“As we celebrate the 50th year of celebrating Earth Day amidst the Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is my challenge to families to be creative and possibly come up with fifty actions or commitments to show our love for Mother Earth in the comfort of their respective homes,” says Eugenia N. Bautista, OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services and concurrent Division Chief of the Conservation and Development of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Eastern Visayas.

The entire global community celebrates Earth Day with the theme “Earth Day Everyday for #Climate Action” to focus on the need for a collective action to combat the detrimental effect of climate change even as it is also facing the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been noticed that actions to impose lockdown on many countries because of the virus has resulted to clearer skies and more breathable air with less carbon emitting engines running on the streets and on the seas as well those operating on factories. As a consequence of reduced human activities, bodies of water are now less polluted and the environment is gaining momentum to flourish once again. “With people in their homes and industries either on standstill or at a slower pace, the earth seems to be healing itself. Maybe we can pick a lesson or two from this on how to improve our relationship with nature,” says OIC-ARD for Technical Services Bautista.

Just as climate change affects the lives and properties of millions of people because of long droughts, floods and strong typhoons, COVID-19 is also a global killer having infected around 2.5 million people with numbers of those who succumbed to the virus already reaching 165,000 and the number continues to rise. In a statement, DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that “in both COVID 19 and climate change, our survival is at stake. The urgency of the need for concerted and comprehensive action, without waiting for the problem to peak or to impact millions more of people, is the same.”

While every April 22 is celebrated as Earth Day to memorialize how 50 years ago people from college campuses and hundreds of cities in United States took to the streets to protest degradation of the environment and push for its greater protection, everybody is enjoined to make every day as Earth Day. “Let us challenge all nations, including ours, to take decisive climate action. After all, this has long been overdue,” says Sec. Cimatu