Environmental governance key to Palawan's 'best island' title

23830573QUEZON CITY, Nov. 3 — Palawan’s latest title of “best island in the world” is but a fruit of a strong environmental governance that is worthy of emulation, Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said. 

Paje  in a statement said that the island province, dubbed the “Philippines’ last ecological frontier,” is fast becoming the benchmark for environmental best practices and sustainable tourism development in the country.

He described the citation from the world’s premier travel magazine, Condé Nast, as “resounding testament” to Palawan’s successful environmental governance, which includes not only the local government but also the business sector, the civil society and the community. 

Environmental governance is a concept in political ecology and environmental policy that advocates sustainable development as the supreme consideration for managing all human activities—political, social and economic. Under this concept, the management of the environment is a shared responsibility among the stakeholders.

“The Palawan model is a sterling example that protecting the country’s biodiversity and natural wonders are key elements of effective local governance,” Paje said.

Paje said that Palawan’s strength as a unit of local governance “resides in the alliances forged between the local government and the people to develop a system of best practices that they can undertake within their jurisdictions without harming nature.

“Behind Palawan’s wonders are its main actors — its citizens. This recognition bears testimony to the level of environmental maturity and leadership displayed by its people and local executives.  They are truly deserving of our commendation” Paje said.

The environment chief said other local governments in the country could draw inspiration from Palawan, which he described as a “living laboratory of sustainability.”

Being named as the world’s best island, Palawan edged some of the most popular international destinations like the Great Barrier Reef, and the Kangaroo and Whitsunday Islands in Australia; Maui, Kauai and Big Islands in Hawaii; and Santorini and Cyclades in Greece.

The main tourism activities in the island province are primarily centered on its splendid natural resource.

Palawan is home to many important ecological sites, including El Nido, Coron Islands Cave, world-renowned Tubbataha Reef and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Natural Park, which has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature. (DENR)

Read more: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1781414928702/environmental-governance-key-to-palawan-s-best-island-title#sthash.05h2351X.dpuf

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