Envi planners discuss ‘green sustainable communities’ but misses out on coal

Aug. 23, 2013

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY – Some 100 “environment planners” all over the country held a two-day conference here since Friday to discuss ways to create “green and sustainable communities” vis-à-vis urban development in Mindanao.

The Philippine Institute of Environment Planners (PIEP) gathered in Marco Polo and Mandaya Hotels and invited planners from Japan, Sweden and Nepal to discuss their experiences and approaches on environment planning.

For Architect Daniel Lim, President PIEP Davao Chapter, environment planning is important especially with the emergence of Davao as a fast-rising city that is capable of addressing floods and other disasters.

In their website, PIEP Davao said the conference will tackle issues in agriculture, transportation, zero-waste communities and using social media and technology in disaster risk mitigation.

Lim said they would work with local government units to consider environment issues in development.

But when asked about the impact of Aboitiz coal-fired power plant in Toril, former PIEP Mindanao Chapter chair Reynaldo Nacilla said they are “neither for nor against it.”

“We’re just bringing here the balance. It will base on the consensus in the city,” said Nacilla.

But for Dr. Jean Lindo of Network Oppose to Coal (NO to COAL), she finds it “unbelievable that they could not even objectify on the issue. Not speaking about the real effect of coal energy is tantamount to suppressing the truth.”

“Their silence on the harmful effects of coal energy is a disservice to the Davañenos. And they are supposed to be environmental planners?” she added.

Lindo challenged planners to look at the problems created by big energy providers who profit instead of providing clean air, and attune their plans on the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals particularly on environmental sustainability. (Earl O. Condeza, davaotoday.com)

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