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Legarda on Earth Month: Let’s Put our Environmental Commitments into Action

April 1, 2016

In observance of April as Month of Planet Earth, Senator Loren Legarda called on the government to honor its commitments to global agreements on sustainable development and climate action and encouraged citizens to do their share through everyday environment-friendly practices.

Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s (UNISDR) Global Champion for Resilience, said “last year, nations committed to the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the Sustainable Development Goals 2015-2030, and the Paris Climate Agreement. These commitments are laudable but we need to move forward fast by turning these commitments into action—understanding disaster and climate risks to provide suitable solutions, promoting inclusive and sustainable growth, and limiting global carbon emissions, among other urgent actions.

A staunch environmentalist, Legarda emphasized that the big decisions that lie ahead are not just for leaders and policymakers but also for everyone.

“Citizens should compel their leaders to act on these commitments but they must also do their own share. Sometimes we are overwhelmed because we think we cannot do anything about the climate crisis, but if every person would do one simple eco-friendly act everyday, then that would be seven billion global climate actions a day,” she said.

“These actions can be as simple as bringing eco-bags or reusable containers when going to market to avoid using plastic bags, using energy-efficient lights such as LED, or going meatless,” she added.

She also asked everyone to conserve water. “In our homes, we should adopt conservation practices like gathering and storing rainwater for daily chores. Turn off faucets properly. Leaking pipes and running toilets should be repaired immediately. In the community, water recycling facilities and rain collection systems can be built. Existing local water distribution systems must be properly maintained and watershed areas must be protected and rehabilitated.”

Legarda also underscored the importance of urban planning that promotes energy-efficient and cost-efficient transport modes, like walking, biking, taking public transport, and carpooling, whenever possible.

“These are just some ways by which we can make environmental protection and climate mitigation part of our daily life. These practices do not demand much from us. In fact, many of these can immediately be practiced as soon as today. It only requires both individual and collective effort. If we start doing one act a day on Earth Month, that would be 30 acts for one month. Then we go beyond Earth Month until these eco-friendly practices become second nature to us,” Legarda concluded.