Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mactan exhibit focuses on environment

Mactan exhibit focuses on environment
April 14, 2009 12:34:00
Cebu Daily News

A resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City successfully conducted its first ever Go Green Cebu Fair.

Raymond Bragg, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa general manager, promised to make the fair an annual event.

Bragg, who led the opening ceremonies with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Lucille Sering and Lapu-Lapu City Councilor Queenie Aman, said the green movement is gaining momentum worldwide as people increasingly voice their concerns about the impact of companies to the environment.

The seminar began with a brief presentation by Bragg on corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives of the resort, including the Go Green Cebu Fair.

A tree-planting ceremony outside the resort’s The Marquee preceded the three-day fair.

Governor Garcia, in her welcome address, emphasized the need for stakeholders to share knowledge to allow everyone to benefit from each other’s best practices.

Topics included conservation, management, development, and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources by Undersecretary Sering; impact of the environment on tourism industry by Tourism Undersecretary Phineas Alburo; and the importance of climate change mitigation and adaptation by DENR Regional Director Leonardo Sibbaluca.

Speakers in the afternoon were architect Chris dela Cruz, Cebu City Councilor Nestor Archival, Children’s Environmental Awareness and Action Foundation executive director Maricris Sarino and Philippine Business for Social Progress Visayas chairman Antonio Aboitiz.

Day two began with a beach clean-up by resort employees, Go Green sponsors, speakers and volunteers.

This was followed by the seminar proper in the afternoon.

The fair culminated on day 3 with Earth Hour cocktails hosted at the Mactan Ballroom gardens where guests shared pledges of action, such as tree planting; observing the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle; and turning off unnecessary lights and appliances.

Guests counted down to Earth Hour as the resort turned off non-essential lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Proceeds from the fair were given to Ocean Care Advocates Inc., a non-government organization focused on the marine environment of Mactan Island.

The fair brought together various stakeholders, including government officials, tourism players, non-government organizations, foundations and the academe.

For details, please visit the CSR section on website www.shangri-la.com.

Mr. Jose Antonio Aboitiz, Chairman of PBSP in the Visayas shared PBSP's green initiatives, which includes: upland and mangrove reforestation, agroforestry, vermiculture, Motolite-PBSP Balik Baterya Program, and Greening the Supply Chain - a Supply Chain Environmental Management project. Proceeds of Go Green will fund the operations of OceanCare Advocates, an environmental group based in Mactan Island, which is also co-chaired by Mr. Aboitiz.

During the Go Green Cebu Fair at Shangri-La's The Marquee, PBSP green projects and products were showcased. Moreover, PBSP also presented its Visayas-wide poverty reduction programs.