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PIA Press Release

ASEAN enviroment summit to be held in Cebu on nov 9-11

Tacloban City (November 2) -- The 10th ASEAN Ministerial Summit on Environment will be held in Cebu City on November 9 to 11, as a prelude to the ASEAN Summit to be hosted by President Arroyo and attended by Heads of States of the ASEAN which will also be held in Cebu City in December this year.

DENR 8 Regional Executive Director Leonardo Sibbaluca said the environment ministers of ASEAN will discuss mutual concerns and regional issues ranging from biodiversity conservation to the raging forest fires in Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia.

He said that Secretary Angelo Reyes is now at the thick and thin of the preparations for the incoming Summit which will be attended by the ten Asean environmental minister with the counterparts from Japan, China and South Korea.

The ASEAN Summit on Environment highlights the importance of regional cooperation in the biodiversity conservation as the Ministerial meeting will also discuss joint cooperation among the 10 countries in the areas of biodiversity, coastal and marine resources, water resources, environmentally sustainable cities and multilateral environmental agreements, like the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB) in Los Baños, Laguna.

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently signed the host country Agreement with ASEAN for the establishment of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, the first ASEAN Center to be set up in the Philippines.

Such decision to locate the ACB in the Philippines was observed by DENR Secretary Reyes as a recognition of the country’s status as one of the Mega Diverse Countries in the world.

The lofty position of the Philippines as a mega diverse country was strengthened recently following the disclosure of international marine scientists that the Verde Passage, located between Batangas and Mindoro, contains about 1,736 species, making it the largest concentration of marine life in the world. With such concentration of marine species in a small area, the marine scientists described the Philippines as “the center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity in the world.” (PIA 8) [top]

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