Join the Blog Action Day on June 8 to Save our Coral Reefs and Seas!

Join the Blog Action Day on June 8 to Save our Coral Reefs and Seas!

Our beautiful and diverse marine resources and wealth need your attention and your help. They are under attack.

Exploitative foreign firms, in tandem with local partners and left unchecked by irresponsible government officials, are illegally harvesting and peddling our precious coral reefs. In one case, coral reefs twice the size of Manila was destroyed, and the plunder continues.

We cannot accept this. We must act now to save what’s left of our coral reefs and to protect our seas so those beautiful and important natural resources are preserved for our and the next generations to enjoy.

We call on all Filipino bloggers, Tumblr and Posterous users, Tweeps, Plurkers and all netizens to join the June 8 International Blog Action Day to save our seas and coral reefs. Your voices, our actions are that important.

What can we do?

  • Tweet, Plurk, or post to spread the word about this event: Share or repost this announcement.
  • Use the Twitter hashtag #reefwatchPH.
  • Spread the savephilippineseas.com URL.
  • Repost and share our official campaign badge (to be posted soon so please come back!).
  • Most importantly, on June 8, join the Blog Action Day from your favorite social media channels (blog, Tumblr, Posterous, Twitter, Plurk, Facebook, etc.

Some ideas and suggestions

While the issue is serious, there are a lot of creative ways to send our message across on or before June 8:

  • An open letter to officials and companies.
  • A photo essay about your favorite beaches or dive spots.
  • Design and share mini-posters, posters and drawings.
  • If you grew up near a beach, tell us about your fond memories.
  • Post about why your (future) kids and future grandkids ought to have the chance to see and enjoy our coral reefs and seas.
  • Why harvesting and peddling corals is bad for the environment and is bad business.
  • Proposals on how to protect or clean up our seas.
  • If you belong to a clan, group, or organization, invite them to join the event.

Taking an extra step or two won’t harm too. You may email your senator, congressman, the Environment secretary, and even the President to demand action.

NOW is the time to act.

We can do this. Let’s make our social media work for something good. Let’s make Philippine coral reefs, seas and the need to save them the trend – to raise awareness, to inspire action, to grow our communities, and to compel government action.

by Tonyo Cruz
First posted at: http://wp.me/p1AHbC-f

Photo credit: Richard Ling, some rights reserved.

Greenpeace’s Donate A Tweet A Day to help spread environmental awareness

With just a tweet a day, you can somehow help spread the word on environmental issues. Greenpeace teamed up with JustCoz.org for the awareness campaign. JustCoz is a platform which enables charities and non-profit organizations increase their social media reach by way of tweet or status donations.

If you want to donate a tweet a day, go to http://justcoz.org/Greenpeace

Mt. Makiling guard killed

He spent 25 years patrolling and protecting the enchanted Mt. Makiling but in the end, this forest guard was unable to protect himself from an assassin’s bullet.

Elpidio “Jojo” Malinao, 49, was shot dead by a man on a motorcycle on Monday afternoon in the town of Bay in Laguna province shortly after a court hearing on a case he had lodged against illegal settlers on the fabled mountain.

News of his death shocked and angered his colleagues at the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME), a unit of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB), which has jurisdiction over Mt. Makiling.

Read the rest at Philippine Daily Inquirer.

10 Million Signatures to Stop Mining in Palawan

Kilala ang Palawan sa limang ecotourism na kung saan malaki ang natulong nito sa ekonomiya ng lugar. Pero nitong Enero lang ay ginulat tayo ng pagpatay sa isang media man na si Gerardo “Gerry” Ortega na hindi lang kilalang broadcaster sa Palawan kundi isang environmental advocate at wildlife veterinarian. Sa pamamagitan ng kanyang profession ay ginamit niya ito upang ipahayag ang saloobin niya at pag kontra sa mining sa Palawan. Sinubukan siya patahimikin ng mga kalaban at hindi sang-ayon sa mag iingay niya, maaaring nawala nga si Doc Gerry, pero hindi naman ibig sabihin pati ang pinaglalaban niya ay mawawala rin.

Inilunsad ng ABS-CBN Foundation-Bantay Kalikasan at ang mga naniniwala sa kahalagahan ng pangangalaga ng kalikasan katulad ng nasa Palawan ang 10 Million Signatures to Stop Mining in Palawan. Ang layunin nito ay makakuha ng enough na number ng mga supporters at ihahain ito sa gobyerno para matigil ang pagmimina sa Palawan at mapagpatuloy ang pangangalaga sa kalikasan. Mayroong 17 biodiversity sites ang Palawan, dalawa rito ay heritage sites at walo ang protected sites. Maging isa ka sa 10 million na makikiisa, o sana higit pa na tatayo at lalabanan ang pag mimina sa Palawan. Isang pledge lang ang kailangan sa iyo na gagawin mo sa www.no2mininginpalawan.com at malaki ang maitutulong.

Nagawa na noon ito ni Mayor Edward Hagedorn sa Puerto Princesa, pinigilan niya ang pagmimina at logging sa kanilang lugar, at nag focus siya sa agriculture at eco tourism. Sa ginawa niya mas umunlad ang lungsod sila. Maari rin naman mangyari ito sa buong Palawan kung makikiisa lang tayo, at huwag hayaan mabalewala lang ang nangyari kay Gerry Ortega, pero hindi lang para sa atin ito, para sa lahat kaya may parte ka sa labang ito at may magagawa ka.

PH warned it may end up like Somalia

PH warned it may end up like Somalia
By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Like Somalia, the Philippines may become a failed state in 40 years if the reproductive health (RH) bill is not passed by Congress and the country’s rapid population growth is unchecked, an American population expert said Thursday.

Malcolm Potts said the Philippines would suffer far worse economic, environmental and even national security problems if the population would reach a projected 160 million by 2050.

“I think this is probably the most important single issue facing this country … the consequences of having perhaps 160 million people in 40 years time are very, very somber,” he told a population conference at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City.

Potts works for the Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability of the University of California, one of the organizers of the conference titled “Demographic Governance: The Philippines’ Way Forward.” The agency’s partners were the AIM, Venture Strategies for Health and Development and the Asia Society.

“Unless the RH bill goes through and unless you are able to offer the poorest economic quintile the choices that they deserve, then people will be poorer. You will be importing food, you will be more like Somalia than Thailand,” Potts said.

“I think these (data) charts should give us all nightmares—those who love this country and have been here many times and those of you who belong here and love your country,” he added.

The RH bill seeks to promote both natural and artificial birth control methods through government programs and advocates the education of students on reproductive health at the appropriate age, among other aims.

It is being strongly opposed by the Catholic Church, which prohibits the use of artificial means of family planning such as birth control pills and condoms, and only favors natural means such as abstinence and the use of fertility beads among women.

Advocates in the House of Representatives expect the controversial measure to be passed by June next year, or the end of the first year of the 15th Congress.

According to a conference briefing paper, population pressures can also “increase environmental degradation and may push more people into areas more prone to natural disasters.”

The Philippines already faces severe environmental problems, the paper noted.

The country has less than 10 percent of its forest cover and coral reefs, less than 50 percent of its ground fresh water resources is potable while untreated domestic wastewater threatens water bodies further, and diseases from polluted water—which account for 31 percent of the total illnesses in the country—cost P6.7 billion annually.

Achieving MDG goals to require over P400 billion for 2012-2015

Achieving MDG goals to require over P400 billion for 2012-2015
Business World Online

THE GOVERNMENT needs to spend around half a trillion pesos from 2012 to 2015 if the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are to be met before the end of President Benigno C. Aquino III’s term, the Budget department yesterday said.

Budget Assistant Secretary Luz M. Cantor, speaking at a national MDG congress, said agencies involved in the implementation of the UN-sponsored objectives needed P486.55 billion to hit a 2015 deadline.

The estimate, which does not include allocations under next year’s national budget, was based on submissions by the Health, Social Welfare, Environment, Agrarian Reform, Finance and Public Works departments; People’s Credit and Finance Corp. (PCFC); Philippine Ports Authority (PPA); National Food Authority (NFA); and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).

Not yet included is the amount needed by the Education department.

The Social Welfare department accounts for the bulk: P343.02 billion for implementing projects related to MDG 1 or the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger. Other agencies involved in meeting this goal include the Agrarian Reform department which has sought P32.7 billion; PCFC, P7.88 billion; Finance department, P500 million; PPA, P167 million; and the NFA, P65 million.

Under next year’s budget, the Social Welfare department’s budget for its Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program was increased to P29.2 billion from this year’s P10 billion, Ms. Cantor said. Some P21.2 billion will go to conditional cash transfers (CCTs), P2.88 billion for the Supplemental Feeding Program, P881 million for the Food for Work Program for Internally Displaced Persons and P4.2 billion for rice subsidies.

The CCTs also address MDG 2 or the achievement of universal primary education and MDG 5 or the improvement of maternal health.

The PCW, in charge of MDG 3 or the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment, proposed a P222-million budget for 2012-2015.

“Among initiatives to mainstream gender sensitivity, the national government continues to carry out measures to improve the implementation of the Gender and Development Policy which directs all government department, bureaus, offices and agencies to set aside at least 5% of their annual appropriations for projects designed to address gender and development issues,” a Budget department document states.

The Health department, in charge of MDGs 4, 5 and 6 or the reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health and the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases, respectively, said it required P79.84 billion.

The Environment department, concerned with MDG 7 or the assurance of environmental sustainability, asked for P12.68 billion while Public Works department which is also working on the goal wants P9.49 billion.

“With only five years remaining, we need to do more. Statistics show that the ’business as usual’ mindset will not contribute anything substantial…,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga said.

Jacqueline Badcock, UN Resident Coordinator, said: “The challenge ahead is thus to sustain progress and accelerate the pace of progress on the goals that are least likely to be achieved.” — J. J. A. Cerda