Republic of the Philippines

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Officials of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and other agencies conduct study tour in Wellington, New Zealand

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A 12-member inter-agency delegation led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and composed of representatives from the Department of Agriculture, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Climate Change Commission, and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), visited Wellington for a Study Tour of New Zealand on 04-08 November 2014. The DENR exposure trip in New Zealand aims to enable Philippine Multilateral Environmental Agreements Focal Point Agencies (MEA FPAs) and Local Government Units (LGUs) to improve on existing systems on MEA coordination and implementation by learning New Zealand systems and best practices.

The Philippine Embassy in collaboration with the relevant Ministries of New Zealand prepared a comprehensive, informative and interactive program that covered courtesy calls, briefings, exchange of views and discussions with officials of the Ministry for Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for Primary Industries, Environmental Protection Agency on a wide range of matters and issues on climate change, biodiversity, environmental management and land degradation. They also visited the Parliament and Zealandia, a 225 hectares sanctuary, home to some of New Zealand's most rare and extraordinary wildlife thriving wild in a world-first protected sanctuary valley. Zealandia is a ground-breaking, community-driven eco-restoration project and education facility which exhibits 80 million years of New Zealand’s natural history right up to the conservation movement of the present day.

Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez warmly welcomed and hosted a formal dinner at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) for the delegation and the officials of the Ministry for the Environment and Ministry for Primary Industries on 05 November 2014. The dinner provided another excellent opportunity for interaction and networking among the guests. In her remarks, Ambassador Benavidez highlighted the importance and timeliness of the Philippine delegation’s visit to New Zealand as this would be a valuable opportunity to learn about New Zealand’s best practices, systems and technologies on environmental protection and management and challenges to climate change. “These are crucial areas that require strategic responses, collaborative partnerships and innovative solutions,” she stated. Ambassador Benavidez also conveyed deep appreciation to the relevant New Zealand agencies and institutions for their cooperation and sharing of information and programmes.

The visiting delegation was headed by Assistant Secretary Rommel R. Abesamis, Foreign Assisted and Special Projects (FASPs) of the DENR. The delegation reiterated their deep appreciation to Ambassador Benavidez, Minister and Consul General Arlene Gonzales-Macaisa, the officials from New Zealand and all those who have contributed to their highly successful, enlightening and enjoyable visit to New Zealand.

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