Three cities were recognized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) as the most environmentally-progressive in the Philippines.
The cities of Santa Rosa in Laguna, San Carlos in Negros Occidental and Makati in the National Capital Region all received trophies as the top contenders of WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge 2016. The awarding ceremonies were part of a workshop for 50 local and national government representatives to share best practices on low-carbon urban development. The workshop was held from 17 to 18 August at the Hotel Novotel Manila in Cubao City.
First launched in 2011, the challenge is a year-long initiative designed to mobilize action and support cities in the global transition towards a climate friendly and one-planet future by stimulating the development and dissemination of best practices for climate mitigation and adaptation. Seven Philippine cities joined in August 2015 – Cagayan de Oro, Makati, Naga, Parañaque, San Carlos, Santa Rosa and Quezon City. A total of 124 cities from 20 countries around the world joined the 2015 to 2016 challenge.
Proclaimed as the Philippine Earth Hour National Capital, Santa Rosa City in Laguna has initiatives ranging from the erection of solar street lights to the construction of a composting facility designed to minimize landfill waste. Santa Rosa City will now be recognized along with 2016 Global Earth Hour Capital Paris this coming October in Quito, Ecuador. Santa Rosa City additionally placed 5th in WWF’s We Love Cities Campaign, a related social media contest which was won by Bogor, a green city in Indonesia.
Placing 4th in the We Love Cities Campaign is San Carlos City in Negros Occidental, which has positioned itself as the emerging Renewable Energy (RE) hub of Asia, hosting two solar parks, a bioethanol, plus biomass power plants. WWF believes that a swift but careful transition to RE is critical to curb climate change.
Not to be outdone, Makati City in the National Capital Region is developing a center to provide barangay officials with the basic knowledge and design skills to be able to promote urban design projects designed not just to be eco-friendly, but to promote the respective cultural identity of each barangay. Makati placed 19th in the We Love Cites Campaign.
The We Love Cities Campaign on the other hand, uses the power of social media to raise additional awareness for the 47 finalist cities of the Earth Hour City Challenge, while giving the public a chance to celebrate, vote for and suggest improvements for their home cities. WWF-Philippines ran the We Love Cities Campaign from 13 May to 26 June 2016.
“Cities play a major role as contributors to climate change and rapid development. They are centers for consumption and carbon emissions – generating 70% of global emissions,” explains Earth Hour Philippines Director Atty. Gia Ibay. “With the cities of Santa Rosa, San Carlos, Makati and our other green hubs leading the way, we can create cleaner and more livable spaces for Pinoys. We hope the example set by our seven Earth Hour City Challenge entries convinces other Pinoy cities to develop sustainably. Homegrown solutions are already available to transform our cities into eco-friendly, stress-free and low-carbon urban spaces.”
For more information, please contact:
Atty. Angela Consuelo Ibay
Earth Hour Philippines Director
Mr. Gregg Yan
Earth Hour Philippines Communications Manager
Ms. Imee Bellen
Earth Hour City Challenge Coordinator