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Public-private partnership needed to face climate change, say environmental and health leaders

COTABATO CITY, July 29 – Environmental and health leaders from around the country gathered in a two-day conference July 28-29 in General Santos City to establish public-private partnerships (PPPs) that will help in facing the challenges of climate change.

Amid heavy rains and floods brought by typhoon Juaning, the conference provides an opportunity for the public sector to work with private entities, especially with the business sector, in ensuring sustainability and replication of the successes of population, health and environment program intervention models showcased in different communities around the country.

In her keynote address during the opening of the 4th National Conference on Population, Health, and Environment, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Secretary Elisea Gozun highlighted the importance of reducing risks from consequences of climate change.

“In taking necessary actions, we must first develop our biggest resource, our people,” Gozun said.

Dubbed, “Changing World, Changing Climate: Exploring Population, Health and Environment (PHE) Link for Effective Governance” the conference was attended by more than 300 participants representing various non-government organizations, civil society and business groups, private individuals, national government agencies and local government units.

Roberto Ador, executive director of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), conference host and newly elected convenor observed that people in the rural areas can easily link the problems of population growth, environmental destruction, and poverty.

He added that the problem became serious because they often lack the resources – family planning, conservation technologies, and alternative livelihoods – to break the destructive cycle of climate change.

“The needs and demands of the burgeoning population are expected to escalate and further put a strain on the already depleted natural resources," he said.

“We believe that integrating intervention approaches are needed to address food security and poverty in the face of the alarming weather patterns, the severe effects of human activity on the environment, and congestion in urban areas it is more efficient than addressing them separately," Ador said. (PNA) LAP/NYP/EOF

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