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Environmental restoration on spotlight during Environment Month celeb

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AS the country continues to grapple with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is focusing this year’s Environment Month celebration on raising environmental consciousness among Filipinos to protect lives and secure the future generation.

“We may not be able to turn back time, but we can restore nature by moving forward,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said in highlighting the celebration’s local theme, “Sama-samang pagkilos, sama-samang paghilom (Ikaw, Ako, Tayo ang Kalikasan).”

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Cimatu underscored the importance of different sectors working together to do sustainable actions for the environment as he noted how conservation of nature plays a key role in combatting climate change, biodiversity loss, and even health risks.

“As the Department sets the pace towards environmental restoration, we hope all of us from the communities and the different sectors of society support this direction through our own sustainable actions for our planet,” he added.

Just this month, the DENR set the example of progress after finally completing the closure of all 335 open dumpsites in the country in adherence to Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

“Beyond this celebration, let us be sustainable and progressive in taking care of the environment. Let us take steps in greening our spaces and cities, cleaning our oceans, reducing our plastic consumption, and all other ways we can help,” Cimatu said.

The Environment Month is celebrated every June by virtue of Proclamation No. 237 signed by then President Corazon Aquino on April 4, 1988. It coincides with World Environment Day on June 5.

World Oceans Day on June 8 and Coral Triangle Day on June 9 are also celebrated globally.

In support of these environment-focused celebrations, the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) has lined up several activities to celebrate and at the same time raise awareness among Filipinos to be responsible for the environment.

Throughout June, the DENR-EMB will be publishing infographics about marine plastic pollution through its social media pages to foster responsible solid waste behavior.

From June 5-10, Facebook followers of DENR-EMB can join “Greenvirogames,” which is a series of games that include Graphics Interchange Format or GIF and scavenger hunt activities.

Cash prizes and other freebies await the winners.

The Community Livelihood Training on Upcycling, which is expected to be attended by communities within Manila Bay, will be held on June 8, 15, and 22.

As one of the highlights of Environment Month, the DENR-EMB is also set to recognize the Regional Champions on Environmental Management through its Game Changer Awards on June 30.

The event aims to acknowledge individuals, civil society groups, women’s groups, youth groups, or local government units that led innovative environmental management projects, such as waste reduction, climate change mitigation, air quality management for their communities, as well as water quality conservation and protection, and information, education and communication initiatives for the environment.

It will also serve as an avenue to gather good practices on environmental management and inspire innovation.|

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