Friday, April 24, 2015

DENR chief urges Filipinos to reflect on spirit of Earth Day

From the Website of GPH - Government of the Philippines

DENR chief urges Filipinos to reflect on spirit of Earth Day


Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje is urging Filipinos to pause and reflect on the most pressing ecological problems and what they can do to protect the environment, as the nation joins the rest of the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22.

“Earth Day is about celebrating the environment and raising awareness of environmental challenges and what we can do about them,” Paje said. “We should never get tired of reminding the public that taking care of the environment is not the sole responsibility of the government.”

Secretary Paje is expected to make a report on the state of the Philippine environment on April 21 during the opening of the three-day Earth Day camping to be participated in by students from public high schools in Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Cavite at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City.

This year, over one billion people in 192 countries will commemorate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, the world’s biggest grassroots movement. The theme of Earth Day 2015 is “It’s our turn to lead.”

2015 promises to be one of the most exciting years in environmental history with world leaders expected to gather in Paris, France, at the end of the year in an attempt at a new global climate deal.

“With a significant meeting taking place in Paris in December, the choice of this year’s theme is very timely and appropriate. It seeks to harness the power of Earth Day to compel the world to recognize the urgency of responding to climate change, while uniting people around the globe into a powerful call to action,” Paje said.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and its partners, led by the Earth Day Network Philippines (EDNP), have lined up a series of events, climaxing in a whole-day festivity at the NAPWC on April 22.

At least 2,000 people are expected to attend the event which will be highlighted by a cultural show dubbed “Sandiwang: Isang Diwa sa Pagdiriwang ng Kalikasan ,” signing of agreement between the DENR and Dazzling Lite Enterprises for the implementation of “1 Tube, 1 Tree” project, and a concert featuring local artists.

Dazzling Lite, distributor of low emitting diode (LED) tube light, has committed to plant and grow one tree for every tube light sold in support of the government’s National Greening Program.

To kick off the country’s Earth Day celebrations, the National Bicycle Organization (NBO) will lead on Sunday (April 19 ) a bicycle advocacy event called “Earth Day Ride: Community Ride for Clean Air and Road Sharing” within the 34-km route running through the cities of Quezon, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati and Manila.
Bikers are enjoined to be at the Tiendesitas shopping complex in Pasig City at 5:30 a.m. for the bike ride etiquette and safety protcols to be given by NBO Director Benedict Camara. The ride is scheduled to start at around 6:30 a.m. towards the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, and vice-versa.

On April 21 to 23, over a hundred students from national high schools in Metro Manila, Bulacan and Cavite will hold a three-day Earth Day camping at the NAPWC. This will coincide with an exhibition showcasing practical ways to preserve the environment, recycling demonstrations, and a bazaar featuring eco-friendly consumer items and educational materials.
Other activities include:
  • April 24 – “3Rs Fashion Show” showcasing the viability of recyclable and reusable items as alternatives to traditional garment materials, to be held at the NAPWC;
  • April 25 – “Pro-Earth Run 2015” at the SM Mall of Asia grounds;
  • April 26 – “Summer Cycling Convergence: Festival of Fireflies,” a bicycle advocacy event organized by the Firefly Brigade;
  • April 30 – A tribute program recognizing individuals and organizations for their invaluable contribution to Philippine environmentalism, to be held at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City.
Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated every 22nd of April, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 in the United States.

It became a global event in 1990, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries. Since then, it has become the largest civic event in the world, celebrated simultaneously worldwide by people of all backgrounds, faiths and nationalities.

Earth Day 1990 paved the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the Philippines, the annual celebration of April 22 as Earth Day was declared through Presidential Proclamation No. 1481 signed in 2008, with the DENR as the main convenor of the celebration.

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