DENR leads Earth Day 2017 with environment, climate literacy drive

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), together with Earth Day Network Inc. (EDNP), takes the lead in this year's celebration of Earth Day with the theme, "Environmental and Climate Literacy."

The whole day activity scheduled at the La Mesa Eco-Park in Quezon City on April 22 starts off with Sandiwang at 6:30 a.m. at the park's Amphitheater.

Sandiwang is a solemn rite of thanksgiving and worship by diverse religious and cultural groups. It will be marked by prayer and meditation for the healing of the earth.

The interfaith activity will be followed by a message from Environment Secretary Gina Lopez. Other officials expected to deliver messages are Hon. Elizabeth A. Delarmente, councilor and chairperson of the Committee on Parks and Environment of Quezon City, and Mr. Isagani Serrano, president of Earth Day Network Philippines.

The program will be held simultaneously with a series of activities including the PRO Earth Run 2017: Forest Trail Edition, bird watching, tree canopy walk, and on-the spot art session in the same venue.

The morning's activities will coincide with the launch of the Forest Restoration Project at Clark Green City in Capas, Tarlac.

Events continue in the afternoon with exhibits, a tree canopy walk and band performances.

The PUP Bagong Himig Serenata will also render song numbers.

Elen Basug, chief of the Environmental Education and Information Division (EEID) of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), a line agency under the DENR, said that following this year's theme, the DENR has embarked on an intensified information drive to ensure that the Filipino youth, especially the students, are environment-and climate-literate and are “a voice for change.”

The drive also supports Earth Day Network Inc.'s (EDNI) campaign to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and its impacts.

In time for the graduation season, Basug advised college graduates to “take into consideration the environment in whatever career or profession they take.”

She noted that schools today encourage students to put value on the environment.

On April 28, the EMB will sponsor an exhibit and concert for the environment called “Earth Day Jam” at the Rizal Park in Manila. An awareness activity for watershed ecosystems will be held in Angat Dam, Norzagaray, Bulacan on the same day.

The EMB has launched on Monday (April 17) the 2017 Design Contest, "Infographics for the Environment.” The contest, to run until June 1, invites technology enthusiasts to create engaging environmental information – clean air, clean water, solid wastes, climate change, chemicals, lead poisoning, hazardous wastes, ozone layer and environmental education – into a social-friendly message that will appeal to all audiences.

Leading to the Earth Day celebration, the DENR sponsored a coastal clean-up at the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area on April 8.

Mangrove tree planting was also held in Calatagan, Batangas on April 18 led by the EMB and the DENR Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service.

Earth Day is celebrated worldwide every year on April 22. It is the single biggest environmental celebration in the world participated in by more than 150 countries and over a billion people. It is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 in the United States.

In the Philippines, Earth Day is celebrated by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 2008-1481.

April is also observed as Earth Month.

Visit http://www.facebook.com/EMB.EEID for details on EMB-sponsored activities. 

DENR to host forum on biodiversity, mining

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is hosting a biodiversity and mining forum with focus on the issues of sustainability, social justice and equity on the extraction and use of natural resources for economic needs.

Slated for tomorrow, April 19, at the DENR Social Hall in Quezon City, the event dubbed as "Forum on Biodiversity and Mining: The Way Forward" will bring together around 250 participants from various offices and units of the DENR, including field offices, and representatives of non-government organizations.

DENR Secretary Gina Lopez is expected to welcome the participants and guests, and give the opening message.

Lopez, a long-time environment advocate, has made it clear that she is for biodiversity conservation and her commitment is to protect natural habitats and wild flora and fauna across the country.

The environment chief also clarified that she is not against mining but to the suffering of people in mining communities.

She said irresponsible mining does not bring social justice, which is the heart and soul of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.

Invited resource speakers include William Holden, an associate professor of geography at the University of Calgary in Alberta Canada. He will discuss the topic of mining and natural hazard vulnerability in the Philippines.

Other resource speakers and topics at the forum are Dr. Edwino Fernando of UP Los Baños Department of Forest and Biological Sciences (phytomining and terrestrial ecosystem) and Dr. Rex Victor Cruz of UPLB Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (watershed ecosystem);

Environmental lawyer Antonio A. Oposa, Jr. will give a video message on environmental law in the Philippines.

The mining sector is currently faced with the situation where there is a growing awareness on the importance of preserving the country's rich biodiversity.

Many have raised concerns on whether mining and biodiversity conservation can co-exist and if mining should be stopped to preserve the natural resources.

The upcoming forum conforms with Section 38 of the 2017 General Appropriations Act, which mandates all government agencies, and local government units to "ensure that protection of biological diversity is integrated and mainstreamed into their development programs and projects.” ### 

 

Presentations during the DENR Forum on Biodiversity and Mining (April 19, 2017)

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