Loren leads diplomatic corps in celebrating World Environment Day

Posted on Jun 30th, 2009 • Category: Press Release

Senator Loren Legarda and members of the diplomatic corps braved inclement weather yesterday morning (June 4) in celebrating World Environment Day by planting trees at the Pook Kagitingan of the Rizal Park in Manila.

The tree-planting activity was led by Loren and members of the environmental group Luntiang Pilipinas (Green Philippines). Luntiang has so far planted over two million trees nationwide since its founding by the senator in 1998.

Neither the rains nor the cold wind stopped Loren from extending a warm welcome to the ambassadors and other embassy officials whom she praised for showing their respective countries′ concern for the environment.

“I can sense a common motivation in us, which is to protect the environment for all of humanity. I can also sense an urgent willingness to act,” said Loren.

She described this year′s theme of the World Environment Day – Your Planet needs you; Unite to Combat Climate Change – as “a tall order” for all the people of all nations.

“This year, the stage is set in Mexico for the worldwide effort of dealing with what Mexican President Felipe Calderon recognized as the most demanding challenge of the 21st century“ climate change,” Loren said.

Among the diplomats who participated in Luntiang Pilipinas′ tree-planting activity were:

Ambassadors Therry Borja De Mozota (France), Malai Halimah Yussof (Brunei), In May (Cambodia), Liu Jianchao (China), Rajeet Mitter (India), Ali Mojtaba Rouzbehani (Iran), Choi Joong-Kyung (Korea), Leuane Sombounkhan (Lao), A. Selverajah (Singapore), Pieter Andries Vermeulen (South Africa), Luis Arias Romero (Spain), Francisco Cepede (East Timor), Mario Schuff (Argentina), Roderick Richard Campbell Smith (Australia), and Manuel Perez Iturbe (Venezuela); and

Embassy representatives Charon De Mares and Meghan Mercier (USA), Angela Ibay (UK), Shisehiro Matsuda (Japan), Mohammed Abdullah Adli (Malaysia), Sirimewan Dawulagala (Sri Lanka), Lavilin Nikolax Counbblour (Russia), and Jan Janda (Czech Republic).

While nations may not share beliefs or strategies in addressing climate change, Loren stressed that “common to our varying views, though, is that climate change ranks high in our priorities.”

She warned that climate change threatens the very life of the planet and humanity as a whole, citing the United Nations′ 2009 Global Assessment Report on “the grim realities that the international community has to deal with decisively and concertedly because lives of entire populations are at stake.”

Climate change, Loren pointed out, raises varied challenges, including the capacity of leaders to craft, legislate and implement laws related to the environmental phenomenon blamed for many natural disasters.

She proposed a two-pronged formula to address climate change, the first involving the creation of effective policies on climate change and their concerted implementation by all government agencies involved.

The second, added Loren, entails leaders of the world transcending boundaries and reaching out to one another to address climate change as one.

“It is therefore clear that the great question of the future will be whether or not different peoples from different nations are capable of uniting.”

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