Government launches nationwide climate change advocacy campaign
“Correct information is the best way to combat climate change.” This was the message sent across media practitioners and public information officers during the media launch for the government’s climate change advocacy campaign held July 18 at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) auditorium in Quezon City.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Ramon P. Paje said that while the country boasts of state of the art facilities that could forecast incoming weather disturbances, “there is a need for stronger network for information dissemination to achieve zero casualty during disasters.”
“Climate change is now the new normal, and the government’s advocacy campaign on climate change focuses on two extremes: extreme rain and extreme summer,” Paje said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma said that there are three principles governing an effective climate change adaptation and mitigation campaign. These are (1) awareness and consciousness (kaalaman at kamalayan); (2) preparedness and capability (kahandaan at kakayahan); and (3) unity and solidarity/determination (kaisahan at katatagan).
Using the three (3) typhoons that recently hit the country such as Sendong, Pablo, Yolanda, Sec. Coloma said that awareness of incoming disasters needs to be coupled with preparedness and capability in terms of responding to them, as well as unity among government agencies and the public, as well as a strong determination to provide the necessary interventions to minimize their effects.
He added that it is high time to face the challenges of times as climate change is already happening. He urged the public to change their lifestyles in order to lower their carbon footprint which contributes to climate change.
He aptly put his message in the lines, which also serves as the theme for this year’s climate change advocacy campaign: “Nagbabago na ang panahon; panahon na para magbago.” (Climate change is already happening; it is now time to change.)
The campaign is a project of the DENR, in partnership with the PIA.
The project also garnered support from private television station GMA 7, which expressed its support to the project through a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signing which includes provision of free air plugs, endorsement by GMA 7 talents of the campaign, and other collaborations to strengthen the dissemination of climate change information to the public.
The activity also saw the presentation of the “PUNOAN” brand – a reinforcement project of the government’s National Greening Program (NGP) which aims to plant 1.5 billion trees all throughout the country by 2016.
Also the “Manila BAYanihan” advocacy campaign, which aims for a unified information, education and communication (IEC) and capacity-building campaign for the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay, was presented during the said launch.