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Friday, September 30, 2011

Blogging for the Environment

Reading is a favorite pastime. I have many interests and I enjoy learning. I especially like content that challenges me to look at things in another perspective and teach me new things. For the past year, I've enjoyed reading more and more content online. If you happen to read this, we must be on the same boat. We read a million letters everyday!

As my interest grew, I was inspired to start anew with this blog last year. Well, it was a nasty 2 years since I wrote my first blog The Orange Nipa (currently under renovation). I got the kickstart by getting a mentor and getting certified. Initially, I was surprised with the load of tasks. Later, I realized that the overwhelming tasks even opened more opportunities for me. Yes, I learned I have more to learn!
And with the opportunities came the desire to help. My heart has always been with nature and with my home (Pinas, of course!). A couple of friends had been instrumental and I am grateful to them, most especially to my fellow Kappans. It was in the late 90s when I first joined a group of volunteers for an Environmental Impact Assessment of mining in Quirino Province. I was a noob and I have learned so much since then.
Cagayan River passing through one of the few remaining primary forests in the Philippines
Half of what I learned made me despair. There was so much biodiversity at stake. The speedy commercialization also pushed for aggressive land conversion which largely contributed to loss of natural habitats. Despite laws, there weren't enough empowered rural folk to fight against illegal and destructive operations in fishing, logging and mining, to name a few. Livelihoods were at risk and the lack of income sources either pushed the folks to migrate or exploit what was left of nature. The cycle becomes complicated and worse. To meet needs, demands, and profits, industries have become mindless of their impact on the environment (legislation, certification and compliance seems to be different things to others). Even our consumer behavior have changed, often overlooking the carbon footprint we may leave.
In 2006, we experienced Reming while living in Laguna. Reming was reportedly the most powerful typhoon recorded by PAG-ASA since 1970s. Homes were flooded with mud from Mt Makiling. Our water supply was cut for almost a week. Some parts of the highway from Laguna to Quezon were not passable due to landslides. It was the first of the unusually strong typhoons that hit the Philippines. But the warning of environmentalists still were not heeded.
We had to wait for Ondoy and Pepeng, after billions have been destroyed and hundreds killed. We had to wait until tons of black corals and hundreds of dead marine animals were almost smuggled from the Philippines. Our problems related to environmental degradation will continue to pound and hound unless we hasten our efforts to counter the impact of climate change and biodiversity loss.
2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition
2011 is the Year of the Forests. The administration launched the National Greening Program to fight the impact of climate change, increase food sufficiency and provide alternative livelihood for rural folk. I have reservations but expect more from the government, especially since Pres. Noy Aquino also declared 2011 as the Philippine Year of the Forest. Our current conditions should press us to act faster. But we can only do so much in our own little way. Collaborative efforts will hopefully move us farther.
We'd be better off if we opted for sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle choices. Small but compounded efforts like turning off lights and electric appliances when not in use or choosing to bring an eco-bag for groceries help lighten human impact on the environment. I strongly feel that we should encourage the younger generation to do the same. I want them to enjoy nature as I have. Eco-friendly habits should be introduced early because "prevention is better than cure." Supporting our eco-warriors will also help further efforts in saving Philippine Biodiversity. We are, after all, sharing only one big blue planet. 
With this, Pinoy Holistic Healthcare pledges to continue supporting Haribon Foundation's Million Hectare Challenge in pursuit of the Road to 2020.

Reactions:

2 comments:

A very powerful insight.

I am in full support with the use of eco-friendly bags campaign. I use mine each time i do grocery shopping. :D

Me, too! Just since last year, we've been getting so many reusable bags. Many thanks to our earth warriors! No reason not to use them now :)

I just wish we don't have to buy plastic anymore.

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