The Asian countries tackled issues on energy security, sustainability and resiliency and other associated meetings since they converged last Monday at Be Grand Resort.
In his welcome address, Gov. Edgar Chatto appreciated Bohol’s opportunity to host another international event where the issues to be tackled are apt and timely for the current power supply situation in the province.
It was just in April that the province hosted the ASEAN 10-nation bloc, and it is Bohol’s honor to host ACD this time.
Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Head Dmitry Sokolov talked about Natural Gas Business Development, while Natural Gas infra development practices and challenges was taken up Yoshikazu Kobayashi.
Sec. General Bundit Limschoon also gave his share of insights on the subjects at the opening ceremonies.
The ACD focuses on energy security, sustainability and resiliency.
It is timely that electricity supply in Bohol and Eastern Visayas provinces has yet to be fully restored after the magnitude 6.5 Leyte earthquake that destroyed the power facilities in Leyte which is Bohol’s main power source.
Department of Energy (DOE) Sec. Alfonso Cusi said “the task to build a stronger and more resilient energy system lies ahead” and “our hosting of the ACD in Bohol will help us learn more and do more.”
Cusi himself recognized Bohol’s initiatives spearheaded by Gov. Edgar Chatto in addressing the concerns of emergency, interim and permanent power thru the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG).
Officials and experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been invited to the conference, said Dir. Carmencita Bariso of the DOE Energy Policy and Planning Bureau.
To be attended by ministers and other high-profile delegates, the ACD conference will also have “associated meetings,” during which the “first East Asia energy forum” will happen, Bariso said.
The current ACD members are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Turkey and Nepal.
Bohol’s hosting will be historic as it will likewise be the Philippines’ maiden hosting of the ADC, which promotes interdependence among Asian members in various areas of cooperation, one of which is energy.
FIRST OF ITS KIND CONTINENT FORUM
Initiated by Thailand and inaugurated in 2002, the ACD is a continent-wide forum, the first of its kind in Asia.
More specifically, the ACD aims to constitute the missing link in Asia by incorporating every Asian country and building an Asian community without duplicating other organizations, like the ASEAN, or creating a bloc against others.
The ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which the Philippines is also a member, held its highly-successful trade, commerce and industry meetings in Bohol last April.
Sources outside the DOE believed Bohol’s impressive ASEAN Meeting hosting must have helped seal the decision to also hold here the bigger ADC conference.
A key ADC principle is to consolidate Asian strengths and fortify Asia’s competitiveness by maximizing the diversity and rich resources evident in the world’s largest continent.
The core values of the ADC include positive thinking, voluntarism, openness, respect for diversity, and comfort level of member countries.
Since its inception, the ACD has rapidly developed in two dimensions—dialogue and projects.
On the project dimension, many countries have currently proposed to be prime movers in 20 cooperation areas, such as energy, agriculture, biotechnology, tourism, poverty alleviation, information technology development, e-education and finance.
ESSENCE OF ADC TO BOHOL
The conference will gather energy policy makers to discuss latest developments in their respective countries and encourage consultations in identifying new cooperation initiatives for execution.
This what the BEDAG, now reputed to be another Bohol best practice, has essentially been doing, plus the aggressive participation of the energy industry keyplayers themselves.
Here earlier when he graced the 163rd Bohol Day on July 22, DOE Usec. Felix William Fuentebella congratulated Chatto for creating the BEDAG.
Fuentebella said Cusi, in 2016, already had in mind Bohol to host the 34-country dialogue and is materializing the plan despite the impact here of the Leyte power facilities’ destruction by the earthquake there.