What are International River Summits?
It’s easy to get caught up in the passion of wanting to do something for our rivers, but how exactly are International River Summits going to help us do that?
International River Summits are biennial multi-partner environmental initiatives spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resoruces (DENR)-River Basin Control Office (RBCO), the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), and the host city—this year, Mandaue City.
The DENR-RBCO supports river basin management initiatives, and also spearheads policy change in river basin governance to make lasting changes in how things are run.
The International River Summit is really an avenue for people with the expertise and experience in conserving rivers to come together to discuss river issues and brainstorms concrete solutions to address said issues. At its score, it believes river basin governance is the key sustainable management framework that can make a change in protecting and conserving river systems.
Before the summit ends, its goal is to write an agreement for a river accord, and create partnerships with LGUs to find solutions to river degradation and mismanagement.
The first IRS was conducted in Iloilo City in 2012, which had brought on the Iloilo Declaration. This called for greater investment to address the challenges brought about by the impacts of climate change and rapid urbanization of rivers.
In 2014, a second IRS was organized in Marikina City, where the Marikina River Institute was established. The institute aimed at strengthening the science behind river management. The Marikina Declaration, on the other hand, itemized the global, national and local actions toward river rehabilitation and management.
Held in Cagayan de Oro City in November 26, the third IRS paved the way for the adoption of the Cagayan de Oro Consensus, which focused on the conservation of watersheds, improvement of water quality, establishment of resilient communities, and recognizes the importance of watersheds in the health of rivers.