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The International River Summit is a biennial multi-partner national initiative spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the host City. It serves as a venue for leading experts, scientists, policy makers, river administrators, indigenous communities, support groups, people’s organizations and practitioners to identify opportunities, problems and best practices towards effectively managing rivers.

The 3rd International River Summit was held on 24-26 November 2016 at the Pryce Hotel with the theme “Healthy Watersheds – Clean Rivers – Safer Communities”. It consisted of plenary discussions and thematic breakout sessions on specific river management issues. Plenary sessions were held in the morning, while Thematic Breakout sessions were conducted in the afternoon. There were also learning tours organized for interested participants. A parallel exhibit showcasing efforts and best practices, as well as bazaars were put up.

As the DENR’s focal point, RBCO became a member of the National Organizing Committee (NOC) for International River Summit and served as one of the co-organizers. It organized Thematic Session 1: “Implementing Integrated Water Resource Management: Approaches and Challenges”, and co-managed with the Philippine Water Partnership (PWP) Thematic Session 5: “Partnership, Community Empowerment and Governance”.

RBCO also put up an exhibit showcasing its thrust, efforts and accomplishments. It likewise distributed to the delegates information materials about the office’s initiatives and accomplishments and the 18 major river basins of the country. A total of 1,500 IEC materials were distributed (pamphlets and folders).

Lastly, RBCO moderated Plenary Topics 10: Rivers as Ecological Continuum and 11: The Natural Capital Protocol: Better Information; Better Decisions. The discussants for topics 10 and 11 were Dr. Ritesh Kumar of the Wetlands International South Asia and Mr. Mathew Parr of the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands, respectively.