“Today I am pleased to announce that based on its greenhouse gas inventory, Puerto Princesa City is the first carbon-neutral city in the Philippines.” So said Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, President of Ateneo de Manila University and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was speaking at a ceremony in the Malacañang, the official residence of the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III.
Being a carbon neutral means that Puerto Princesa City removes more CO2 from the environment than it emits. In fact, due to its 65 percent forest coverage, the city actually removes eight times more carbon dioxide than it releases.
“Puerto Princesa is a unique city, reaching across miles of spectacular forests, stretching all the way to the Underground River itself,” said Edward Hagedorn, Mayor of Puerto Princesa City. “By becoming the first carbon neutral city in South East Asia we are positioning ourselves not only as the home of what I believe is one of the New7Wonders of Nature, but also I hope as a wonderful inspiration to our region, continent and the world.”
In his speech before a distinguished gathering at the Malacañang that included Bernard Weber, Founder and President of New7Wonders, Fr. Villarin praised Mayor Hagedorn for bringing together technical consultants from the SEED Group and specialists from the Manila Observatory to make the greenhouse gas measurement project possible.
“With increasing concerns about climate change and rapidly expanding urban populations, the pioneering work being done by Puerto Princesa City is an example that all of Asia can emulate,” says Eamonn Fitzgerald, Head of Communication at New7Wonders. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is located some 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, is one of the 28 Finalists in the New7Wonders of Nature.