Environment group supports global strike for climate

THE Green Alert Network (GAN) is in solidarity with the international community in upholding human rights towards ecological stabilization starting on September 20 to 27 this year.

The 29-year-old environment group based in Negros Island, in a press statement, said it continuously support the international community in sustaining the wellness of the environment towards saving the future generation.

Thus, GAN unceasingly educate, equip, and empower communities in the province on conservation, protection, and restoration of the ecology, it added.

The group claimed that the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) reports tend towards reticence and caution, erring on the side of least drama, and downplaying the more extreme and more damaging outcomes.

“The earth is facing serious threats and leaders need to take concrete actions urgently. Thus, we believe that in order to move leaders and the public to take action, we must use strong terms like climate emergency and should clearly describe the risks we face,” it said.

The press statement further stated the earth is already too hot and the people are suffering as well as the natural world.

Among the serious threats are the heat wave deaths, food and water shortages, sea-level rise, human security, and droughts.

GAN added that “we recently have seen slowing of the Atlantic Ocean current including the Gulf Stream which is a phenomenon associated with abrupt temperature changes in the last Ice Age.”

“Unfortunately, as oceans are becoming more acidic and circulation of nutrients slows, the number of phytoplankton is decreasing at one percent per year that affects the aquatic food chain and the production of the oxygen the people breathe.

“Also, the world was shaken as the Amazon Rainforest which is commonly called as the Earth’s Lungs begun to burn down simultaneous with the compounding forest fires in Indonesia,” it said.

GAN coordinator Elmeer Meeynard Calimpos said that in Negros, the remaining forests that were declared natural parks and protected areas are not spared from illegal logging and systematic logging.

Calimpos said these include Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park (MKNP) wherein in 2008 the Energy Development Corporation cleared about 4,000 thousand trees inside 12.5-hectare buffer zone for its geothermal drilling.

“Until today, the company was not able to produce the target 40 megawatt geothermal power,” he added.

The MKNP was declared as a national park and one of the top 10 sites for conservation because of its biodiversity significance.

Several flora and fauna inside MKNP are declared endemic and most are not yet elevated into species level, the press statement said.

Since then, MKNP and Northern Negros Natural Park (NNNP) have also been facing various developmental activities that threaten its biodiversity and remaining forest cover.

GAN said activities like widespread kaingin, sprouting of illegal structures (resorts, resto, vacation houses) and development projects in Salvador Benedicto and Barangay Patag in Silay City.

The group, moreover, said it continues to save the seas in Hinobaan town against the entry of the 300 million dollar ship recycling project of Japanese firm Tsuneishi Heavy Industries that will compromise the sustainability of marine biodiversity.

GAN also reiterated its opposition to the proposed coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City and highly supports the Executive Order (EO) 1908 of the former Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. to declare Negros Occidental a coal free province.

GAN believes that there is a need to resolve underlying root causes of disasters such as putting an end on the continued illegal activities such as logging, mushrooming resorts and vacation houses, among others in the remaining forests.

“A political will and commitment among local government units to prioritize conservation and protection of our remaining forests and coastal resources is a must to respond to climate change,” it added. (EPN)


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