Earth Day 2014-A A +A
By Rox Peña
Thursday, April 24, 2014
LAST Tuesday, April 22, the world celebrated the 44th Earth Day. It is the single biggest environmental celebration in the world participated in by more than 190 countries and over a billion people worldwide. The international activities are coordinated by the Earth Day Network (www.earthday.org).
This environmental event begun in the United Sates in 1970 when 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. The movement led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.
In 1990, Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
In the Philippines, the celebration is spearheaded by the Earth Day Network Philippines, Inc. which is now chaired by my Zero Waste Recycling Movement colleague Bert Guevarra. Proclamation No. 1481 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2008 made April 22 of every year as permanent Earth Day celebration in the country.
Every year, the Earth Day celebration in the Philippines has a local theme.
Earth Day 2000 - "New Leaf, New Life"
Earth Day 2001 - "Green Vote"
Earth Day 2002 - "Inang Kalikasan, Suportahan Ta Ka"
Earth Day 2003 - "R.A. 9003 Urgent: Do not delay"
Earth Day 2004 - "Let the Healing Begin"
Earth Day 2005 - "GREEN CHECK: Stop Earth Abuse"
Earth Day 2006 - "Mea Culpa Mother Earth"
Earth Day 2007 - "The Environment & the Youth"
Earth Day 2008 - "Water is Life"
Earth Day 2009 - "Tubig at Lupa Buhayin, Hangin Linisin, Batas Tuparin"
Earth Day 2010 - "Hamon ng Panahon: Climate Change; Sampung Milyung Solusyon"
Earth Day 2011 - "Earth Day Everyday"
Earth Day 2012 – “Earth Day Every Day, Everywhere”
Earth Day 2013 - “Earth Day Everyday, Everywhere, for Everyone”.
This year’s theme is same as last year. This is to emphasize that caring for the environment must be the concern of every member of the human population and he or she should make every day Earth Day.
As part of the Earth Day activities, Earth Day Network Philippines staged its first-ever fun run, PRO-EARTH RUN 2014, last April 12, 2014 at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. It’s an advocacy run to encourage people to Protect, Respect, and Oversee the sensible and sustainable care for Mother Earth. More than 5,000 runners joined the event.
Here in Pampanga, I have not heard of any activity initiated by the DENR Regional Office. In the past, Earth Day was celebrated with big various activities with the participation of the private sector.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on April 25, 2014.