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December 11, 2009

MRS. CECILE GUIDOTE-ALVAREZ

Our country has been ravaged by ferocious super typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng, and Santi. The weather bureau has warned there are more to come.

We believe culture can be a very effective creative communications effort to focus on the understanding of scientific data to forge the conscience and the collective will to address climate change through diverse artistic manifestation from comics to cinema to all forms of visual arts, music, dance, literature, theatre, eco-based architecture. Artists and all sectors if the society must work together in order to build Noah’s Ark through the signing of the urgent Copenhagen Agreement that is crucially needed to save Mother Earth and guarantee mankind’s survival.

Our heritage sites named by UNESCO like the cordillera Rice Terraces, the Tubbataha Reefs, the Subterranean River, the Colonial Churches, Vigan in the North are all threatened with the endless flood and mudslides. In other places, armed conflict put them in danger. This sad condition is paralleled in similar situations in different parts of the world. The frontline action of UNESCO for heritage preservation, conservation and defense against climate change impact is gratifying and essential.

In our country, our government has responded to the importance of education and culture as vital tools to popularize science and engender participation in a national agenda. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has issued Proclamation No. 1667 declaring November 19 to 25, 2008 and every year thereafter as “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week.”

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has been an active part of the interagency organizing committee for the Climate Change Consciousness Week held from November 19 to 25 this year, which has been aptly proclaimed by PGMA in order to raise the awareness and forge the concerted will to address climate change disasters. The NCCA, chaired by Dr. Vilma Labrador, participates in providing creative communications and information modules towards this endeavor designed and coordinated by the office of the Executive Director. A mural created by the Arts Association of the Philippines (AAP) as commissioned by NCCA is now enshrined in the office of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is under the direction of Mr. Yvo de Boer.

In attendance during the Media Summit on Climate Change this year were Faustina K. Rehuher-Marugg, Minister of Community and Cultural Affairs Republic of Palau and John Topping, President and CEO of the Climate Institute based in Washington, DC.

 

Proclamation No. 1667
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DECLARING NOVEMBER 19 TO 25, 2008 AND EVERY YEAR THEREAFTER AS “GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE CONSCIOUSNESS WEEK”

            WHEREAS, it is the policy of the State to advance the general health and welfare of its citizens, promote sustainable development of its economy, and protect its natural resources for the benefit of all generations;
            WHEREAS, the Philippines is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol which mandates measures for the reduction of carbon dioxide and other critical greenhouse gases to avert certain catastrophe in the planet’s environment and climate as calculated by the international scientific community;
            WHEREAS, the Philippines has declared and confirmed its commitment to the goals of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change Convention;
            WHEREAS, realizing the gravity and the immediate threat of the extreme changes occurring in the world’s temperature, the melting of ice in the polar regions, and the rise in sea levels, and their critical impact on agricultural productivity, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change was created on August 21, 2008;
            WHEREAS, the warming of the earth’s surface is undermining our national food and energy security, and therefore requires broad and intensive information and educational campaign to impress on the general public the awesome and terrifying consequences of this phenomenon and to secure the collective cooperation of the population in finding solutions to it;
            WHEREAS, these concerns require the urgent and thoughtful participation of our citizens as well as the collective action of private and public sectors at all levels.
            NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare November 19 to 25, 2008 as the “Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week”.

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*Cecile Guidote Alvarez is the Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Presidential Adviser on Culture.

(**this was delivered during the Media Summit during the Climate Change Consciousness Week)

For details, please contact RENE NAPEÑAS, Head of the NCCA-Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) at cellphone number  0928-508105, and ALEXIS FELICIANO at cellphone number 0927-7134825 or call (02) 527-5529 / 527-2192 loc. 508, 612 to 615, email at ncca.paio@gmail.com or public_affairs@ncca.gov.ph