Lao Ambassador graces ASEAN Week

Lao Ambassador graces ASEAN Week

by Justin Akia on September 24, 2012 - 10:57 am

Lao Ambassador Malayvieng Sakhonhninhom. Photo by Carlo Cabrera.

Universities should play a role in shaping the minds of people — particularly university students — with regard to the care for one’s environment and surroundings.

This was the call made by Her Excellency Malayvieng Sakhonhninhom, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) to the Philippines, during the August 31 symposium on “Maintaining a Clean and Green ASEAN.”

The symposium, the culminating activity of the ASEAN Week celebration, was organized by the Asia-Pacific Studies (APS) Department to bring into focus a major concern for the regional organization—environmental protection and conservation.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Elizabeth Urgel, APS Department chair, said that the vast amounts of natural and human resources in the ASEAN region need to be harnessed in a way that would allow future generations to enjoy the resources as well.  She also emphasized the need for Southeast Asian countries to harmonize environmental laws and policies as environmental concerns involve the entire ASEAN community.

Ambassador Sakhonhninhom shared Laos’ programs and policies concerning environmental protection and the management of its rich natural resources. She said that while these resources are key to the country’s economic growth, balance between economic development and environmental protection has to be maintained.

To close the symposium, Atty. Delia Tantuico, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, mentioned that the Philippines could learn from the Lao experience as both countries have many similarities especially in the area of environmental protection.

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