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09/06/2017: SAN FRANCISCO PCG KICKS OFF 119TH PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE DAY, JOINS CORAL REEF NIGHTLIFE OF THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

As part of its activities to celebrate the 119th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco joined the California Academy of Sciences’ Coral Reefs NightLife to highlight the country’s natural resources and inform those who attended the event of Philippine efforts towards conservation of natural resources.

NightLife is held every Thursday, when the California Academy of Sciences opens its doors to about 3,000 people, any of whom are millennials, who wish to visit the Academy and learn more about different topics on nature.  The June 8 NightLife focused on Coral Reefs, and invited the Philippines to join the event, as the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit is part of the permanent display at the Academy.

Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. was invited to be part of a panel that discussed coral reef preservation.  Moderated by Dr. Terrence Gosliner, other members of the panel were scientists from the Academy, including Meg Burke, Luiz Rocha and Bart Shephard.

Dr. Gosliner asked Consul General Bensurto how international law has focused on conservation and what his suggestions and projections for the future of coral reefs were in the face of international developments on preservation and conservation.  The Consul General said that as an archipelago, the Philippines is surrounded by water, whose sealanes are accessed by many nations.  He added that the Philippines is also part of the Coral Triangle, whose resources benefit the coastal communities, making the country highly dependent on resources of the sea for our own sustenance.

He explained that the Philippines recognizes that rights and obligations of user states and coastal states must be harmonized, prompting us to be active in participating in international fora.  At the mention that the Philippines recently ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the audience applauded the country’s efforts to share the responsibility of mitigating the effects of climate change with other like-minded nations.

The panel took place at the African Hall and was attended by around 100 people.  The Tourism Office put up a booth of Philippine dive sites at the Academy.  Filipino-American DJ QBert provided a youthful and festive vibe to the event. END