Public-private partnership vital in fight for sustainable environment, public welfare


Heightened public-private cooperation on strengthening environmental and climate change public awareness and education will surely help boost the country’s efforts to save the environment and the public welfare.

Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chair and executive director Emmanuel de Guzman, said such cooperation is vital and necessary to better help the country pursue sustainable development and build resilience to threats of climate change and even the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We must heed science and invest more in public awareness and education on greener, more environment-friendly and more sustainable ways of living,” he said in his message for the 2020 National Environmental Awareness Month (NEAM) this November.

De Guzman said the Covid-19 pandemic “is so far the strongest warning for us to reform the way we live and ways we regard our environment, and we simply cannot afford a return to business as usual.”

Republic Act 9512 or the National Environmental Awareness and Education Act of 2008 set November each  year as NEAM.

RA 9512 states: “Consistent with the policy of the State to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature, and in recognition of the vital role of the youth in nation-building and the role of education to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress and promote total human liberation and development, the State shall promote national awareness on the role of natural resources in economic growth and the importance of environmental conservation and ecological balance towards sustained national development.”

Educating people is necessary in inspiring public action for the environment and climate. De Guzman thus called for full implementation of RA 9729 (Climate Change Act of 2009), and RA 9512, noting that the latter provides the framework for inter-agency and multi-sectoral cooperation on integrating environmental education school curricula in all levels.

RA 9729, on the other hand, requires inclusion of basic climate change concepts in the country’s primary and secondary education curricula, he continued.

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