Green Canopy Symposium: Sustaining Forests through Environmental Conservation and Waste Management in Celebration of International Day of Forests

In celebration of the International Day of Forests, the Community Outreach and Service Learning in collaboration with LPU Earth Team RAYS and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources organized a symposium, aptly named the “Green Canopy Symposium,” that delved into crucial discussions surrounding the preservation of our forests through environmental conservation and effective waste management strategies.

The International Day of Forests is observed on March 21st each year. This day serves as a global platform to raise awareness about the importance of all types of forests and trees, and to celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us. Thus an educational event was organized to commemorate this day.

The event was held on March 19, 2024 at the University Auditorium drawing 575 enthusiastic participants to the venue, while an additional 76 joined virtually via Zoom. This impressive turnout underscored the widespread concern and dedication among individuals towards safeguarding our natural resources.

The event featured esteemed speakers from DENR, including Judaline Fabro, RPF-Assistant Chief of the Management Services Division; Rhex P. Calipdan, RPF-Chief of Surveillance, Intelligence, and Investigation Unit; and Ellyza Faith E. Falcutila, RPF – PENRO Principal Information Officer. Their presence added invaluable expertise and authority to the discussions surrounding sustainable forestry practices and effective waste management strategies.

The speakers shared their insights and expertise on topics ranging from sustainable forestry practices to innovative waste management solutions. Presentations were rich in both scientific research and practical applications, offering attendees a comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing our forests and the actionable steps needed to address them.

They emphasized the critical role of forests in maintaining ecological balance, mitigating climate change, and supporting biodiversity. They underscored the urgent need for collaborative efforts among government agencies, NGOs, academia, and communities to ensure the long-term health and vitality of our forests.

A highlight of the event was the lively panel discussions and interactive Q&A sessions, where participants actively engaged with experts, raising pertinent questions and sharing valuable insights from their own experiences. These exchanges fostered a sense of collective responsibility and inspired attendees to take proactive measures in their respective spheres of influence.

One of the central themes of the symposium was the integration of waste management practices into forest conservation efforts. Presenters highlighted innovative approaches such as recycling, composting, and circular economy models to minimize waste generation and its adverse impacts on forest ecosystems.

The Green Canopy Symposium is likely integrated with several Sustainable Development Goals. Some of the SDGs that are commonly associated with initiatives related to forests and sustainable land management, which may be relevant to the Green Canopy Symposium includes SDG 4: Quality Education – raising awareness related to forests and sustainable land management which are essential for building capacity and promoting informed decision-making.

It is also aligned to SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production – Sustainable forest management practices contribute to responsible consumption and production patterns by ensuring the long-term availability of forest resources.

Likewise, SDG 13: Climate Action, as forests play a critical role in mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide and helping to regulate the global climate system.

Furthermore, SDG 15: Life on Land which focuses on protecting, restoring, and promoting the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, including forests, and biodiversity conservation.

The event served as a catalyst for ongoing dialogue and collaboration, laying the groundwork for future initiatives aimed at preserving our forests for generations to come.

The Green Canopy Symposium served as a beacon of hope and inspiration, uniting stakeholders in a shared vision of a greener, more sustainable future. Through continued advocacy and concerted action, we can ensure that our forests thrive, serving as invaluable resources for both current and future generations.