Duterte says Asia-Pacific must be bolder, wiser in addressing water-related challenges
KUMAMOTO CITY, Japan- President Rodrigo Duterte has called for bolder vision and urgent action to address water-related issues confronting the Asia-Pacific region, saying countries have to decide wisely for the benefit of current and future generations.
“Excellencies, now is the time for bolder vision and urgent action. We need to decide wisely for ourselves and for future generations,” Duterte said Saturday in his video message during the heads of states and Government Meeting at the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit here in Kumamoto City.
Water, being a resource so vital for humans and ecosystems for survival and sustenance, access to it and its related services is rightly considered a basic human right, he said.
The Filipino leader cited the Philippines as a lesson in caution and an example for the need for urgent action, stressing that despite to the abundance of water in his country, there remains an enormous challenge to ensure people’s universal access to safe, affordable and accessible water.
“This requires an urgent sense of community action in the region, an integrated and coherent policy and the resolve to create opportunities for investment and collaboration for technological solutions,” he told the participants of the water summit.
He spelled out several other measures to address challenges such as creating a robust regime for sustainable water management, using the best available science in water resource generation and climate resilient infrastructure, and securing sustainable forest protection and watershed management.
Regional experts for technology development and transfer must also collaborate, and countries must promote transboundary benefits for the common people’s development towards 2050 and beyond, he noted.
“And finally, we need to forge a strong alliance between our strategic partners to address entrenched corporate compulsions to ensure environmental compliance and just economic regulatory regimes,” the Philippine president said.
He also pointed out that solutions to water-related issues must come from government and non-government stakeholders alike.
Concluding his message, Duterte commended the Japanese government for the continued initiative in successfully organizing the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit.
Introducing Duterte during the leaders’ meeting, Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert E. A. Borje said central to the Philippines’s position in climate change mitigation and adaptation is climate justice.
“To the least responsible, to those with the least resources, to those most exposed, we need to do more,” said Borje.
Last week, Duterte in his Talk to the People program said developed countries must compensate developing nations suffering from the impacts of climate change.
Borje also expressed the Philippines’s solidarity with all nations, which had to deal with water-related disasters brought about by climate change drivers. Presidential News Desk