AS THE “Watershed Cradle of the North,” Cordillera must take the lead in protecting the environment from the effects of climate change.
The call was made by Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez during an interfaith dialogue in Baguio City last Monday.
Alvarez told representatives from religious groups, government agencies and non-government organizations: "Being the Watershed Cradle of the North, Cordillera has been the main contributor in environmental wealth."
He said the regions of Ilocos and Cagayan Valley get the water for its power plants from Cordillera.
The participants also heard other speakers discuss issues relevant to the environment during the one-day forum.
Fr. Ben Beltran of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines took up Pope Francis' Encyclical Message on Climate Change.
Esteban Godilano, a consultant to the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines, discussed the climate change vulnerabilities of Cordillera, and National Mapping and Revenue Information Authority Assistant Director Ofelia Castro talked about the region’s strength and resilience to climate change.
Benguet Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Octavio Cuanso focused on the initiatives under the National Greening Program and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples Commissioner Zenaida Pawid talked about indigenous peoples' lores and lifestyle.
At the end of the discussions the participants presented a Declaration of Interfaith and Religious Organizations on Climate Change. (Giovani Joy Fontanilla)