A stronger resolve to fight climate change

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


TIMES have changed, and it’s time to change. It’s time to destroy apathy by changing the people’s mindset on climate change.

This is the collective stand of the environmental advocates led by partner agencies Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in their renewed fight against climate change.

For the whole Western Visayas, the advocacy campaign was launched yesterday at the DENR Regional Office in Iloilo City. For Negros Occidental, the campaign was launched at the Planta Hotel in Bacolod also yesterday.

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The partnership project is under the memorandum of agreement signed by the DENR and the PIA to “conduct an extensive and intensive climate change advocacy campaign to strengthen partnership among communities for climate change adaptation.”

PIA regional director Ma. Janet Mesa said the theme, “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na Para Magbago,” aims to change the mindset of the youth, who are its target audience, on climate change.

“The campaign shall provide the thematic advocacy brand as focal agenda for all DENR’s environmental programs and efforts,” she said.

They aim to do this through an “extensive and intensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) campaign” by engaging the youth as active proponents of the campaign, Mesa added.

The campaign will also utilize a two-pronged advocacy tagging for strategic presence and visibility for the campaign and as a strategic implementation to strengthen brand equity, she said.

Schools, offices and establishments will also be tagged as makakalikasan (pro-environment) or “LaKAsLIKASAN”, a coined term for Lakas and Kalikasan with the objective of creating appreciation of natural elements and environs.

Mesa also urged the public to visit and “like” the campaign’s official Facebook page “LaKAsLIKASAN” which shall serve as the online social mobilization mechanism for various activities and events.

Aside from the IEC campaign, the DENR and the PIA will implement reinforced activities like tree-planting, now dubbed “Punoan” which highlights the act of not just planting, but making sure trees really grow.

Members of the Negros media also sealed their commitment to be advocates of the campaign.

The pledge of commitment states that adaptation and mitigation are the only two options left if the people want to protect themselves from the effects of climate change.

For his part, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office head Andres Untal said that climate change has been evident 10 years ago but it was only last year, or in November 2013, that its severe impact was felt when super typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayas.

“We cannot avoid climate change, it is here and now, the abnormal climate before is the new normal,” Untal said at the launching.

“It’s not just about protecting the environment; it’s about protecting ourselves, by protecting our environment. It is time to care and do our share. We have to adapt because we have no choice. We have to adapt to be resilient,” Untal added. (With PIA reports)

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 26, 2014.

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