Baguio climate change action plan now underway

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BAGUIO CITY  – The City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) crafting the Local Climate Change Action Plan for year 2020-2030 as a basis for the city government to implement appropriate interventions to abate the serious negative effects of climate change to the city as a whole.

Newly installed Assistant City Environment and Parks Management Officer Rheenan Diwas claimed data gathering from various government agencies, local government offices and the private sector are now being undertaken as the first step towards the crafting of the said plan.

“We target to complete the climate change plan to be approved by the City Council and the City Mayor before the year ends,” Diwas stressed.

The assistant department head also disclosed CEPMO designated key personnel on climate change who will oversee the ongoing preparation of the climate change action plan to make it conform to international standards adapted to local conditions that ensure the proper preservation and protection of the city’s state of the environment.

According to him, environmental concerns are of transcendental importance, which means, their significance is not only for the present generation but for the future children and the generations yet unborn.

“We are merely stewards of the earth. It is our duty to protect it,” Diwas stated.

Under existing laws, rules and regulations, local government units are mandated to craft their short, medium and long-term local climate change plans to include programs, projects and activities to mitigate the serious negative effects of climate change on humanity and the earth.

With the enactment of the city’s Environment Code in 2018 through Ordinance No. 18, series of 2018, and the appropriate guidance and directive from Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, the CEPMO’s law enforcement section, in cooperation with the City Legal Office, likewise intensified the investigation of trees being unjustly killed in the name of development, thus, more cases will be filed by the city government against those who trample upon the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.

He added the CEPMO also activated a task force to champion the aggressive regreening movement not only for the propagation of pine trees but other tree species that can thrive in the Cordillera considering that environmental preservation and protection is one of the major thrusts of the city government.

Diwas claimed the team kicked off by clearing the present nurseries of the city and scouting for new ones to cater to the needs of the different groups wanting to participate in the regreening activities, regreening center islands and partnering with universities and colleges in the planting of trees in open spaces around the city.

CEPMO is constantly meeting to craft management plans and conceptualize tree parks and gardens to upgrade the city’s existing parks.

By Dexter A. See

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