Photo by: LB Times
ASEAN-EU Bike45Ride held at UPLB

The weather was sunny and warm during the ASEAN-EU Bike45Ride event held at the UPLB campus on Dec. 2 as part of the celebration of 45 years of ASEAN-EU diplomatic relations.

The event kicked off with a short program attended by Belgium’s ambassador to the Philippines Michel Parys, Denmark’s ambassador to the Philippines Franz-Michael Skjol Melbin, Poland’s deputy head of mission Ms. Anna Krzak Danel, EU ambassador to the Philippines Luc Veron, and Brunei’s Charge de Affaires Khairul Hazwan bin Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Nor.

They were welcomed to Los Baños and UPLB by Dr. Theresa Mundita-Lim, director of the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Robert Cereno representing UPLB chancellor Jose Camacho Jr., and Los Baños municipal administrator Dr. Robert Rañola representing Los Baños mayor Anthony Genuino.

Ambassador Veron turned over a set of bike racks to the university during the program. He said that the bike ride is a way to “stress the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions if we want to mitigate climate change.”

In an interview with some of the delegates conducted by DZLB News before the program, Ambassador Veron said they also sought to encourage LGUs to make spaces for cyclists as biking was a more efficient transportation option, especially for short distances.

Ambassador Melbin said there needs to be a “rethinking of how to mobilize people,” observing that Filipinos spent a lot of time on transport which could be significantly cut down by biking instead of “sitting in large traffic queues.”

Dr. Mundita-Lim stated that ASEAN members shared experiences such as cycling initiatives among themselves to learn best practices and adopt them into their own systems.

“I would like to encourage everyone to look at biking as a means to move from one area to another within and outside the city, maganda po iyon hindi lang para sa kalikasan pero para din sa kalusugan,” said Dr. Mundita-Lim. “At kung gagamit kayo ng bamboo bike, sustainable materials din ito para sa mga gagamitin nating mga bisikleta.”

The bicycle ride commenced after the short program with the participants riding from the UPLB Main Library to IRRI, UPOU, and back.

The ride was followed by a tree-planting activity at the Makiling Botanic Gardens, where the participants planted yakal kaliot, panau, saplungan, and apitong saplings at the MBG nursery. (Albert Geoffred B. Peralta)

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