The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will conduct a National Forum on Eco-Schools and Eco-Cities on August 31 to September 2, 2016 in Davao City to overcome challenges, and upscale opportunities and replicate good practices among eco-schools and eco-cities.

Around 200 representatives from champion schools in the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools, environmentally-sustainable cities, non-government organizations and various government agencies in the country are expected to attend the three-day forum.

The three-day forum will include a mix of lectures and technical sessions, through interaction with the participants and workshops. Discussions will revolve around ways to heighten the mentoring by environmentally-sustainable cities in the build-up of more sustainable and eco-friendly schools and how to create an informal network of eco-schools and eco-cities for the continuing sharing and upscaling of good practices.

The forum will be a platform for the discussion of best practices through eco-school programs, and eco-cities initiatives. In addition, it will help clarify the role of the local government units and schools in the creation of an eco-school and an eco-city.

Speakers for the national forum come from the local government, academe, private and international sector such as International Global Environment Strategies, European Union Switch Asia Policy and Thailand’s Department of Environment Quality Promotion.

DENR Assistant Secretary and Chair of the National Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Education Corazon Davis said the conduct of the national forum will enhance the attainment of the joint goals of the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities and the ASEAN Working Group on Environmental Education, by urging more cities and local government units to have schools with curricula and co-curricular programs on environmental sustainability, and urging the participation of the local government units, in cooperation with the government and private sector, in expanding the participation of schools in the 2017 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools.

DENR Assistant Secretary for the Environment Juan Miguel Cuna, on the other hand, stressed that for the next six years under the Duterte administration, the DENR is set to institutionalize reforms and environmental governance; empower communities; create a rational minerals management; strengthen biodiversity conservation; strengthen ecological solid waste management and enhance inter-agency collaboration towards clean air, clean water and develop transformative climate change policies.

The forum is organized by the DENR’s Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service, Environmental Management Bureau-Environmental Education and Information Division of the DENR, with DENR-Region X1.###