National Training on BATs and BEPs in Open Burning: Alternative Biomass Utilization, ISWM, and Health and Environmental Impacts of Open Burning Practices

The National Training on Best Available Techniques (BATs) and Best Environmental Practices (BEPs) in Open Burning: Alternative Biomass Utilization, Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM), and Health and Environmental Impacts of Open Burning Practices was successfully conducted at the Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Clark, Pampanga on the 25th and 26th of September 2018. This training was part of the Component 4 of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) funded project implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) called “Demonstration of Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Best Environmental Practices (BEP) in Open Burning Activities in Response to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)”.

More than 70 of the 108 confirmed participants joined the two-day training. Those who joined the training were from various stakeholder groups such as Municipal Agriculturists from Region 3, Farmer’s Cooperatives, staff members of National Organic Agriculture Program (NOAP) of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Solid Waste Management Coordinators (SWMC) from various regions and staff from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office and regional offices, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) and National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC).

Several distinguished speakers shared their valuable expertise during the training. Ms. Haidee Peñero, the National Project Manager for the “Demonstration of BATs and BEPs in Open Burning Activities in Response to the Stockholm Convention on POPs” gave an overview of the project and what has been accomplished so far. Dr. Alma Bella Madrazo from the National Engineering Graduate School of the University of the Philippines shared POPs and its health effects. Dr. Dixon Gevaña, an Assistant Professor from the Department of Social Forestry and Forest Governance College of Forestry and Natural Resources of University of the Philippines Los Baños who was also named the Outstandsing Young Scientist of 2018 by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), presented a background of Republic Act 9003, the importance of policies and efforts towards meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the potentials and challenges of these policies to managing agricultural biomass wastes. On the second day of the training, Dr. Gina Pangga an Associate Professor V of the Agricultural Systems Institute College of Agriculture and Food Science of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, presented alternate biomass utilization with particular focus on various techniques in composting of biomass. Ms. Alma Ferareza, a Senior Environmental Management Specialist from the Environmental Management Bureau - National Capital Region (EMB-NCR), presented the generation of different types of waste and their management strategies. Lastly, Ms. Joan Frances Flores, an Environmental Specialist 1 of the Solid Waste Management Division (SWMD) of EMB, presented the BATs alternatives for open burning.

The awarding and closing ceremonies were led by Engr. Lormelyn Claudio, the Regional Director of the EMB Region 3 and Engr. Eligio Ildefonso, the Executive Director of the NSWMC and the National Coordinator of the “Demonstration of BATs and BEPs in Open Burning Activities in Response to the Stockholm Convention on POPs” project.