Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

MANILA — The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – Philippines on Wednesday launched a digitalized Earth Hour campaign dubbed “Change The Ending” to further engage the public in protecting the environment.

To mark the Earth Hour on March 28, WWF-Philippines’ Climate Change and Energy Program Head and Earth Hour Pilipinas Director Angela Ibay said a series of events will be held to raise public consciousness on the most pressing environmental issues.

“We wanted to also galvanize the power of the digital space — to be able to show that we can reach more people there with our messages, and it’s high time to use the power of digital,” she said.

Ibay encouraged the public to switch off lights on the Earth Hour day, saying every individual can do something for the environment “not just for that one hour of lights off, but beyond.”

“The message that we want also to impart to the public is that by changing the ending, we (are) actually changing the story of how environmental issues will end. We can be part of that story as a solution. It’s not too late to act,” she said.

In celebration of this year’s Earth Hour, thousands of Filipinos are encouraged to join a public switch-off event from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Gov’t support

Jerome Ilagan, Climate Change Commission’s (CCC) policy and research chief, said people “have to think what’s best for the next generation after us.”

“The government is ready to partner with the rest of society to make sure that when we take care of our environment, we also take care of our society. The government (shows its) broad support. We’ll make things possible, we make sure that in the midst of climate change, we can survive and thrive,” he said, noting that environmental efforts should be sustained.

He said the CCC is supportive of WWF-Philippines in pursuing further environmental protection efforts.

“Our stakeholders in the civil society organizations shall always remain, good partners, as government cannot just do this alone,” he said, adding that mainstreaming science to the local policies of the government and bridging spaces for people to act together can help in the process of pushing environmental protection.

Earth Hour Ambassadress Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworksi said each individual has the capacity to contribute to the welfare of the environment.

At the age of 10, child ambassador Xia Vigor said she has already seen the serious effects of environmental problems.

She said if everyone will start using eco-friendly products and reduce plastic waste, saving the environment would be possible.

Jose Angelito Palma, WWF-PH Executive Director said the way how people eat their food has an impact on our climate, adding that it is important to address how to change our behaviors.

He also said eating exotic cuisines can affect the environment and eventually harm the people as “how the coronavirus is threatening the entire world now,” citing reports that the sweeping disease came from consuming wild animals.

Precautionary measures

Meanwhile, Ibay said along with the observance of the Earth Hour, WWF-Philippines is also doing precautionary measures amid the Covid-19 threats.

“For those who are doing events on their own related to the earth hour, we are coordinating with them and we do have guidelines for them — to ensure the health and safety of the participants are not at risk,” she said.

The welfare and the health of the public, she added, are the utmost priority of the WWF-PH.

WWF-Philippines has been campaigning against climate change, as well as the use of plastic bags, styrofoam products, and single-use plastic products. (PNA)

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