In celebration of the 49th World Environment Day, Senator Cynthia Villar encouraged everyone to be responsible and passionate to contribute and inspire others to do their own part in healing Mother Earth.

Villar, a chairperson of the Senate committee on environment and natural resources, guaranteed that our collective efforts will make a difference in the protection and conservation of our environment.

Speaking during the installation of Verde Island Passage (VIP) Marker on the occasion of the UN World Environment Day organized by environmentalist Atty. Tony Oposa, the veteran legislator noted the United Nations has confronted us with the severe reality that the Earth faces a triple planetary emergency.

The seasoned lawmaker relates that these are the following:

  • the climate is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt
  • the continuing habitat loss and other pressures mean an estimated one million species are threatened with extinction, and
  • pollution continues to poison our air, land, and water.

 “The Earth is just our one solitary home and we should take care of it.”

“Due to this, the United Nations finds it fitting to adopt the ‘Only One Earth’ slogan as a reminder for us, earthlings, that while there are billions of galaxies, planets, and stars, the Earth is just our one solitary home and we should take care of it,” the lady senator said.

“All of us are being encouraged to be more connected to it, focus on living sustainably in harmony with nature, and shift our lifestyles from harming the Earth to healing it,” she added.

The invitation of Oposa, Villar said, has brought into her consciousness the need to accord the appropriate protection status to VIP, the channel that cuts through the Philippines by the south of Luzon.

The marker is right in the center of the Coral Triangle that is considered an area of extreme ecological importance.

It was reported in the 2005 study led by marine biologist Dr. Kent Carpenter that the VIP has the highest concentration of marine shorefish biodiversity on the planet.

Because of this, she said it has been labeled as “the epicenter of marine biodiversity”.

“Even with this little information I gathered, I am a little bit surprised why up to now it seems that no protection status ‘by legislation’ has been accorded to VIPs that could ensure its sustainability,” said Villar, who has been espousing environmental protection.

Villar also related she is one of the many that was inspired by Oposa’s brilliant work in instigating the continuing mandamus for the clean up and rehabilitation of Manila Bay.

“The continuing mandamus has provided the needed justification that helped in boosting my very own continuing efforts that I have started way back in 2002 to clean up two rivers in my hometown, namely the Zapote River and the Las Piñas River, and even my more recent efforts of cleaning up as well the neighboring Molino River in Bacoor City. All of these rivers directly flow into Manila Bay,” she related.

“To finally witness a clean and pollution-free Manila Bay that is fit for recreational swimming is indeed an aspiration worth pursuing.”

“To finally witness a clean and pollution-free Manila Bay that is fit for recreational swimming (just like in the old days) is indeed an aspiration worth pursuing for the benefit of the living and future generations,” Villar concluded.



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