“We should not simply appreciate our planet and all life in it. We have to protect it, we have to fight for it, and as this year’s theme tells us, we have to invest in it,” said three-term Senator and now Senatorial candidate Loren Legarda in observance of this year’s Earth Day celebration with the global theme, “Invest in our Planet”.

       Legarda made the statement as she led the “Pagyabong 2022: Enrichment Tree Planting Activity” of Philippine native tree species, organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB), the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City.

       The NAPWC is a legislated protected area and classified as a national park under Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act of 2018, a law that Legarda authored in the Senate, which declared 94 natural parks, protected landscapes or seascapes, and reserves as protected areas under national law, bringing the total number of areas protected by law to 107.

        “The enactment of the ENIPAS measure has benefited protected areas in the country, by giving more access to funding for conservation programs as well as the prosecution of prohibited acts enumerated in the law,” Legarda said.

       Legarda also called on the government, private sector, and civil society to engage in projects and programs that would address overexploitation, habitat loss, and pollution.         “In light of the fast declining state of our environment due to our destructive ways and the intensifying effects of the climate crisis, let us be the Earth’s defenders who are needed today and tomorrow. Let us continue to help bring back the life of our planet, so our children and future generations can also marvel at its beauty. Patuloy nating payabungin ang ganda at sigla ng ating kalikasan.” Legarda concluded.

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