DENR spearheads Environment Month celebration

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By Claro A. Lanipa (ALT/CAL/PIA9-Zamboanga del Sur)

PAGADIAN CITY, 7 June (PIA) – The month of June has been declared Philippine Environment Month by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 237 signed in 1998 by then President Corazon C. Aquino, with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as primary focal agency, implementing different activities.

This year’s theme is “Go Wild for Life, Combat Biodiversity Loss #GreenEnvironmentGawingForever.”

“We celebrate Environment Month this year with a renewed and strengthened conviction to care for the land we live on, the air we breathe, and the water which gives us life. More than any time in this planet’s history, it is now that we must put our acts together to combat increasing threats to our ecosystem,” DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, DENR-IX kicked off the celebration in Lake Maragang Rainforest Park, Mt. Timolan Protected Landscape (MTPL), a declared protected area by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 354 signed on August 14, 2000 pursuant to Republic Act No. 7586, also known as the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992.

Regional Director Arleigh J. Adorable said, “the establishment of the NIPAS is primarily aimed to combat biodiversity loss and Mount Timolan is a perfect venue to launch the celebration of the Environment Month.”

The Philippines is part of the 18 “mega-diverse” countries in the world, and considered as a biodiversity hotspot. It also contains two-thirds of the earth’s biodiversity.

“Combating biodiversity loss and being an advocate of wildlife protection starts with being vigilant. Report any illegal trade activities, any plant or animal species that are in the verge of abuse, maltreatment, or any illegal activities being held in protected areas to agencies like the DENR, World Wildlife Fund and to local government units,” the DENR official urged everyone.

Other environmental celebrations being observed in the month of June are as follows: June 5 – World Environment Day; June 4-10 Philippine Eagle Week; June 8 - World Ocean Day; June 9 - Coral Triangle Day; June 17 - World Day to Combat Desertification; and National Arbor Day on June 25.