PH Delegation to the 53rd Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) co-headed by Deputy Permanent Delegate Aileen Mendiola-Rau (center photo, top row) and Director John Francis Herrera (center photo, center row)
09 February 2021, Paris, France – The Philippine Delegation co-headed by Ms. Aileen S. Mendiola-Rau, Deputy Permanent Delegate of the Philippine Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, and Mr. John Francis S. Herrera, Director at Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA-MOAO), actively participated in the 53rd Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Executive Council, which was held virtually from 01-09 February 2021.
In her intervention, Ms. Mendiola-Rau emphasized the Philippines’ commitment to the objectives of the Ocean Decade Implementation Plan in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030.
“The Philippines, being a maritime and archipelagic state, is deeply aware of the importance of the oceans and our dependence on them for our daily needs. It is not enough to possess the desire to protect our oceans and implement plans and projects to this effect. Our actions and understanding of the oceans and how they are negatively affected by man-made stressors need to be backed up by scientific knowledge and processes.”
The Philippine Delegation was successful in elevating and mainstreaming in the IOC Executive Council the discussion on the importance of assessing the value of ocean science and the development of national ocean economy accounts and ocean-climate risk assessments, demonstrating the value of investments in nature-based climate adaptation solutions, and the mainstreaming of the ocean considerations in sustainable economic development plans.
The Philippines is a member of the IOC Executive Council for the period of 2019-2021. This is the Philippines’ third consecutive term as one of the 40 members of the Executive Council.
The other members of the Philippine Delegation were Dr. Gil S. Jacinto, Philippine National Focal Point for IOC, Deputy Executive Director Lindsay A. Barrientos (UNESCO – National Commission of the Philippines), Principal Assistant Leslie C. Escosura-Bustamante (DFA Maritime and Ocean Affairs Office), Senior Ecosystem Management Specialist Jhorace L. Engay-Tupas (DENR- Biodiversity Management Bureau) Division Chief Armida P. Andres (DENR-BMB), Division Chief Desiree Eve R. Maaño (DENR-BMB), Senior Weather Specialist Maria Cristina Uson (DOST- Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services), Senior Weather Specialist Juanito Galang (DOST-PAGASA), Programme Officer Gay Alfred Blanco (UNESCO – National Commission of the Philippines), and Ms. Marikit L. Degaños (Attaché, Permanent Delegation of the Philippines to UNESCO).