RP  TO HOST  10th  INTERNATIONAL  LIVING  LAKES  CONFAB  IN  2005

MANILA,
November 3, 2004 (STAR) The Philippines, home of Asia’s second largest freshwater basin, will host the 10th Living Lakes Conference in May next year, Laguna Lake Development Authority chief Dr. Jun Ynares III said.

At the closing of the 9th Living Lakes Conference in Canada, members of the Living Lakes Network chose the Philippines to host next year’s conference, citing the role of the Laguna de Bay in the network’s gains.

Ynares said that during the forum, delegates were unanimous in acknowledging the need to manage development and growth to ensure wetlands and lakes are healthy and enjoyable for generations to come.

Members of the elite circle saw the need to recognize healthy lakes and wetlands, which are integral part of a vibrant economic future and the accountability for environmentally responsible economic activity rests with businesses along with communities and the government.

Also discussed at the conference was how to empower communities to become partners and stakeholders in water treaties, a giant step that the LLDA has already taken even before the conference. The LLDA has started the implementation of the Laguna de Bay Institutional Strengthening and Community Participation Project (LISCOP), a partnership between LLDA, local government units and lake stakeholders in various eco-based investments that intend to keep ecological equilibrium at the Laguna de Bay region.

During the five-day conference, Ynares said they were briefed on corporate social responsibility and the waterways forum, where they were made aware on how to tap the business sector.

Amid a water crisis that has hit not only the Philippines but also other countries, the forum tackled approaches on sustainable water use by companies.

Describing the forum as "timely amid difficult moments", Ynares called on various Laguna Lake stakeholders to do their share in the protection, preservation and promotion of sustainable development of the Laguna de Bay. – Benny Enriquez


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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