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This creature has a humble moniker but it’s part of the Philippines’ wondrous wealth in marine life. It’s called the “bubble shark” (because it can puff up to twice its size when threatened), and it’s a brand-new species discovered only last year in the Verde Island Passage Marine Corridor (VIPMC).
A recent New York Times article rhapsodized about the home of Filipino artist Benji Reyes. What’s notable about the house, it said, was that it was “constructed entirely of rare Philippine hardwoods, species so endangered that it is now against the law to cut them.”
The steel-hulled Chinese boat that ran aground on Tubbataha Reef on April 8 is still there—and the longer it stays stuck, the more the important questions gain traction.
By Bernie Lopez
At present, there are big gaps between the government and nongovernment sectors that inhibit better governance and advocacy. The two sectors do not see eye to eye; one accuses the other of misdeeds. They have somehow acquired the modus operandi of not talking to each other, and believe they can work on their own. This is true for the many issues of today—environment, energy, agriculture, agrarian reform, defense, and so on.
Here’s one way of making sure the May elections don’t turn dirty: Campaign against poll litterbugs. Last week, three crucial government agencies came together to form a task force that will strive to counter the expected flood of garbage after the campaign whirlwind.
Now that the last piece of the US Navy minesweeper that ran aground on Tubbataha Reef has been removed, the real test of Philippine political will begins: how to extract payment from the United States for the extensive damage the USS Guardian has inflicted on the Unesco World Heritage site.
I have been working among the Tagakaulo tribe for two years now. At the moment, I also head the movement that is protesting the 600-MW coal-fired power plant and mining projects of SMC Global Power Holdings and Legenda Mines Inc. respectively, in the town of Malita, Davao del Sur; both companies are subsidiaries of San Miguel Corp. (SMC). The reasons for our protest are that both projects will only aggravate the damage already done to the environment in the Philippines, not to mention climate change, and it will also most probably drive out the Tagakaulo from their ancestral lands.
By Juan L. Mercado
On March 21, Thursday, 193 United Nations member-states will mark “International Day of Forests.” That includes a Philippines stripped to only a fifth of its original 27.5 million-hectare tree cover. There’s no other way but up.
I thank the Inquirer for its March 3 editorial “Everybody’s hour” inviting everybody to honor and celebrate “Earth hour.” It is a small, yet deeply meaningful beginning in which we recognize our common destiny with Mother Earth. The following is an article written by Thomas Berry acknowledging the mutual relationship of humans and Mother Earth.
Exactly four months after the killing of Juvy Capion and her two children in what is now usually referred to as the Tampakan massacre, the Aquino administration, through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, issued an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) to Sagittarius Mining Inc.-Xstrata (SMI-Xstrata). Touted as the biggest copper-gold mining project in the world with a $5.9-billion investment that is likened to the 30 pieces of silver in the loot bag of Judas Iscariot, SMI-Xstrata will resume operation on a land area in Southern Mindanao, which is almost 10,000 hectares.
Dr. J.H. Primavera is not the first person I have heard of who is critical of planting mahogany and other exotic trees because of its supposed toxic substance (Inquirer, 2/14/13). We at the Trees for Life Foundation do not begrudge such people for espousing such views.
As their name indicates, Philippine cockatoos can be found only in this country—but they are now a critically endangered species. The birds used to be widely found on many islands; by 2008, however, their number was down to less than 1,000, with about a quarter of the population now concentrated on Rasa Island and its surroundings in the municipality of Narra in Palawan. Rasa is a declared wildlife sanctuary and is of global importance for conservation because of not only the Philippine cockatoos but also the high number of threatened flora and fauna.