“Integrity, public service and the common good are the key deciding factors for any decision that will be taken,” this is according to the newly appointed DENR Secretary Gina Lopez when asked how she will lead the agency.

“Any industry must bear in mind that the common good is paramount in their operations and not the money they make,” she further said.

A staunch environmentalist, Lopez emphasized the need for the agency to be pro-active and undertake policies and programs, which will ensure that the environment is protected and that natural resources are utilized sustainably.

“The DENR will be a proactive and strategic regulatory agency that will enable the convergence of various sectors so that they may implement strategies that promote area development.”

Lopez recognizes and appreciates the importance of creating space for the participation of civil society. To this end, mechanisms will be created in DENR operations that will guarantee the meaningful engagement of the church, environment NGOs, the youth, farmers and fisherfolk. “It is with their collaboration that we will achieve the change we need,” she said.

The main thrusts of Lopez’s administration are the following: institutional reform and environmental governance; community empowerment; rational minerals management; stronger biodiversity protection; proper ecological solid waste management; and efficient inter-agency collaboration towards clean air, clean water and transformative climate change policies. #