The health of planet Earth is everybody’s concern. Last Earth Day, that is yearly held on April 22, biodiversity and environment groups have initiated activities and programs to highlight the need to protect and conserve the Earth and it rich natural resources.
Asean Centre for Biodiversity Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim noted in a statement that biodiversity is the variety of life on earth and the interactions between living organisms and their environment.
“It includes not only the number of species but also their genetic and functional diversity,” Lim pointed out.
However, human activities—such as deforestation, habitat destruction, overfishing and pollution—have significantly impacted biodiversity, threatening the survival of many species and disrupting ecosystem services that support human life, she said.
In this year’s celebration of Earth Day with the theme “Invest in our Planet,” ACB highlighted biodiversity research and knowledge-sharing as critical investments for the planet’s sustainability and wellbeing.
According to Lim, understanding biodiversity and its functions is fundamental to developing effective conservation strategies.
“Biodiversity research can provide us with essential knowledge about the distribution, abundance, and ecology of species and ecosystems, which is necessary to prioritize conservation efforts, formulate and implement relevant policies, identify critical habitats and species, and evaluate the effectiveness of conservation interventions,” she explained
Moreover, studying the interactions between species and their environment can help us understand the ecological processes that maintain ecosystem function and services, such as nutrient cycling, water regulation, and climate regulation—all of which are critical to our survival, she added.
For its part, Greenpeace Philippines and its local volunteer groups in Iloilo celebrated Earth Day by joining activities commemorating the event in Iloilo City and in Capiz City, that highlighted the importance of participation and collaboration with local groups and communities in amplifying calls for climate action, it said in a news release.
Greenpeace volunteers from Iloilo participated in a clean-up and mangrove planting along Iloilo City’s esplanade. The event was organized by Sigma Rho Alumni Association, one of the many civil society organizations in the city with advocacies for the environment.
“Iloilo City couldn’t have been a more ideal place to start Greenpeace’s first official local volunteer group,” said Greenpeace local group leader, Jarrah Brillantes.
“The social movement here is flourishing and there are a lot of local groups here that are advocating for the environment. They are continuously looking for a venue and a tangible approach for promoting environmental protection,” Brillantes added.
In Roxas City, Capiz, Greenpeace collaborated with The Tree Huggers Movement Inc. (TTHMI) for the event “Bagtas Kalikasan: Capiz Moving Forward for Mother Earth.”
The volunteers joined the march along with other groups. Greenpeace campaigners Oscar Gador and Rhea Jane Mallari also held a workshop on creating climate and urban justice-themed slogans and posters which the participants used during the unity walk for the environment, Greenpace said.
“We are grateful to The Tree Huggers Movement for inviting Greenpeace to this event,” Mallari said. “It is a privilege to share our experience in Greenpeace and encourage the Capiznon youth in expressing their call on the need for climate action in their cities.”
TTHMI was founded by volunteers united by their common vision of creating a greener and cleaner Philippines through education and community participation. The group is led by Atty. Emilyn Arboleda-Depon, who has been recognized for her environmental initiatives, winning in East-West Center Earth Optimism Southeast Asia 2020 and an Eco-Business A-List Most Effective Sustainable Leader in the Asia Pacific Region in 2021.
Utility company, Manila Water, together with its partners, gathered once again in the La Mesa Nature Reserve in Quezon City, marking the second year of its “Lakbay Kalikasan: Hike and Bike for Nature.”
Over 120 participants joined the event, which gathered stakeholders from the government and private sectors, hiking and biking enthusiasts, and the public to take part in protecting the environment and the resources that sustain lives by adopting and maintaining trees inside the La Mesa Nature Reserve, Manila Water’s news release said.
The hiking featured a 4.5-to-6-kilometer trail, highlighting the biodiversity inside the La Mesa Nature Reserve, while biking took the cyclists to the scenic 9-kilometer trail of the watershed area.
This event was part of Manila Water’s move in integrating sustainability in its operations.
Manila Water’s 3-point Sustainability Agenda touches majority of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, adhering to calls for action to end environmental abuse and climate change.