The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is urging the public to make this summer worthwhile by engaging in activities that promote nature and environmental conservation.

While considering summer as the perfect time to commune with nature and appreciate the country’s natural beauty, Filipinos should take summer outings a step further and look for opportunities to help the agency jumpstart its aim for a “green economy” by adding value to locally sourced environmental products and services.

This includes patronizing products from cottage industries to help local communities and encourage them to be more creative and sustainable in production.

The DENR, however, is appealing for everyone to be mindful of their surroundings by managing their wastes, conserving water resources, and being respectful of local cultures and community practices.

Nature trippers are particularly reminded to be careful of activities such as smoking and cooking within vegetated areas during the dry season to prevent forest fires.

Aside from possibly setting back the government’s reforestation and revegetation efforts, forest fires also pose dangers to humans and wildlife living within and around the area.

The agency also advises trekkers to abide by orders or ordinances banning activities in certain protected areas, such as in Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Apo, to allow restoration and regeneration of local flora and fauna.

Portions of Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, a favorite site for pilgrims and trekkers, have been closed since 2004 to allow areas damaged by park visitors to recuperate.

As for Mt. Apo National Park, five of six trails in Davao have been re-opened after being damaged by fire in March last year. ###