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Public information: Key to fighting climate change — Alvarez

MANILA, June 28 — "By harnessing the power of the arts, we shall rally all Filipinos, young and old, on a carbon-cutting mission to help avert global warming and climate change," Climate Change Secretary Heherson T. Alvarez on Monday said in Batangas City.

Alvarez led the unveiling of a 7,101 meter-long painting on canvas, a mural created by some 6,000 artists from different age groups all over the country, with the central theme of water and fishes.

“We intend to catch the attention of Filipinos of all ages with this effort to reach out for environmental support and defense against the destructive effects of climate change,” he stressed.

The event is part of the observance of World Environment Day and Climate Change Teach-in Day at the Livelihood Center Bldg. at the Batangas City Port from June 25 to 28, 2010.

With the UNEP theme, “Biodiversity Is Life…Biodiversity is Our Life,” the celebration incorporates an “Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Youth Fusion Workshop on Heritage and Habitat,” including global warming crises to protect bio-cultural diversity in Southeast Asia.

“Global warming and climate change concern us all and public information is our best weapon. The ruin of climate change is upon us. We must protect biodiversity. We must protect the web of life,” Alvarez added.

The celebration is jointly spearheaded by the Climate Change Commission (CCC); National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) chaired by Education Undersecretary Vilma Labrador, with NCCA Executive Director Malou Jacob; UNESCO-International Theater Institute Philippine Center-EarthSavers DREAMS Academy headed by Usec. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez; and the Batangas Provincial Tourism Office led by Mr. Pancho Lardizabal.

The event is also in coordination with the local government of Batangas through the Office of Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste. Other major partners are the Office of the Press Secretary-Philippine Information Agency (OPS-PIA), GMA Network Inc., DZRH-Radyo Balintataw and the Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers headed by Mr. Michael Ong.

Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto is also expected to grace the event as invited special guest.

The longest mural is organized by the On-The-Spot Artists of the Philippines, headed by award-winning scenographer Rollie de Leon, with the support of LAPIS and special participation of 17 regional offices of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), headed by Director Malcolm Sarmiento.

Organizers hope to beat the 6,001.5-meter mural Guinness World Record of Mexico for the longest mural set last May 28, 2010.

The Batangas event is part of the celebration in honor of the Philippines as the ASEAN Cultural Capital for 2010 and 2011, showcasing the dynamism and wealth of cultural diversity in Southeast Asia. (PNA)

DCT/rudyma

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