Atienza taps Manila’s youth sector to help combat pollution

August 6, 2009 9:21 am 

MANILA, Aug. 6 — Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza called on the youth sector to help the government disseminate the causes of global warming and its disastrous impacts on the environment.

In a forum attended by some 680 young leaders and other participants from Manila held Monday (Aug. 3) at the social hall of the DENR in Quezon City, Atienza said that today’s youth play a very significant role in their communities, especially in the field of communication, as they are most active and dynamic in various community-based activities.

“We are holding this forum to orient our youth on the causes of global warming and climate change and their impacts on environment and the people in order to prepare them for their tasks informing their respective communities on this global environmental issue which threatens the very existence of humanity on earth,” Atienza said.

Among the topics discussed with the young participants during the forum include the “Overview of Climate Change” discussed by DENR-EMB’s Clean Development Mechanism Evaluator Albert A. Magalang and “Solid Waste Management” presented by EMB Assistant Director Jonas Leones.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) defined climate change as “a change in climate which is attributed directly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.”

Atienza said that big concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are among the factors that cause global warming and climate change. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapor.

Citing air pollution and solid waste pollution coming especially from industries as sources of greenhouses gases, Atienza urged the youth participants to help the government combat pollution.

He also urged them to fight against Manila City Ordinance No. 8187, an ordinance that amended the city of Manila ordinance No. 8119, otherwise known as “the Manila Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Zoning Ordinance of 2006.”

Ordinance No. 8187, aside from allowing the stay of the oil depots in Pandacan, also provides for the creation of Medium Industrial Zone (1-2) which allows its use for pollutive/hazardous industries, and Heavy Industrial Zone (1-3) which allows its use for extremely hazardous industries.

On June 5, 2009, Atienza filed charges at the Supreme Court against Mayor Alfredo Lim and Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and the majority councilors for passing the ordinance, which, he said, will “make Manila the toxic capital of the country and will cause death to Manilans.”

In response to the call of Atienza, the youth recited the “Panata Sa Kalikasan” where they vowed to support the government in its fight against pollution and to mitigate the impact of global warming on the environment. (PNA)

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