Dili, May 1, 2012 — The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with its Books for Asia program and Timor-Leste Secretary of State for Environment, celebrated Earth Day at Jardim Cristo Rei. The event consisted of a books expo and screening of the “One Day on Earth” film to mark Timor-Leste’s commitment to the environment.
In his remarks, the Secretary of State for Enviroment, Abilio de Deus de Jesus Lima, explained that the purpose of the Earth Day celebration was to to raise awareness and remind people to care more for the environment. “The government has a moral and legal responsibility to protect the environment and, for that, the government has enacted several legislations in relation to environmental protection and to raise awareness about saving the environment from destruction.”
Ms. Kerry Brogan, representative from The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste, said that protecting and conserving our environment does not lie solely with the government or the business sector; rather, everyone should be involved in that effort. Individuals and groups have as much moral responsibility as the government to do his/her bit to protect the environment.
“People can put pressure on their government and on the business sector to do something about environmental issues,” she added. “The society at large however, must play its part and take concrete action to protecting the environment and the earth.”
The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program ran a book expo at the event, which attracted readers ranging from schoolchildren to adults. Expos such as this one form a part of the overall books drive initiatives by the Foundation and are conducted twice a year. The main feature of this event, however, was the screening of the “One Day on Earth” movie, a film chronicling what was happening around the world on October 10, 2010 and on November 11, 2011. The film also featured footage of Timor-Leste’s environment.