On the 32nd year when the country commemorates Philippine Environment Month, environment officials enjoin the nation to join in the collective effort to address urgent environmental concerns.
In his message to people across Central Visayas, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Executive Director Paquito D. Melicor Jr., echoed the agency’s goals in this year’s celebration which has the theme “Protect nature, Sustain Our Future.”
DENR issued a call for action for everyone to safeguard the future by making sure that nature is protected, conserved and preserved now, not by the generally mass action of tree planting, trooping to beaches for coastal clean-ups, and large community mobilizations.
By action, the DENR means those small things that “one can initiate to produce good impact on the environment.”
And in times of the coronavirus pandemic “as we slowly adjust to the new normal, let us rethink our ways and initiate positive changes that will help improve our way of life and our environment,” the DENR regional chief said.
Melicor said that while stay-at-home orders continue to be in place, limited activities have reduced road traffic resulting to improved air quality levels due to lesser air pollutants.
He urged everyone to make this “healing Mother Earth” an opportunity to bounce back and work together on how to sustain and reduce environmental degradation.
DENR said with current restrictions for mass gathering, initiatives need not be big and fancy.
“We have found that biking and walking as an alternative to transportation in the absence of buses and jeepneys in time of COVID -19 as among the small things,” said Melicor.
They suggested planting a tree, raising awareness about eco-friendly lifestyle choices, organizing a community-wide bike to work, collecting recyclables in the community and taking them to the recycling center, organizing a carpool, recycling books, donating recycled goods, use of energy efficient light bulbs at home, school and community centers, creating compost in your backyard are just some of the things we can do to help protect nature and sustain our future.
And even with the COVID-19 restrictions, DENR has also put up a few pro-environment activities which they hope to implement with the least number of people mobilized.
Those activities include televised couch discussions, video blogging contests, online spoken poetry contests, environment talks, webinar, backyard planting, and gardening promotion on arbor day and environment hour initiatives like switching off non-essential lights and appliances for an hour and several energy conservation and climate change mitigation activities.
“We are confident that in close collaboration with our partners, NGOs, academe, religious organizations, local government units, civic organizations, youth groups and the general public, we will give a positive impact to protect nature and sustain our future,” Melicor said. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)