Welcome to SEARCA Knowledge Center on Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management in Southeast Asia (KC3)

Increased awareness on climate change pushed

Published on 2 May 2014 Philippines

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) yesterday urged the public to raise awareness on climate change as part of celebrations for Earth Day.

The DENR said that forests now cover 24 percent of the country’s land area, the second lowest in Southeast Asia.

“To stop the depletion of our forests, President Aquino has imposed a logging ban nationwide – the first in our history,” said DENR Undersecretary for Field Operations Demetrio Ignacio Jr., who delivered the “State of the Environment Report” on behalf of Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.

Paje is in The Hague, Netherlands attending the “Global Ocean Action Summit for Food Security.”

The government has initiated the National Greening Program, which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees in 1.5 million hectares within six years.

“For the past three years, we have planted more than 683,000 hectares with 400 million trees. This is equivalent to what we have planted in the last 23 years. This year, our target is to plant 200 million trees in 400,000 hectares. By the end of 2014, we would have planted more than one million hectares with trees,” Ignacio said.

He said the program boosts climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation efforts of the government.

“We need to strengthen our adaptation measures and contribute more to climate change mitigation. To do these, we need to unify and redouble our efforts. We have been successful in making our people aware of the environment. We need to translate this high level of awareness into actions,” Ignacio said.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and MyShelter Foundation marked Earth Day by lighting a footbridge along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City using solar-powered lamps.

TESDA director general Joel Villanueva said the 34 solar powered lamps would help make the footbridge, located near the Quezon City Parks and Wildlife area, safe for pedestrians.

“With the help of MMDA, this is TESDA’s contribution to the environment on Earth Day,” he said.

The MMDA said that other footbridges in the metropolis will be installed with solar street lamps.

In Bulacan, electric-powered vehicles highlighted yesterday’s observance of Earth Day.

A 13-seat e-jeepney that can run up to 70 kilometers was launched by the Philippine Utility Vehicle Inc. to help protect the environment from pollution.

The Philippines is an active participant of the Earth Day projects for 2014 to give due recognition to the almost 20 million Filipinos suffering from lack of access to electricity.

Source: The Philippine Star | 23 April 2014