Towards environmental sustainability– the Isabela State University (ISU) headed by Dr. Ricmar P. Aquino signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Tanggol Kalikasan Inc. on February 5, 2024 for the establishment of the Institute of Environmental Governance (IEG) within the University.
IEG is a strategic response to the ever-increasing demand for the capacity building of Local Government Units (LGUs).
According to Atty. Ma. Ronely D. Bisquera-Sheen, Executive Director of Tanggol Kalikasan, their organization partners with state universities and colleges (SUCs) all over the country to sustainably provide the needed capacity of LGUs towards the extensive implementation of environmental laws.
Established in 1987 as an environmental law program of Haribon Foundation, Tanggol Kalikasan Inc., aims to facilitate the empowerment of communities and key institutions to manage their ecosystem using law and other creative mechanisms. One of these is their capacity-building program that covers support for environmental law enforcement and constituency building and organizational development.
ISU is expected to contribute to the said capacity-building program through the supplication of two (2) members to join the IEG Management Committee as well as faculty members that will serve as core members of the institute through their theoretical and practical aspects of environmental governance.
“Considering the expertise of the different campuses, I hope that with this partnership that we have, Isabela State University can fully share in protecting our environment and of course in promoting these kinds of goals,” Dr. Aquino said as he expressed his hopes with the partnership.
Currently, there are twenty-eight (28) IEG Centers in the Philippines (18 Luzon, 3 Visayas, and 6 Mindanao) which facilitates the three (3) levels of the program which includes mentoring, coaching, legal clinic, monitoring and evaluation after the IEG Environmental Governance Training.
For more context, the IEG establishment is part of the Environmental Justice Sector Reform Project (EJSRP) Phase 3 with the coastal areas of Isabela as one of its focus areas which aims to build the capacity of the LGUs in order to uphold environmental justice through environmental governance.