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Pitong Pinoy Profiles: Anna Oposa

Screengrab from Yahoo! Southeast Asia video
A lot of people claim to care for the environment but how many actually go out of their way to protect it? Meet Anna Oposa, the director of the Law of Nature Foundation. She's an example of someone who has proven her love for Mother Earth by vigorously working to protect marine life.

She initiated "Save the Philippine Seas," spurred by recent reports of massive coral reef destruction in several parts of the country. Her initiatives sparked a social networking campaign which united Filipinos through a national blog day to save the Philippine seas. She is also lobbying to strengthen environmental protection laws, a long-term goal that she is passionate about.

"I feel the need to fight for the environment because I'm Filipino," she says. "I don't think what I'm doing is extraordinary. I don't think it's heroic. I just think I'm doing my duty living in a country with so many natural resources. I grew up with all of these and when you have a deep appreciation of the things around you, you'll want to protect them."

Many are astounded by Oposa's passion and drive, which go well beyond her 23 years. "People always write to me asking what they can do, what NGOs they can apply for," she says. "This is probably disappointing for them, but I always say you've got to start with yourself; improvement begins with 'I'."

She offers some tips for those who want to do more for the country. "First learn about [the Philippines]. I really believe if you first learn how blessed we are and how rich our natural resources are, you would be inspired and motivated to take better care of it. From there, you start with yourself. I know it sounds like a cliche, but it's a cliche for a reason. You start by managing your wastes properly and talking to people about it, writing about it, if you're a moviemaker then make films. Use your own skills and see how that connects and from there start volunteering for programs and tell people about it."

Simple words from someone out to do extraordinary things.


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