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Philippines Joins Earth Day Today

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The Philippines once again joins more than 180 countries and almost half a billion people across the globe in the celebration of the 39th International Earth Day today Wednesday, April 22, with a theme that focuses on the pressing problems of global warming and climate change.
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With the international theme, “Green Generation: Towards Low Carbon Development for Survival Against Climate Change,” the Earth Day 2009 aims to educate the people in reducing dependence on fossil fuels by developing carbon-free and renewable sources of energy to avert the effects of global warming.
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The theme is also in sync with negotiations to lay down a new table of greenhouse gas emission (GHG) cuts for all nations during the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.
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The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has adopted a localized theme “Tubig at Lupa, Buhayin; Hangin, Linisin; Batas, Tuparin.”
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At 9 a.m., Earth Day celebration will be at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, to be led by the DENR, together with Earth Day Network-Philippines, other non-government organizations and the private sector. DENR Secretary Jose Atienza Jr. is also expected to deliver his State of the Philippine Environment Address at the SM Mall of Asia.
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A Eucharistic celebration for the Integrity of Creation is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. at the Pandacan Church in Manila. It will be officiated by Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales.
Meanwhile, the Sagip Pasig Movement will conduct a fluvial parade on Pasig River from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. at Plaza Mexico, Intramuros, Manila, to call the attention of Filipinos on the state of Philippine waters.
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Simultaneous with other activites, SM Malls will hold various activities for children with the goal of making them aware of how to contribute to environmental protection and conservation.
Likewise, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, together with several partners, will host several events for Earth Day.
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International nature conservation group Haribon Foundation Inc. has set an environmental exhibit featuring biodiversity conservation with story-telling for kids.
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There will also be a signing of memorandum of agreements between DENR and the city government of Mandaluyong, and between Gawad Kalinga and Shell Philippines.
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The Youth Environment Advocate Network will also be launched during event. The special day will also be highlighted by the dismantling of illegal fish structures in the Laguna Lake, and cleaning up of Manila Bay.
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On April 24, President Arroyo, as chairwoman of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change, will lead a special Ecology Mass at 10 a.m. at the NBN-4 studio in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City, followed by the awarding ceremonies for the Fr. Neri Satur Awards for Environmental Heroism.
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The President will hand over this year’s awards to individuals, groups, and entities that contributed to the reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
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Some of the awardees include, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, Infanta Bishop Julio Labayen, Joey Ayala, Francis Magalona, Timmy Cruz, Richard Gutierrez, Kim Atienza, Angelo Palmones, and Clemente Bautista.
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As one of the activities for the Earth Day, MalacaƱang launched last Monday the “Carbon Cutting Coalition versus Climate Change,” a national advocacy movement that will actively participate in cutting carbon emissions in all sectors of society, and will call on all government agencies to help save Mother Earth.
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“The Coalition was formed to find solutions to the pressing problem of global warming and climate change,” Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change Secretary Heherson Alvarez said.
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He also said a flag, which features the official logo of the coalition, will be the country’s “seal of good housekeeping,” in as far as climate change solutions are concerned.
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Earth Day was started in 1970 led by former United States Senator Gaylord Nelson.
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The Earth Day celebration in the Philippines has become an annual event after former President Corazon Aquino signed Proclamation No. 553, proclaiming April 22, 1990 as “Earth Day 1990.”
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President Arroyo, on April 22, 2007, declared the annual celebration as “Philippines’ Earth Day.”

-source: Manila Bulletin

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