BACOLOD

Group stresses environmental woes to mark coastal cleanup day

MARKING the National Coastal Cleanup Day on Sunday, September 20, 2020, the Group of Environmental Socialists (Goes) has reminded the government of the functions of an ecosystem to humanity.

"What affects one affects all indirectly," the local environment group said, as it called the government's actions as an insult to the intelligence of the Filipino people.

The Goes cited the United Nations (UN) Convention on Biological Diversity, which was ratified by all UN members except the United States, that set 20 targets to stem the tide of biodiversity loss.

With the publication of a major report, the final verdict is out on how well world governments have stepped up to the challenge, the group said.

"The bad news is, we have failed. With none of the 20 targets fully met, and only six partially, the report is yet another reminder of the urgent need to redesign the way we produce, consume, and trade goods," it added.

Scattered throughout the 220-page document, a synthesis of scientific evidence, other UN assessments, and countries' national reports—are glimmers of progress demonstrating that nature fares well when actions are taken.

"If we can scale them up immensely, there's still hope for a future where humanity lives in harmony with nature," it added.

The Goes said despite these revealing assessments from a decade's study and the current overexploitation of habitats that continue to kill lifeforms, the government continues to exhibit ineptness and incompetence.

"At this moment, we are faced with another dilemma of environmental destruction when they allowed a road project inside Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP)," the group said.

It claimed that the hazards of this project will affect several municipalities and major destruction to the habitat of our wildlife inside the natural park.

With the unresolved issues on illegal structures, the Goes said the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) composed of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and local government units (LGUs) has opted to be silent on this matter.

The Goes said they are also silent with the unresolved issues of Energy Development Corporation at Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) "where they destroyed our forest in the name of 49-megawatt (MW) energy, which is a failed promise as they have not delivered this energy to Negrense consumers."

For the group, the issuance of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the dredging in the three major river systems of E.B. Magalona is an added insult to the injury.

The group has been asking the DENR-Environment Management Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas to further clarify the issuance of ECC.

"Allowing mining is a clear violation of local fisheries ordinance that the Municipal Government of E.B. Magalona has stipulated," it said, adding that "the truth shall prevail."

The Goes further said: "we will do our best to expose the ugly truth and protect our natural resources which are in its critical state. We will be the voice in the wilderness and use all channels to achieve environmental justice. For the Filipino people and the generations to come."


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