Earth Day 2017: We Are Stewards, Not Masters of Earth

Have you been a good steward of our Mother Earth?

Earth Day is being celebrated yearly since its launching in the 70s in the United States. Basically, its purpose is to remind and inculcate in the minds of all the people worldwide to protect and conserve our planet Earth and its environment.

Today (22nd of April) is designated as Earth Day for 2017. Everyone is encouraged to enlighten and empower others with the end view of defending the environment in consonance with this year’s  theme (Environment and Climate Literacy). Education is one essential basic right for each of us, hence, the need to teach and share our knowledge especially to younger generations on how we can direct our actions and set as examples to be better stewards of our Mother Earth,  regardless of status in life. Showcasing education for climate change awareness and resilience is one way of bringing consciousness to environmental issues nowadays. We have to advocate for positive changes in our lifestyles, in our society, so as to help protect the place we live in.

This year, Earth Day Network, Inc. is launching massive awareness campaign for global environmental and climate literacy in anticipation for Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary in 2020. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO stated that the education regarding climate change should start from each one us, with the ways we think and act, our attitudes and behavior. “This begins on the benches of schools and calls for new approaches to learning, driven by political will and resources to reorient education systems towards sustainability.” If we care for our loved ones and the future generations on earth, we have to care for our surroundings and everything about nature. We have to make the environment always clean and healthy. We can’t live in a dirty and messed surroundings, with proliferation of plastic trash all over. Protecting our Mother Earth is a moral imperative as we are inside of the Earth’s sphere. This is our home, this is where we live and breathe and so we can never alienate from the planet Earth.

Considered as the most natural disaster-prone countries in the world and as such most vulnerable to climate change, President Duterte signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change last February 28 this year to show that we join with the rest of the world in mitigating the adverse impact of climate change. The said Agreement is approved by 194 parties worldwide, a salient provision of which is for the countries to do their share in implementing its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 on the condition that the international community provide assistance.

Gina Lopez, a staunch environment advocate, who was appointed by Duterte as Environment and Natural Resources Secretary cited that the Philippines is one with world in tackling the threat of climate change. Lopez is passionate in her job that she even decided to close some mining firms who have allegedly been violating environmental laws. She’s determined to address problems faced by communities affected by the adverse impact of unlawful mining operations in the Philippines.

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To celebrate Earth Day today, DENR in collaboration with Earth Day Network, Inc. leads the annual celebration of the Earth Day at the La Mesa Eco Park in Quezon City. A series of activities have been conducted beginning with a prayer for the healing of the Earth, Earth Run, bird watching, among others.

As Pope Francis mentioned, we are “stewards not masters of the earth”. It is both ethical and moral obligation for us to protect the environment. God gave us a beautiful planet to love and care! We need to build a culture of care and kindness to our ecological system.

While we may not be able to join Earth Day related celebrations today, we can make a pledge at least, to make our actions environmental-friendly as possible. Some of us may be far from being an avid green activist, but being part of this world, we should have that responsibility to safeguard the environment. We have to love and appreciate the wonderful gift that our Creator has given us. And so we have to be mindful of what we do, treat our Mother Earth with dignity and honor in exchange for the happy and beautiful living space for us all.

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

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 cto for featured photos

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