Thursday, April 18, 2013
As the world celebrates Earth Day on April 22, Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Climate Change Committee, renewed her call for local government units (LGUs) to pursue community-based activities for ecotourism and culture and ease the impact of climate change in their localities.
During her visit to Abatan River in Bohol, Legarda was impressed by efforts of the provincial government in creating a cultural adventure through the convergence of the five municipalities of Maribojoc, Catigbian, Balilihan, Cortes and Antequera.
“The Abatan River is unique as it is a beautiful journey of both nature and culture. You see the rich history of the towns, while appreciating our country’s natural wonders.” Legarda said. “It is a living ecological museum in itself,” she said.
Legarda likewise lauded the local government for leading in the enactment of model ordinances for tourism and environmental conservation. “The Bohol Tourism Code is a good resource for other ecotourism destinations on how to embark on environment-friendly development plans. It can be the basis for national legislation which I will push for in my next Senate term,” she added.
Legarda said there must be incentives for tourist destinations and resorts to have active plans to maintain and sustain the environmental state in their areas. Local resorts and tourist spots can offer outdoor activities, adventure and nature-related attractions provided that the destinations display friendliness to the environment.
Long an environmental crusader, Legarda has advocated for the enactment of laws on environmental governance like the Clean Air Act and the Solid Waste Management Act. As a strong advocate of climate change awareness, Legarda has authored the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act No. 9729), which created the Climate Change Commission and made the adaptation and mitigation strategies a national priority for development planning.
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