Besting seven other entries from across the globe, the Iloilo River Development Project won a gold award for environmental sustainability in the prestigious International Awards for Liveable Communities or LivCom held at the Hilton Hotel in Chicago, Illinois on November 8.
The news was relayed by Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog to the City Hall in a text message yesterday.
LivCom, launched in 1997, is reputed as the world’s sole awards competition focusing on best practices for managing the local environment.
Mabilog, who attended the LivCom event from November 4 to 8, made a presentation on the Iloilo River Development Project which was then one of the finalists in the Environmentally-Sustainable Projects Award.
The international panel of judges is composed of environmental and landscape management professionals.
The project is Iloilo City’s entry under the Environmentally Sustainable Project Awards Category E for communities with a population of over 400,000 people.
Other finalists are Al Ain, UAE; Changwon City, South Korea; Changzhou City, China; Curitiba, Brazil; Medellin City, Colombia; Portland Metropolitan Region, USA; and Wuxing, China.
Other members of the Iloilo City delegation are City Environmental Management Specialist Renan Escoto, Councilor Edward Yee, City Legal Officer Jose Junio Jacela, and business executives Felix Tiu and Antonio Lim.
Escoto, who is part of the team that prepared the presentation on Iloilo River Development Project, said the project exemplifies successful public-private partnership in protecting and preserving the river.
“We (in the government) cannot do it alone. The private sector is also very active in this undertaking,” he said.
Escoto said various stakeholders are involved in the regular river clean-up to help the existing “Bantay-Suba” team.
There is also a continuing mangrove reforestation in the area and illegal fishpens in the vicinity have already been dismantled.
“We are also trying our best to remove illegal settlers,” Escoto said.
Iloilo River hosts various endangered species, including rare shrimps discovered by University of the Philippines biological sciences students.
Some 20 mangrove species also grow in the area.
Apart from the Iloilo River Development Project, Iloilo City also submitted three entries for the Bursary Award.
These include the Wastepickers Livelihood Training Program, Community-based Water and Sanitation System, and Community-based Disaster Preparedness Planning.
source: The News Today