Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle, the country’s national bird, is one of the rarest and biggest raptors in the world. It is considered critically endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List. — BW/LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

THIS year’s Earth Day celebration, observed every April 22 since 1970, focuses on protecting plants and animals, all of which have a role in the ecological balance — and all have come under threat by one specie: Humans. “The unprecedented global destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are directly linked to causes driven by human activity: climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, trafficking and poaching, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and pesticides to name a few. The impacts are far reaching,” the Earth Day movement writes on its official page ( In the Philippines, environmental group EcoWaste Coalition called on voters, who will be electing national and local level officials in the May midterm poll, to choose “true champions for the environment.” In a statement on Sunday, EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero said, “As we mark the Earth Day on April 22, we call upon all registered voters to pick national and local candidates and party-list groups who will genuinely work with and for the people in ensuring a clean, healthy, safe and sustainable environment for all… We want to see local government units promulgating ordinances that will promote health and safety and enhance the right of the people to a balanced ecology.”