LAOAG CITY – Governor Imee R. Marcos has renewed her commitment to clean and renewable energy as she welcomed over a hundred of international lecturers, government officials, and research and development experts that gathered for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Forum held on December 4-8 at the Plaza Del Norte this city.
“Renewables have become the essence of Ilocos Norte as we become the pollster child for wind-power in Southeast Asia as early as 2003, seeking today to produce much of our energy in renewable, clean, alternative sources,” Marcos said during the forum which is aimed to come up with a strategic plan to address pressing issues on climate change and urban resilience among ASEAN member states.
Among the subjects discussed at the forum were tools and methodologies for climate change impacts assessments; green growth strategies focusing on renewable energy potentials and waste management pro-grams; institutional structures, policies and programs; and management strategies for disaster risk reduction.
Department of Environ-ment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Jonas Leones who spoke on behalf of Secretary Roy A. Cimatu expressed his concern on the environmental ills besetting the ASEAN region in the past ten years, citing floods, droughts, heatwaves, and rising sea levels.
He posited that pursuing urban resiliency has become an urgent agenda due to rising urban population, empha-sizing “urban areas, where half of our population lives, drive global warming and onsequently climate change.”
Reiterating the province’s threefold vision of creating livable, sustainable, and resilient home; Marcos calls on ASEAN to remain united in coming up with solutions to the environmental issues brought up during the forum.
“Create livable, sustainable, and resilient home. That no matter what the climate, no matter what infliction could be upon the communities that live in them, we would remain standing, surviving, proud, and clear in our humanity and compassion,” she said.
Marcos said Ilocos Norte is generating more than 280 megawatts with its renewable energy resources with wind-mills which were initially built along the coastlines of Bangui town, now extended in the northermost part of the province. Burgos, alone with its 50 wind turbines is equipped with a solar power farm generating 7.9 mega-watts.
The province has also declared an absolute ban on both black sand mining and power production from coal.
As of 2016, the provincial government’s green wall reforestation project covers around 21,000 hectares with over 12 million seedlings planted. (From the report of Ma. Christian A. Ramos, PGIN-CMO)