October 14, 2008
Luntiang Pilipinas marks 10th anniversary
Senator Loren Legarda repeated her call on the Filipinos to plant trees, saying the move will put the country on the right track in its bid to achieve 10 more million trees in the next ten years under the Luntiang Pilipinas' newest theme "10@10."
Legarda made the appeal during yesterday's celebration of the Luntiang Pilipinas' 10th anniversary celebration at the Luneta Park which was attended by who's who in the tree-planting movement under the Luntian project she initiated ten years ago.
"Now, more than ever, with the onslaught of global warming and the devastating effects of climate change, Luntian firmly stands at the forefront of the crusade for environmental protection and preservation," Legarda said.
"Believing that greening the environment can help mitigate the threats of global warming to the health, security and lives of the Filipino people, Luntian, now on its 1oth year, continues to preserve an carrying out its solem thrust of caring for the environment," she added.
Present during the celebration held at the Kweba in Luneta Park, were Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) under secretary , Department of Agriculture-BPI Director Joel Rudinas among others.
At the same time, Legarda also launched her newest website - www.lorenlegarda.com.ph - through which interested parties may enter their pledges to plant as many trees as they can in the areas of their choices.
"Through this important activity, Luntiang Pilipinas hopes to forge stronger partnership and broaden its network with various stakeholders from all sectors of our society in the hope of securing a better, cleaner and safer environment for our children and our children's children," she said.
Also in the same occasion, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the DENR (represented by Secretary Jose L. Atienza Jr) and the Luntiang Pilipinas had also been signed, providing among other things a policy direction on environment and natural resources programs such as the Ten Million Trees Program of the Luntian Pilipinas Foundation.
Legarda, an ecological advocate herself, explained that the Philippines, being at the receiving end of calamity onslaught, needs to act now to mitigate the effects of climate change, and that planting trees is the logical step toward achieving its goal.
The Luntian's project is in line with the United Nations Environment Programme's seven billion trees by the end of 2009.
Legarda organized the Luntiang Pilipinas in 1998 to raise the Filipinos' level of awareness of the value of trees. Since then, two million trees have been planted and cared for through this initiative in 33 provinces and 28 cities.
Luntian also has drawn partnerships with various government agencies, private partners, schools and universities, and non-government organizations in its aim to establish forest parks in their respective localities and establishments.
On June 5, 2005, Luntiang launched National Seedling Bank on the occasion of the World Environment Day, at the Los Banos National Crop Research and Development Center in Los Banos, Laguna.
Smilar seedling banks have been established in different provinces, the latest of which were the ones in Los Banos and in San Fernando Airbase in Lipa City.
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