Monthly Archives: March 2012

The dark path

Sunrise in Bucas Grande Island, Surigao del Norte, after the darkness let there be light. Mindanao has a power crisis at the moment

The dark path. I will be spending some time in Mindanao next week…what should I be bracing for? Will there be light at the end of this darkness.   Energy is important because it makes things work.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Disaster Management, Environmental Audit, GHG Mitigation Effort, Renewable Energy and Biofuels

An Anecdote on GPY…DSc

Dr. Graciano P. Yumul, Jr. D.Sc. gracing one of the Biodigester IEC events. Thank you for the methane to markets grant, however we have to put up with Kurt and US EPA

Yumul takes early retirement from DOST, weather bureau

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11:27 am | Wednesday, March 14th, 2012
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MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Science and Technology confirmed Wednesday that Graciano Yumul, supervising undersecretary for the weather bureau and DOST Research and Development chief, has retired after 28 years of public service.

DOST spokesperson Mon Liboro said Yumul opted for early retirement after nearly 30 years in public service and turned in his retirement letter on Monday.

Yumul himself issued a brief statement: “Magandang umaga po. Please be informed that starting March 12, 2012, I have optionally retired from government service. Maraming salamat po sa mga naitulong ninyo at sana ay ipagpatuloy nyo pagtulong sa DOST.”

Originally posted at  11:17 am |Wednesday,  Mar. 14, 2012

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Filed under GHG Mitigation Effort, Pollution Control, Renewable Energy and Biofuels

Manila Bay plan splits Aguilars of Las Piñas

Manila Bay plan splits Aguilars of Las Piñas.

Someone once told me that I should now start selling our property because people now still do not have an idea that climate change will soon impact our community and what was once land will soon be water reclaimed by sea. It was quite depressing because I believe what he said was true, if the value of the Boulevard 2000 project is 100,000.00 per square meter, that will be devalued once the sea level starts to rise. It would be very easy to sell now because most people could not foresee the impacts of Climate Change in the city. For most, value today is better than value for the future…but as taught by Prof. Cielito Habito, true and sincere development is sustainable development.

Most of the local people I know in my community have no idea what Climate Change is and my family have repeatedly insulted my intelligence because they do not understand what my work is all about.  They do not speak to me yet they make assumptions about who I am.   I barely could speak to someone with a global perspective. All they can think about is power and how to stay in power. Lack of awareness is contagious, any dumbass can rise to power and force upon their misconceptions to everyone and I know most local governments face the same scenario where nothing happens because rather than strive for continual improvement, maintaining the status quo is far more important.We do not need piece meal ordinances that do not serve the good of the majority, what a city needs is a Strategic Environmental Plan, identifying significant environmental impacts through a strategic environmental assessment.

I truly appreciate Hong Kong, however Gina Lopez brainwashes us that we could never be like Hong Kong or Singapore.  First, Hong Kong implements an ecosystem compensation scheme where as a condition for proponents, environmental restoration efforts shall be implemented equal to the environmental costs of any development. The advantage of Hong Kong is that it has a mature environmental impact assessment system that considers the full economic costs and benefits of a development proposal. They have to do this because they have limited resources.

The article I shared from the PDI is full of misconceptions, that has been the style of Philippine Media. Less substance and more showbiz with bits and pieces of insignificance. Education is slowly degrading…critical thinking is considered an ingratitude, forcing upon us dumbness to the maximum level.

I would like to share the announcement of the World Resources Institute. Local government who are partners of ICLEI are now starting to develop and implement GHG inventories. I do not know anyone from my community would appreciates it or would make a comment.   It is like I am living an oxymoron, I am trying my best to become a GHG verifier yet I live in a City that would truly fail in such international standard because policy-makers are not aware of the basics of sustainable development, something as basic as thinking about the future of our children.

 

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Ecotourism, Fast Food Greenwash, GHG Mitigation Effort, Greenwash

In Benguet, climate change clouds strawberry fest

Photo courtesy of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

In Benguet, climate change clouds strawberry fest.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Disaster Management, Sustainability

Tribe shows way to save rare dolphins

Tribe shows way to save rare dolphins.

Photo from the Philippine Daily Inquirer

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Filed under Biodiversity, Ecotourism

Palawan’s complicated politics

Palawan’s complicated politics.

I would like to share this commentary from the Manila Standard Today. To me, and based on my discussions with a number of people in Puerto Princesa, the conspiracy theory is true.   In dealing with corporate entities, compliance to applicable legal requirements is essential in having a sustainable operation.  Noncompliance to the law is a major nonconformity. If the political situation does not allow such political stability to conform to requirements, investors can always move to another country and make their investments there.

Such is the case with Palawan.  However, a number of entities, with political intentions  are trying to paint a picture that investments, particularly corporate entities, bring more bad than good. Rather than promote compliance to the existing laws and regulations, these entities are trying to put the law into their own hands.

With all these talk, I could not seem to hear the side of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development, which is the main entity tasked to ensure sustainable development in the region under Republic Act 7611 which is the Strategic Environmental Plan for Palawan.  Palawan is the only province that has a legislated strategic environmental assessment which should be the bench mark for all provinces, cities and municipalities in the Philippines.  Yet, none of these is highlighted in the media. Gina Lopez keeps on banging our ears with her empty talk but she is already defying the law in the by-pass of RA 7611.

It is disappointing that media has  been louder than policy, when policy is far more imporatant than publicity.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ecotourism, Greenwash

Meeting Gina Lopez

I met Gina Lopez in 2010 and all I remember about her was what she wore. She was wearing a white tube romper, which was quite scary since it poses the hazard of slipping off and exposing  whatever is underneath.  Being rich she must be aware of those fashionable adhesive badges which allows you to stick on clothing to your body.  For those out there who have no idea, below is a picture of one, except that its in white and the fabric is chiffon and it looks far more expensive.

Her dress has far more impact than her speech, to the point that I felt that she can be somehow gullible, as if she swallowed whatever environmental advocacy there is out there without chewing and really knowing how it tastes.  It made me conclude that her target audience are people like her who can be somewhat gullible yet have enough resources to spare to take some action.

Sitting beside me was Dr. Macrina Zafaralla, who was one hell of a marine biologist, yet Gina spoke as if she knew better, but obviously for technical people like most of us sitting in that room, she obviously doesn’t know any better. Those little slip-ups really exposes her just like her argument with Manny Pangilinan when she said “Those places are ugly anyway!”.  She could have  clarified with concepts on ecological productivity and succession but hell they keep on saying the word ugly… yuck! She must have gotten some feedback, that at least she was wearing something acceptable and less scary when she was arguing with Manny.

After her mega-graphic presentation on the Laguna de Bay, Pasig River and its tributaries, all I could remember was Dyosa and Eugene.  The good thing about her though is that she shares those mega-graphic presentations that kids would love!

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Filed under Biodiversity, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ecotourism, Greenwash