Legarda: Filipino youth role is crucial in preserving PH biodiversity, environment

August 11, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda urged the Filipino youth to continue doing their share in preserving the Philippines’ rich biodiversity as she underscored the great potential of every individual in safeguarding the country’s future through the protection of the environment.

Legarda asserted this as she spoke before the participants of the 2023 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Forum, where she emphasized the role of the youth in the conservation of the environment and keeping sustainable biodiversity, which are considered crucial in maintaining a well-balanced life, not only in the Philippines but also in the Southeast Asian region.

“With this, all of you are heroes. I applaud each and every one of you for the effort you have already put forward today. I am making an earnest call to action. You are here because of your concern, your desire to see change,” the senator remarked.

In an effort to recognize their valuable contributions, the four-term senator announced the nationwide launch of the Youth Biodiversity Heroes of the Philippines, which aims to highlight the valuable contributions and actions of the youth as environmental champions.

“Heroes do not set out to undertake acts of heroism. They merely apply themselves to the world, to the problems their communities face, to the areas outside their comfort zone, and the unknown. They know success is not a certainty, but they know that even in failure, invaluable lessons emerge,” she said.

“These then make up an education that leaves marks in the path meant to indicate the best strategies, things to avoid, and profound benefits to those who will tread those paths after them,” Legarda added.

Likewise, the senator remarked that one cannot be considered an ‘environmental hero’ if no one will maximize collaboration, embody leadership, and acknowledge the contributions of others. She encouraged a whole-of-society approach in undertaking these endeavors for the Philippine biodiversity to thrive.

“I invite you to stand, express your dedication and passion, your refusal to accept that we are helpless, and your pledge to collaborate and move mountains. With pride and conviction, we must say to ourselves, we will not shirk the duty to protect our home and community,” Legarda said.

For her significant contributions to biodiversity efforts in the country, Legarda was recognized as an ASEAN Biodiversity Hero on November 2022 in Bogor, Indonesia.

The 2023 ASEAN Biodiversity Heroes Forum is a brainchild of the veteran senator, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Laureate, and is spearheaded by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). It plays a pivotal role in ensuring that biodiversity is on the radar in the work of the ASEAN, in the priorities of each member country, and in the public’s sights. (End)