Earth Day Message

 

of

 

RED Crizaldy M. Barcelo, CESO III

 

during

 

Jam for the Earth

 

Robinsons Marasbaras, Tacloban City

April 20, 2018

 

 

(Salutations)

 

It is with pride that I welcome you all here for our Jam for the Earth activity. It is but fitting that we celebrate and give tribute to Mother Earth, the only habitable planet that we share with other inhabitants all throughout the globe.

 

Every Earth Day should be a reminder to us of the need to be united and in solidarity with all citizens of the world to nurture and protect Mother Earth. After all, our responsibilities towards the Earth transcends politics, ideology, creed and race.

 

For so long a time, we had a not so ideal relationship with Mother Earth. We treated it as if its resources are inexhaustible and that it can absorb whatever abuse we throw at it without any dire consequences. But such is not the case. We are now faced with the problems brought about by global warming resulting to extreme weather events that continues to claim lives and properties. We have learned our lesson the hard way and so we try to come up with climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.

 

True enough, the threat to our planet Earth is real rather than imaginary. That is an undeniable fact. Put it differently, as laid down by former US Vice-President Al Gore, the threat is “an inconvenient truth”. We are being reminded to be serious in our collective task as stewards and caretakers of our planet.

 

Much is being asked from us – both grand and small. It could come from the enactment of government policies, international treaties and agreements, implementation of environmental laws and even changes as to how the corporate world and its industries operate.

 

But just as we make governments and big businesses accountable for their environmental neglect, we also have to look deep into ourselves and realize that we too, can be made accountable. That each one of us has contributed to the degradation of our Mother Earth.

 

David Sarnoff, an American businessman and pioneer of American radio and television, once said, “man is still the greatest miracle and the greatest problem on this earth.” With the environmental problems besetting our society, the challenge to us posed by David Sarnoff is: are we going to continue to be a problem to our planet or can we weave miracles to rehabilitate it? We should willingly embrace the latter.

 

For this years’ Earth Day celebration, our theme is “Green the Cities, Green the Oceans: End Plastic Pollution.”

 

This is one specific and particular campaign that we all can pitch in.

 

Data provided by Earth Day Network is quite alarming. It would appear that since plastic was introduced, it has already reached 8.3 billion metric tons. From this, approximately 2 million single-use plastic like sando bags, straws and the like are being distributed worldwide every minute. In 2016 alone, the world’s plastics production totaled around 335 million metric tons and roughly half of that is destined for a single-use plastic product.

 

That’s a lot of plastic that is killing our environment. It is choking our oceans, poisoning our water sources and food supply and is affecting our health and well-being.

 

But all is not lost. There is so much we can do to combat the increasing use of plastic. We have the power to recycle, reduce, reuse, refuse and remove.

 

For one, we challenge women to lead in the reduction of plastic utilization. More often than not, it is the women that go to the supermarket to do their groceries. They are the power behind an orderly home. In particular, we challenge our women to promote the use of reusable ecobags, refuse the use of plastic straw and encourage members of your family to recycle the use of plastic. We can start doing this in our homes and with everybody doing it, its impact would be widespread and long-lasting.

 

To our young generation, the youth – you are the backbone and the future of our nation. Be a key player to this advocacy. Educate yourselves of your lifestyle and activities that are harmful to the environment and embrace change that promotes a green and healthy environment. Channel your young hearts and minds to come up with new ideas, fresh initiatives and other alternatives that will dramatically reduce the piling up of wastes in our environment. We believe in what you are capable of achieving. You have the strength and the resolve to lead this advocacy of reclaiming our cities and our oceans against harmful pollutions.

 

My point here is that there is much room for improvement. We have to join hands to end plastic pollution. This can be done if we put our hearts and our earnest effort to make it happen. Actually, we have no other viable option if we want to live in a healthy environment. This is the most logical choice. The present administration under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has shown its political will to clean our environment. And our office, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been mandated to lead, and lead we shall. But we all need the help we can get. This is not the concern of our Department alone but of everyone. So let us all contribute in cleaning our environment and help heal our suffering planet Earth.

 

I hope that this Jam for the Earth will be an avenue for us to be informed of our environmental problems, particularly, plastic pollution. May this result to a changed lifestyle that is critical in the irresponsible use plastic. More importantly, that this will be a start of more concrete actions for a responsible citizenry that cares for the integrity of creation.

 

So today, let us Jam for the Earth, have a meaningful celebration of Earth Day, and take the first step towards Greening our City, Greening our Oceans and End Plastic Pollution.

 

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat!