Category Archives: Biodiversity

I didn’t learn politics from school

This is the best time to write about Gina Lopez. She has been my favorite subject matter for a few years now ever since that fateful first impression at the Development Academy of the Philippines seven years ago.  “What is DAP?” she haughtily asked, that bravado kind of turned us off,  given her limited knowledge of those working for a government think thank.  How come she doesn’t know what we do, what is our purpose and mandate. I think that meeting was merely using the facilities of DAP. We were looking for funding and we were thinking she would be a good benefactor for sustainable development projects and policies.

I have no idea what was the outcome of that meeting but fast forward to 2017, we meet again at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  I’m writing this at my temporary space at the DENR compound a few days after her rejection by the commission of appointments as DENR Secretary.

Her leadership approach was totally unconventional but at the end of it all what can we learn from it?  I have encountered people from the entire spectrum of for and against her, I don’t want to comment on that, I respect their stance.  The last blog I wrote on her was the fact that people compare me to her given my educational background in environmental science. I remember my early years in UPLB when former classmates perceive our presence in the university as merely farming, similar to that, environmentalists are like Gina Lopez, which is totally stereotypical.

How about people who have worked all of their lives at the DENR, particularly the Environmental Management Bureau, are they environmentalists, or are just government employees working for the environment. The public will judge not only Gina, but the DENR itself, but after her 10-month stints, some thing will totally change  drastically.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Management System, Greenwash, Pollution Control, Random, Sustainability

Mt. Apo Calling

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The time stamp on this photo is 3:47 am.  I think this is somewhere in Makilala, North Cotabato in 2012. I wanted to master night photography, but I need a stronger lens to do so. I haven’t maximized the use of my Olympus EPL-2, do plan to buy a Panasonic 20mm pancake lens, five years delayed. I hope the quality remains.

 

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Filed under Biodiversity, Career Notes, Ecotourism, Environmental Audit, Environmental Management System, Pollution Control, Quality, Health, Safety & Environment, Travel

I was not photoshopped into the Chocolate Hills

Bohol 2012

Be careful what you put to social media. People can manipulate images. I was not that Kenyan Girl who was obviously photoshopped into the Great Wall of China. Above was an old photo of mine taken January 2012.  It was my first trip to Bohol for Bureau Veritas. After five (5) years doing management system audits and documenting QHSE, I have decided to go back to development work.  I have done quite a bit of sustainable development work prior to joining BV, the difference maybe is that I just don’t own a really great high resolution camera, maybe the next time I travel, I may have one wherever my new work experiences could take me.

Ten years ago, I told myself that my career goals are to work for a Multi-Lateral Development Organization and become a Lead GHG Verifier. Maybe God is kind to me, I still have not achieved those goals…because maybe…my career could have been over by now….one things for sure though, such goals are attainable, but such goal could not be fully achieved if I stay in my current situation.  There are policy barriers,  market barriers, or personally motivated manipulative barriers. People fear the unknown. However, I do know where I want to go.

I am very much thankful for BV that I was able to gain the basics of auditing based on ISO 19011, data quality assurance, even actual implementation of ISO 17020 for inspection activities. These are the recommended Quality Standards specified by the IPCC. More importantly, I was able to get myself copies of ISO 14064-1,2 and 3. Though Part 3 is a struggle with Atoy, at least I was able to do actual GHG Verification work for Energy and Agriculture Sectoral Scopes.

Most of my verification work involved more studying, desktop review of data, recalculations and less physical verification. Now that I have gotten this knowledge, what should I do with it?

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Filed under Biodiversity, Career Notes, Ecotourism, GHG Mitigation Effort, Travel

The Burden of a Hundred Millionth Filipino

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Way back in college, during my days of SOSC I,  there were only 75 Million Filipinos based on the 1995 population census. I just got back the office today to be welcomed by public school teachers conducting pre-census for 2015.  It is confirmed, the Philippines has reached its 100 million population mark this year and the 2015 census is a confirmation.

It is quite surprising that after the announcement, no one seemed alarmed of the challenge that a hundred million population would bring given the limited resources endowed in this country. My first class in resource economics totally changed my outlook in college, the Philippines has lost its endowment and optimizing resource use is difficult.

Why no big deal about this? Is it a good or a bad thing?  The point is, there lies a challenge ahead and no one is anticipating the burden that something like this will bring about.  If there is a population, there is a population pressure. The science of demographics has been developed to objectively analyze things.

However, analysis is skewed and biased to those who will benefit from the data. Objectivity is rare this days, everyone is self serving. The self serving nature will cloud up the data, until things are totally problematic.

 

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Audit, Pollution Control, Sustainability

A Visit to New Songdo City

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I was a bit disappointed when we emerged  from the IBD subway station because it was a cloudy day and we were welcomed by tumbleweeds and grasses.

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The planned city is still under construction.  Building works are still ongoing and the space was wide. We just have to walk further towards the Central Park to see some life in the city.

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We were quite surprised to see a deer.  A hint of wildlife and vegetation for for sustainability purposes. It was such a nice spring day kids can enjoy!

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Filed under Biodiversity, Ecotourism, Environmental Management System, Sustainability

Seoul Vacation 2014

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Ah! Seoul in spring! I advanced my holy week vacation and had a promotional flight to Seoul, South Korea at a time when drones were discovered from their northern brothers. I have been very much pissed off by a rejection letter for an employment application.  Some executive headhunters can be mean and lazy, rather than commend me about my qualification, she just have to reiterate that the position is already closed a few months back but it is still publicly posted  given their dumb mistake.

Should I file a complaint? Complaining complaining complaining…walking around 5 degrees C weather can be a challenge, I am from the tropics, so not used to something below 15 degrees C but I can stand 40 degrees C. My trip to Korea is to have a break from it all but after getting drenched in rain at Namsan Park, I have to find shelter down the hill immediately. Extreme chill can lead to hypothermia.

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April 5, 2014 · 1:02 pm

Earth Houring, Crowd Sourcing and Trafficking.

Time flew fast.   I just finished earth hour.  I didn’t stay home, I was driving during the course of earth hour and changes in local government jurisdiction also changed the lighting condition of roads. It is only now that I realized that lack of lighting can be hazardous specially towards traffic, increasing the risk of traffic accidents. Whoa!  Are we supposed to pull-over during earth hour, but that will waste an hour of travel. First time, an earth hour paradox had occurred.

The last time I was active for Earth Hour / SWITCH 2010 when I have to go to the Mall of Asia to join the concert of darkness organized by WWF but the for the previous years I just spent it at home. This year, fully unaware what time it was, I was driving.

Anyway, Spiderman was supporting the Earth Hour movement. Things are changing, because now Earth Hour has funded environmental improvement projects.  Does this make economic sense? Of course, environmental improvement has an economic value and any degradation is a loss of value.  Everyone has a responsibility to internalize their externalities.

 

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