QUEZON CITY, Oct. 18 (PIA)--The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) on Thursday night brought its campaign against plastic pollution, "Oceans are Fitter without Our Litter", to the art exhibit for biodiversity and autism awareness in Taguig City, Philippines.
The campaign supports the commitments of the ASEAN Member States to the Bangkok Declaration Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region, issued at the 34th ASEAN Summit held in June this year.
The ACB, in partnership with the Center for Possibilities Foundation, held an exhibit for a cause at the Enderun Colleges in Taguig City, Philippines, featuring 40 paintings of Samantha Kaspar, a 22-year-old artist with autism.
With themes on biodiversity and environment depicted on her artworks, the exhibition highlights the rich biodiversity, the variety, and variability of life in the ASEAN region and the importance of conserving and protecting it.
The logo of ACB's campaign against plastic pollution features Samantha's painting of an iconic sea turtle.
"Plastic pollution is a serious threat to biodiversity with 1 million seabirds and over 100,000 marine animals die from plastic pollution every year, according to the United Nations Environment Programme," ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim said in her speech before an audience comprising members of the private sector, government officials and dignitaries.
Plastic bags have an uncanny resemblance to jelly fish, which is a food for sea turtles. Marine plastic debris is threatening the population of sea turtles. Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, three are classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as endangered species and another three as critically endangered. Six of the species of marine turtles are found in Southeast Asia.
"We are urging all of you to support the ACB's campaign against plastic pollution. Without the marine animals, we won't have any more inspiration for Samantha to paint," Lim said.
Lim stressed that each AMS is working towards the reduction and prevention of marine debris.
Antoinette Taus, who was recently designated by the UNEP as its National Goodwill Ambassador for the Philippines, was the emcee of the exhibit's programme.
Among those present at the exhibit were Switzerland's Ambassador to the Philippines Alain Gaschen, Czech Republic's ambassador to the Philippines Jana Sediva, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs' Office of the ASEAN Affairs Junever Mahilum-West.
"Let us, through our individual and collective efforts, reduce our consumption of single-use plastic like plastic bottles... Let us encourage each other and our leaders in our communities, in the private sector, and in our respective nations, to initiate transformative change for clean and thriving aquatic ecosystems," said Lim. (ACB)