Trees will always be among man’s most important legacies, and the Lions Clubs International Multiple District 301(LCI MD 301) Philippines has promised to plant 10,000 of them all over the country.
This commitment was the latest manifestation of the longstanding cooperation between Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and LCI.
“The DENR welcomes the initiative of Lions Clubs International Multiple District 301 Philippines to help in the National Greening Program, a priority program of the government, which addresses deforestation and helps in climate change mitigation and adaptation,” Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in a statement on Thursday, June 17.
LCI MD 301 Council Chairperson Dra. Elisa Valdez bared the commitment to plant 10,000 trees during the 34th anniversary celebration of the DENR on June 10. She also confirmed that the organization will take part in “coastal cleanup, outreach programs, and information, education and communication initiatives”.
The partnership–sealed via a memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by Cimatu and Valdez during the anniversary event–aims to strengthen the spirit of volunteerism and promote behavioral change towards environment protection.
It also intends to encourage public participation on activities such as the clean-up of esteros and rivers, the rehabilitation of Manila Bay, the rescue of wildlife, and the education of the citizenry in caring for the environment and natural resources, among others.
The partnership was initiated by DENR Undersecretary for Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns Benny Antiporda. Antiporda is the governor of LCI District 301-A2.
Even before the MOA signing, the DENR, through Antiporda, has worked together with LCI districts in various environmental activities such as tree-planting and the Manila Bay and river clean-ups, as well as in its programs for persons with disabilities (PWDs) and other stakeholders.
“The DENR is grateful to LCI Multiple District 301 for the spirit of volunteerism, imbibed among its members, that it will bring into the DENR and its stakeholders. This is much needed now more than any other time. We want to eliminate the culture of indifference among many Filipinos which relinquishes all environmental responsibility to the government alone,” the undersecretary said.
He added that volunteerism is in itself the prime example of behavior change.
“When you have changed your behavior toward the care and protection of the environment, it becomes second nature for you to volunteer for environmental activities,” noted Antiporda.
LCI is a service-oriented, civic, non-political organization that has thousands of members nationwide. It is geared toward improving the lives of people through community service, and promotes the principles of good government and good citizenship.