Green Pope-A A +A
By Rox Peña
Thursday, March 21, 2013
I READ an article in the religionnews.com explaining why Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio chose the name Pope Francis. The new Pope was quoted as saying “And this is how the name came to me, in my heart: Francis of Assisi. The man of the poor, the man of peace, the man who loves and cares for creation – in this moment when we don’t have a very good relationship with creation, no?”
Many believe that Pope Francis, just like his two predecessors John Paul II and Benedict XVI, will give attention to environmental issues. Even before assuming the leadership of the Catholic Church, he is known to have a simple and eco-friendly lifestyle. Pictures of him riding a subway in going to his office are all over the internet. He also cooks his own meal and lives in a simple apartment.
So expect encyclicals tackling environmental issues in the future.
We have twin environmental events this weekend. Today, March 22, is World Water Day. Events are organized on or around this day to increase people's awareness of water's importance in environment, agriculture, health and trade.
Agenda 21, a worldwide action plan for areas where human activities may affect the Environment, recommended various measures including creating World Water Day. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on December 22, 1992, declaring March 22 to be the World Day for Water each year.
Countries were encouraged to develop activities to highlight local needs for water. The first World Day for Water was observed in 1993.
Here in the Philippines, the celebration is spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The global event is celebrated locally on the theme, “Tubig Para sa Lahat, Lahat Para sa Tubig” (Water for All, All for Water).
This year’s festivities kicked off with the opening ceremonies for World Water Week on March 18-22 at the SM Mall of Asia, featuring an inter-agency exhibit and an audio-visual presentation.
The second important event is Earth Hour, which will be tomorrow, March 23 at 8:30 p.m. Cities from around the world, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, are expected to dim their lights for at least one hour to call for action on climate change.
Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off lights for 60 minutes to deliver a powerful message on the need to address climate change. Earth Hour began in 2007 as a single-city event. Today, it has become the largest yearly environmental mass action participated by 152 countries.
The Philippines has topped town and city participation since 2009 and has earned the title of Earth Hour Hero Country. Organizers headed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) are gunning for the country’s fifth consecutive first-place finish.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 22, 2013.