Issue of October 15, 2017
Mt. Province

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DENR, media unite to boost awareness on climate change
by DENR release

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has partnered with Catholic Church-owned Radio Veritas in providing the public with better understanding of climate change and other environmental issues through a weekly radio program.

The program, entitled “Ang Tinig Klima,” and aired every Saturday from 8 to 9 a.m., is hosted by Radio Veritas (846 Khz AM band) anchor Riza Mendoza and Atty. Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, DENR Undersecretary for Climate Change.

Its theme, “Nagbabago na ang panahon, panahon na para magbago,” draws inspiration from Laudato si’ (On care for our common home), the encyclical letter of Pope Francis addressing human’s destruction of the environment and its threat to human’s relationship with nature and one another.

“This program aims for values transformation. There is so much we need to change in our lifestyle to prevent further degradation of our environment and to address climate change,” Teh said.

She said people can start with waste segregation and proper waste disposal, noting that the Philippines is the sixth contributor of marine litter in the world and ranks third in the list of countries most vulnerable to climate change.

DENR Sec. Roy A. Cimatu earlier said that  among the priority thrusts of his administration are solid waste management, clean air, and clean water. “When we disregard these things, we will face more serious problems in the future,” he said.

Cimatu, however, realized early on that the fight against climate change requires unity among the government, the people, and all sectors of society. “Uniting for the environment, for Mother Nature, is not just a battle cry or a call of the moment. It is a lifelong necessity, particularly in this era of climate change, when every individual is expected to contribute to solutions that require mass participation,” he said.

Teh said the DENR-chaired Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction has prepared a road map that identified as a primary action the need to make communities and infrastructure resilient to climate change.

“It is important for communities to adapt to climate change because this is now the new normal,” Teh said. 

On its pilot episode last Oct. 7, the program discussed Climate Change 101 with guests Rosalina de Guzman of Pagasa and Yzabella Nazal of Worldwide Fund (WWF) for Nature Youth Council.

De Guzman said climate change is based on a 30-year data on temperature and rainfall monitored by Pagasa. “Data from Pagasa stations all over the country show the rise in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall,” De Guzman said.

She added that there has also been a marked difference in temperature with more warm days and lesser cold days. “Typhoons get their strength from water bodies. When the seas are warmer, stronger typhoons are formed,” De Guzman said.

Temperature rise, she said, has also melted glaciers and caused sea level rise. 

Teh added that given the country’s long coastline, some 822 coastal municipalities are vulnerable to sea level rise and susceptible to storm surges.

For her part, Nazal said the youth play a crucial role in caring for nature through simple and practical means.

She encouraged everyone to “use eco-bags, metal straws instead of plastic straws, support sustainable tourism and renewable energy sources.”

“Use the social media to remind people of the need to conserve energy,” she added.

An international non-government organization with focus on environmental conservation, WWF is the organizer of the Earth Hour, an annual event held every March that seeks to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by switching off electricity for an hour.

“From 60 (minutes), it’s now 60+ which calls on everyone to be responsible and conscious of energy conservation beyond the Earth Hour,” Nazal said.

Other topics lined up for Ang Tinig Klima are Philippines’ response to climate change, water pollution featuring the DENR’s adopt-an-estero/water body program, solid waste management, biodiversity loss, among other topics.

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