Senator Loren Legarda, highlighted the Philippines’ environmental protection efforts in her meeting last June 20 with German parliamentarian Renate Künast, member of the Green Party and Chair of the Bundestag’s German-ASEAN Parliamentary Friendship Group.
The Senator informed Ms. Künast that the Philippines, a country extremely vulnerable to climate change, has made great strides in developing a comprehensive legislative framework to address the issue of environmental degradation.
They discussed their experiences in environmental policy-making and best practices in both countries. The Senator also gave an overview of the major pieces of legislation that she authored that are currently in force in the Philippines, such as the Clean Air Act, Climate Change Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, and the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System, among others.
For her part, Ms. Künast shared Germany’s plan to phase out nuclear power and coal-fired power plants by 2022 and 2038, respectively.
The two parliamentarians were also one in advocating sustainable production of food and other consumer items, and the need to transform how human beings live for the sake of the environment.
Ms. Künast was particularly impressed with exquisite Philippine handicrafts and fabrics, as well as the protection afforded by the Philippine Government, through the Intellectual Property Office, against unmitigated commercialization of indigenous culture.
Ambassador Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega, who accompanied Senator Legarda to the meeting, also took the opportunity to apprise Ms. Künast of the positive developments in the Philippines, particularly on the economy and the Government’s social programs.
Ms. Künast said that there is indeed a need to provide further information on the Philippines to give the German public a fuller picture, which would, hopefully, facilitate further positive engagement between the Philippines and Germany.
The Senator, meanwhile, invited Ms. Künast and the German-ASEAN Parliamentary Friendship Group to see the developments in the Philippines firsthand.
Senator Legarda and Ms. Künast concluded their extensive discussion with a commitment to look into the possibility of working on special projects together in the near future. END