AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY JOINS COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP IN TAGUIG CITY
The Australian Embassy joined a cleanup activity in Taguig City as part of this year’s celebration of Clean Up the World.
More than 100 participants, including Embassy staff led by Australian Ambassador Rod Smith, Taguig City residents led by Mayor Lani Cayetano and volunteers from Clean Up the Philippines and Australian companies in the Philippines, participated in the cleanup of Hagonoy Creek and surrounding areas in Barangay Hagonoy, Lower Bicutan.
“We think it’s important to support Filipinos take action in their local communities to protect and preserve their environment to help reduce vulnerability to natural disasters,” Ambassador Smith said. “This year’s volunteers were among the millions around the world who did their share in cleaning up, fixing up and conserving their local neighbourhoods.”
The Sydney-based Clean Up the World (CUW) global environment campaign is the brainchild of the famous Australian yachtsman Ian Kiernan AO. Held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, CUW has successfully mobilised millions of volunteers around the world to undertake a range of environmental activities since its launch in 1993.
Under the CUW banner, the Embassy has undertaken various cleanup activities held at UP Los Baños in Laguna, Bay Walk in Manila, and both Pagasa Park and Ortigas Centre in Mandaluyong City.
The initiative also supports Australia’s commitment to build communities in Metro Manila that are resilient to natural disasters following the destruction caused by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009. Australia was one of the first countries who responded to the Ondoy relief effort, providing A$11 million in emergency assistance.
“Ondoy has prompted the Australian Government to expand its assistance to ensure the country is better prepared to manage and respond to future disasters. Apart from the resources and technology that we have provided, we also want to encourage communities to play a more active role towards the protection and preservation of their environment,” Ambassador Smith said.
Since 2006, Australia has already provided A$20 million to strengthen disaster risk management practices and address climate change in the Philippines. Recently, the Australian Government funded state-of-the-art digital imagery set that will enhance the Philippine Government’s approach to assessing disaster risk and reduce vulnerability to future natural disasters of millions of Filipinos living in Metro Manila.