The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will lead the local celebration of two important global environmental events this September: the International Coastal Cleanup Day and the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu called on Filipinos to take part in the twin celebration seeking to raise public awareness on the protection of the seas and the ozone layer, both will be held on September 16.
“These two global environmental events will not only educate Filipinos about the current situation of the environment, but also heighten the consciousness of the general public on the dangers that may come if we do not properly take care of our water resources and the ozone layer,” Cimatu said.
In the National Capital Region, simultaneous clean-up activities will be held in Manila Bay near the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City, Centennial Park and Fish Port in Navotas, Pinagsabugan creek in Malabon, Pasig River and at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area.
The DENR advises participants in clean-up activities to bring their own industrial or garden gloves, reusable containers and utensils, and wear comfortable clothes. Children aged 16 years old and below are discouraged to join the activity.
With the theme “Sama-sama para sa Karagatan,” this year’s International Coastal Cleanup Day is organized by the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau, in partnership with the International Coastal Cleanup Philippines under the Washington-based environmental advocacy group Ocean Conservancy, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
The institutional partners include the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Education, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the Department of Tourism.
Now on its 31st year, the event aims to engage people to remove trash from beaches and waterways around the world, identify the sources of the debris and change the behavioral patterns that contribute to pollution.
The observance of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer coincides with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.
This year’s theme is “Caring for the life under the sun” and the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau has lined up some activities, including seminars and workshops on the inventory of greenhouse gases (GHG) in relation to the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Montreal Protocol and the Kigali Agreement.
A global climate deal reached in Rwanda last year, the Kigali Agreement is an amendment to the 1987 Montreal Protocol which aims to phase out hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, a family of potent GHG by the late 2040s.
On September 14, the United Nations Environment Program will launch the website for its newest campaign www.ozoneheroes.org, as well as #OzoneHeroes that will be used in social media to raise awareness on the accomplishments of the Montreal Protocol.
The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is intended to spread awareness of the depletion of the ozone and search for solutions to preserve it. (DENR/RJB/Susan De Leon/PIA-NCR)