Environmental group celebrates earth day thru art

In celebration of the EARTH DAY 2011 and the International Year of the Forest, the KALIKASAN Environmental Action Movement- Southern Tagalog (KALIKASAN-ST), an alliance of environmental organizations and advocates based at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) sponsored a one-day Nature Festival, dubbed as KALIKHASAN 2011: An Arts for Earth’s Sake Festival last April 19 at various venues in the university.

As pioneered activity of the KALIKASAN-ST, the festival coincided the launching of the alliance and intended to be a venue to share the advocacy for environmental protection by employing different arts and media. Various activities such as forum, photo exhibit, face painting, lantern lighting, mural painting and concert for nature were lined-up to provide information about the current state of our environment and emphasize the significance of collective efforts for responsible assertion of our role in protecting the environment. The festival also delivered the message to work hand in hand with the communities who were directly affected in the environmental degradation.

In Southern Tagalog region, massive land use conversion, depletion and contamination of water resources, worsening air pollution, deforestation and biodiversity loss manifest the abuse and exploitation in our natural resources by the big businesses and foreign companies. The existing economic programs of the Aquino administration that prioritize export production and favor the interest of private corporations for profit persists our environment to be commoditized. Large-scale extraction occurs in our natural resources and this results in environmental destruction and marginalization of basic sectors such as Indigenous Peoples, peasants and fishermen. While these predicaments transpire, these big businesses generate greenwashing through corporate social responsibility in the name of ‘environmental preservation’ to cover up their transgressions. These concerns, among other factors, only substantiate the need for a proactive and progressive environmental protection efforts. It is indeed necessary for us to engage into collective efforts and concrete actions in creating great social impacts on addressing the current environmental situation.

The Earth day festival was participated by the professors from the Department of Humanities, College of Arts and Science and various organizations such as UP PHOTOS, Infocus:Camera Guild, Forestry Society, AGHAM-YOUTH, ACHES, SAMAEKO, Karma Kolektib, UP Jammers Club, Artists Arrest and other allied members of the KALIKASAN-ST. It was also supported by the Center for Environmental Concerns (CEC) and Integrated Development for Indigenous Peoples (IDPIP). This activity settled to be an annual tradition as an oath to save the Earth and serve the People. It is an open and continuing call for the students, teachers and people in UPLB and Los Baños community to contribute their knowledge and efforts for genuine development and sustainable environment in the region of Southern Tagalog, as well as for the country.

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