Filipinos urged to observe Earth Hour, Earth Day

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Friday, March 27, 2015


SENATOR Juan Edgardo Angara has filed a resolution reaffirming the Senate's support for the objectives of the Earth Hour and Earth Day and encouraging Filipinos to observe these celebrations to combat the effects of climate change in the country.

"This year, Earth Hour has a global focus on climate change. Given our vulnerability to natural disasters, the objectives of these celebrations are particularly relevant to our country," Angara said.

The Philippines was named the top country most affected by climate change in 2013, based on the 2015 Global Climate Risk Index study conducted by environmental organization German Watch.

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Cambodia, India and Mexico are also in the list of countries most affected by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heat waves.

Based on the EM-DAT International Database by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, from 2010 to 2014 alone, the total economic damage suffered by the country from natural disasters rose to more than US $14 billion or P626 billion from US $1.7 billion or P76 billion from 2000 to 2009.

It also showed that the number of recorded deaths in the country due to natural disasters rose from roughly 7,000 between 2000 and 2009 to 12,000 between 2010 and 2014.

Senator Loren Legarda, author of the Climate Change Act, said Filipinos should unite with the rest of the country in an effort to save energy, reduce carbon emission and raise awareness on sustainability and environmental challenges.

"The Earth Hour campaign shows us what each citizen can do. It tells us that every individual is capable of protecting our planet. Small acts cannot be underestimated because these small acts, when out together, create big changes," Legarda said.

Earth Hour is a global annual environmental movement encouraging individuals, communities, households, and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for an hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday of March, as a symbol of their commitment to the planet.

The Philippines has been participating in the annual Earth Hour since 2009 and has earned the title of "Earth Hour Hero Country" from 2009 to 2013 for topping participation records with over 15 million Filipinos joining the event.

On the hand, Earth Day, which is an annual event celebrated worldwide every April 22, seeks to broaden the base support for environmental programs rekindle public commitment, and build community activism around the world through a broad range of events and activities.

In the country, the Earth Day Network Philippines and the Alliance for Green Philippines are composed of more than 2,000 entities from different sectors, organizations, local government units, businesses, churches and schools all working for environmental protection, conservation, and awareness.

"Our support for Earth hour and Earth Day should not waver. I call on the public to show once again to the world our sincerity in combating climate change," said Angara.

"More importantly, we must go beyond one hour in showing our commitment to the planet by taking accountability for our ecological footprint and engaging in dialogue and resource exchange to provide real solutions to our environmental challenges," he added. (Sunnex)

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