentation, species identification, and monitoring and surveillance.

In December 2013, the United Nations declared every March 3 as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's flora and fauna.

The date coincides with the day the CITES, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, was adopted. So far, a total of 183 countries are parties to the convention.

The global theme for this year's WWD celebration is "Listen to the young voices," aiming to encourage the youth to take an active role in wildlife conservation and the fight against the trafficking and illegal trade of wildlife species.

In keeping with the theme, the BMB also hosted the 2nd National Wildlife Quiz Bee contest for 30 Grade 9 students from public schools in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and the National Capital Region.

Lim said the contest aims to encourage students to give attention to developments in wildlife, as well as raise awareness and appreciation for the country’s rich wildlife resources.

Also as part of the WWD celebration, a youth forum on crocodile conservation was held in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan province. The event aimed at educating the youth on the ecological importance of crocodiles, and threats to their existence, such as habitat conversion and overexploitation.

The forum was organized by the DENR Palawan provincial office and the Crocodylus Porosus Philippines, an active partner of the government in promoting the sustainable use of the saltwater crocodile. ### 


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