Restore our Earth: Wetland Restoration thru Circular Economy
In line with the celebration of Earth Day 2021 with the theme “Restore Our Earth” and with the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW), and Project NexCities: Water-Energy-Nutrient Nexus in the Cities of the Future hosted a three-part learning event that revolved around the circular economy approach in wetland restoration. The learning event aimed to increase the awareness of target audience on the circular economy approach particularly as it applies to wetland restoration.
Circular economy is a model of production and consumption that involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. The three-part learning session discussed the basics of circular economy and nature-based solutions (NBS), and provide concrete examples from successful and practical initiatives focusing on constructed wetlands, plastic waste and sewage management.
1st Session: Overview of the Circular Economy and Constructed Wetlands
The first of the series was streamed live on 22 April 2021. Dr. Alexandros I. Stefanakis from the School of Environmental Engineering of Technical University in Crete, Greece was the main speaker who talked about circular economy and constructed wetlands.
Joining the session was a panel of experts who shared their experiences and insights –
- Dr. Antonio M. Daño – River Basin Control Office
- Engr. Antonio S. Aguilar, Jr. – Bayawan Waste Management and Ecology Center
- Engr. Jocelyn G. Sta. Ana – Laguna Lake Development Authority
- Engr. Francisco A. Arellano – Maynilad Water Service
2nd Session: Plastic Waste Management
The second session was streamed live on 29 April 2021. Dr. Kevin Roy B. Serrona from the Department of Environmental Resource and Recovery Division of Prince George’s County Government in Largo, Maryland, United States of America was the Resource Person who discussed “Plastic Waste Management”.
Also invited was a panel of distinguished guests –
- Mr. Paul Puthenpurekal (Green Antz) – “Community EcoHub: Integrated Solid Waste Management Solution”
- Ms. Lavin Gonzaga (Unilever Philippines) – “Unilever Zero Waste to Nature: What We Do to Achieve a Zero-Waste Philippines”
- Engr. Joshua F. Ulo (Villar Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) – “Recycled Plastic Chair: The Villar SIPAG Waste Management and Livelihood Program”
- Mr. Albert A. Magalang (Climate Change Services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources) – “A Call for Global Agreement to Combat Plastic Pollution from All Sources”
3rd Session: Circular Nutrient Economy
The third in the series, which focused on the circular economy approach in wetland restoration, was streamed live on 06 May 2021. The Resource Speakers were Dr. Devendra Saroj from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Surrey in Guildford, United Kingdom and Dr. Michael Promentilla, Lead Investigator of Project NexCities: Water-Energy-Nutrient Nexus in the Cities of the Future.
They were joined by a panel of distinguished experts –
- Dr. Rico C. Ancog (SESAM – University of the Philippines – Los Baños) – “Circular Nutrient Economy: Academe and Agriculture’s Perspective”
- Ms. Hazele Manalo (Lima Water Corporation) – “Circular Nutrient Economy: Lima Water Corporation’s Perspective
- Ms. Norma K. Villanueva (Luntiang Sining Landscapes and Creative Art) – “Circular Nutrient Economy: Perspective from a potential group of end-user”
Each session of the learning event was followed by an Open Forum. All three sessions were facilitated by Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, the Executive Director of the Society for the Conservation Philippine Wetlands, Inc.