5th International Conference and Scientific Meeting on Environmental Education
Congressman Jerry P. Treñas
Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, members of the academe and scientific community, a pleasant day to you all. I wish to welcome all of the participants in today’s 5th International Conference and Scientific Meeting on Environmental Education to the City of Iloilo. Iloilo City is proud to host this meaningful and timely conference, as we are all cognizant of the challenges that must be met by our city and our nation in terms of water management and environmental protection.
Numerous conflicts have been fought throughout the years in order to control the most vital and precious resources available to mankind. Nations and empires have shed blood in order to gain oil, gold, agricultural produce, and even spices. However, one commodity is so precious that its scarcity could cause pandemonium and international strife at a scale never before seen in the history of our civilization: and that vital resource is water. Potable water has never been seen by the global community as a resource that could spark competition or warfare. It has always been free and abundant. Unfortunately, our access to potable water is quickly being diminished by several factors such as excessive population growth, massive industrialization and our lack of commitment to sustainable development.
The statistics culled by the United Nations in its 2006 Human Development Report on our current state of water usage and access are alarming. A staggering 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water. One point eight (1.8) million children die each year due to diarrhea. A total of 2.6 billion people across the globe lack basic sanitation.
Clearly, ladies and gentlemen, these numbers are unacceptable. In a modern communitywhere technology and advances in science empowers us to efficiently manage our water resources, these horrendous statistics should not haunt our society. Rather, we are set to experience a catastrophe of immense consequences if we fail to address our water problem. It is therefore imperative for all of us to work together in order to find a viable, practical and long-term solution to this grave and pressing problem. Through our combined efforts, we could ensure that our children and grandchildren will have continuous and unimpeded access to safe and potable water. Thank you very much.