Environmentalist and Senatorial candidate Loren Legarda called on all Filipinos to be defenders and stewards of creation for the next generation as the world marks Earth Day on Friday, April 22.
“We should not simply appreciate our planet and all life in it. We have to protect it, we have to fight for it, and as this year’s theme tells us, we have to invest in it,” Legarda said during the Pagyabong 2022: Enrichment Tree Planting Activity” held at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City.
With this year’s global theme “Invest in our Planet,” Legarda, who is currently serving as Antique’s congresswoman, said that existing environmental laws should be strictly implemented like the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018, which she authored and declared 94 natural parks, protected landscapes or seascapes, and reserves as protected areas under national law.
“The enactment of the ENIPAS measure has benefited protected areas in the country, by giving more access to funding for conservation programs as well as the prosecution of prohibited acts enumerated in the law,” she said.
Legarda, the only candidate who is an acknowledged environment and climate champion (locally and internationally) and author of multiple landmark environment and climate laws, strengthened her call to all sectors – government, private, and civil groups to invest and engage in projects that will help in solving issues such overexploitation of natural resources and pollution.
“In light of the fast-declining state of our environment due to our destructive ways and the intensifying effects of the climate crisis, let us be the Earth’s defenders who are needed today and tomorrow,” she said. “Let us continue to help bring back the life of our planet, so our children and future generations can also marvel at its beauty. Patuloy nating payabungin ang ganda at sigla ng ating kalikasan,” Legarda concluded.