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PIA Press Release

Ilonggos urged to protect forest resources

Iloilo City (24 March) -- Climate Change Commission (CCC) Commissioner Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez lauded the efforts of the Ilonggos to take stock of their river basin and watershed systems and initiate ways on how to manage, use and protect these resources.

Alvarez was the keynote speaker during the culminating program of the local observance of World Water Day and Water Awareness Month held March 23 at the SM City Activity Center here.

Earlier in the program, National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Regional Director Engr. Edilberto Lomigo presented the different watershed systems of Iloilo and how these are connected with the province’s river network.

Alvarez said the efforts jive with the framework being crafted by the Commission on the country’s response to climate change, one pillar of which focuses on the country’s river basin systems and their interconnection with watersheds.

"We will look at river systems and how these can be complemented by strengthening the watersheds which are part of our forest systems," Alvarez said.

The government has recognized the important role of these resources in the wake of devastating typhoons and floods that have hit the country, he said.

He urged Ilonggos to protect their watersheds and forests. "Once the forests are destroyed, the rivers will dry up," added Alvarez.

During the program, Provincial Agriculture Office Officer-In-Charge Dr. Ildefonso Toledo shared Iloilo’s experience in climate change adaptation and Alimodian town mayor Juanito Alipao presented the initiatives of Tigum-Aganan watershed management board towards climate change variability.

The culminating program and other activities in connection with the celebration were organized by the Iloilo Watershed Management Council. The program also highlighted the observance of Earth Hour 2010 this coming March 27.

After the program, Alvarez led the cutting of the ribbon of an exhibit that was put up near the activity center as one of the highlights of the three-in-one celebration. The theme of this year’s water day and awareness month celebration is "Know Your Water Sources."

Provincial Administrator Manuel Mejorada and City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Engr. Noel Hechanova welcomed the guests and participants in behalf of Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas, Sr. and Iloilo City mayor Jerry Trenas, respectively. DENR Regional Executive Director Julian Amador introduced Secretary Alvarez. (PIA 6) [top]

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