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Environment Newsbits for July 3, 2014

ARBOR DAY PLANTING

Camp Olivas, Pampanga – As part of its share to help curb global warming and climate change, the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3), led by Chief Supt. Raul Petrasanta, planted a total of 300 different saplings consisting of narra and acacia within the camp’s premises in commemoration of Philippine Arbor Day. The annual activity is in support of Proclamation No. 643, which enjoins the active participation of all government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, private sectors, schools, civil society groups, and the citizenry in tree planting activities. Under Republic Act 10176, the Arbor Day Act of 2012, all provinces, cities, and towns with their component barangays are required to conduct a Tree Planting Day every year. (Franco G. Regala)

ENVIRONMENTAL SUMMIT

Balanga City, Bataan – PTT Philippines President Wisarn Chawalitanon rallied the Filipino public to promote environmental protection and to preserve Mother Earth, during the recent PTT-sponsored environmental summit held at the Bataan People’s Center here.Chawalitanon, a Thailand national, said the event was not only PTT’s advocacy but also part of its company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR). Provincial veterinarian Dr. Alberto Venturina, who spoke in behalf of Bataan Governor Abet Garcia, lauded the Thailand-based oil company’s effort and expressed gratitude for choosing Bataan as its venue. Among the speakers in the summit were Presidential Adviser for Environmental Protection Undersecretary Neric Acosta, Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Sano, and former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Felicito Payumo. (Mar T. Supnad)

CLIMATE FUND REMITTANCE SOUGHT

Legazpi City, Albay – Albay Governor Joey Salceda appealed for the immediate remittance of US$15 billion by developed countries to the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF) from out of the US$100 billion pledge during the First Contributors’ Meeting held in Oslo, Norway. Sitting as co-chair of the GCF for developing countries and Southeast Asia, Salceda pointed out the vulnerability of the region’s people from the ill effects of climate change. Under the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developed countries are tasked to finance climate change adaptation programs for developing countries while the GCF, under the UNFCCC, is mandated to collect the fund and program climate change adaptation expenditures. (Niño L. Luces)

UNDERWATER MISSION ENDS

Islamorada, Florida (AP) – A team of scientists and filmmakers prepared to return to land early this week after a month underwater in the Florida Keys. Decompression began Tuesday afternoon for Fabien Cousteau and his “Mission 31” team inside Aquarius Reef Base. The aquanauts were scheduled to return to Islamorada Wednesday after spending 31 days living and working in a school bus-sized laboratory that sits 63 feet (19 meters) below the ocean’s surface. The lab allowed researchers to spend long hours scuba diving and working without needing to return to a boat. Cousteau and his crew will spend almost 16 hours undergoing decompression inside the lab so that they can return to the surface without suffering the bends.The crew dove June 1 to Aquarius to study the nearby coral reef.