April 23, 2021
The Earth Day webcast featured Climate Reality Leaders and their initiatives and commitments to help restore the Earth through waste management solutions.
Climate Reality Leader and House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda hosted a special episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” where she talked with several lawmakers on current discussions on the bill pending at the House of Representatives to ban single-use plastics nationwide.
During the webcast, Legarda emphasized that the lessons from pandemic recovery must be aligned with how climate action must be pursued, noting the important role of local stakeholders.
“The response must address underlying inequities in society affecting the capacity of local actors to adapt even as they stand on the frontlines of climate change, including marginalized communities, indigenous peoples, women and children, and youth. Local planning and investments can help ensure that the best information is shared, resources are made available, and the best policies are enacted,” she said.
Featured on the segment #WalangPlastikan Challenge, Climate Reality Leader Aimee Oliveros shared how her zero-waste store called Re-Store MNL has accepted the challenge of eliminating plastic waste into its store operations.
Oliveros said that the re-fill system of Re-Store MNL was borne out of her advocacy to help address plastic pollution in the country, noting that the rising demand for products like alcohol, hand soaps, and other cleaning products during the pandemic has led to more plastics ending up in landfills and the oceans.
“Since we started last year, more than 1,458 plastic containers were diverted away from the landfills and the oceans,” Oliveros proudly shared, noting that there should be more stores in the country implementing the re-fill system.
Aside from the re-fill system, Oliveros said she also spearheads a monthly plastic collection drive in her community in Parañaque. All the plastic items collected are donated to recycling facilities.
Climate Reality Leaders Janice Dugan, Ma. Adavieve Mella Lasam, Joshua Toquero, Marco Andrew Silveron, Vincent Cotoron, Noralene Uy, Kiko Velhagen, and Andrea Go, meanwhile, were featured in the My Earth Day Pledge segment of the webcast.
Dugan, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager of First Gen Corporation, said she commits to forge collaborative pathways to a decarbonized and regenerative country. “Through our Create for the Climate Program, we commit to educating our stakeholders to the impacts of plastics to our environment and encourage them to take climate actions and support initiatives to address these problems,” she added.
Lasam, Founder of Upcycle Philippines, joined the call to end plastic pollution. “Upcycle Philippines fosters awareness on upcycling as a system for circularity in keeping with the principles of cradle to cradle, which secures material health, material re-utilization, social fairness, and water and carbon management,” she said as she explains the thrusts of her organization.
Uy, Trans-Disciplinal Action Research Project Manager at the National Resilience said that her organization commits to strengthening partnerships with local government units, national government, academe and scientific institutions, CSOs, and communities to address climate and disaster risks and build resilience.
Silvernon and Cotoron, both working at the regional offices of the Environmental Management Bureau, pledged to be more deliberate in manifesting and sharing their mission to “protect, restore, and enhance environmental quality” in the country.
Toquero, Program Supervisor of Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines, on other hand, said he is working with different organizations such as Lions Club and Kalikasan Leadership and Social Support in raising awareness on the significance of environmental protection and waste management.
Velhagen and Go, representing the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, Inc., pledged to promote sustainable living by eating a more plant-based diet, consuming energy efficiently, and avoiding single-use plastics.
The painstaking work of the government, private business sector, and civil society in addressing plastic pollution in the country will continue after the webcast, according to Nazrin Castro, Branch Manager of the Climate Reality Project Philippines.
“I am counting on everyone, especially on the ability of the youth, to continue, cultivate, and promote more initiatives that will help restore the Earth,” she told the participants during her closing remarks for the event.