Tag Archives: Philippine Adaptation

A Reaction to Gina Lopez’ DENR Appointment

vampira-me-laffIt has been quite a while since I have written a post,  and Gina Lopez in the news have resurrected my ecoblogging from the grave. My last post  in 2012 was about my encounter with her in DAP in 2010.

The worst that you could tell me at this point in my life is that you see me as the future Gina Lopez, DENR Secretary.  I believe I have good scientific training and technical experience in environmental management. Being a media hype is not something I would dream about. I do want a certain degree of concrete expertise.

The appointment of Gina Lopez, is something I do frown about. The second one I frowned at after Mark Villar for DPWH. These are the cases that seem muddy rather than concrete. But the established safeguards in government systems will hopefully deliver regardless of leadership. I wish them the best, but I don’t like them. Some things will be difficult, but we can always wait for the next administration to patch things up.

Gina Lopez has always been a pet peeve for me.  Maybe its the energy she exudes when I met her. Why did I end up in that meeting anyway? Was it her seemingly lack of regard for Filipino Scientists?  Her know-it-all naivete with excerpts of arrogance?  Her “alalays” Diosa and Eugene…Oh gosh, the seemingly staged entrance to the meeting, the bohemian outfit or the fact that she kind of looks like my old boss, who was deeply insecure of me. Red flags here and there, naive comments on ecology and sustainability showing limited technical knowledge….blah blah blah.

Have I really come a long way? I have nothing to do with the DENR or LLDA at the moment. As much as possible I do not want to involve myself in shallow environmentalism and media propaganda.  I do want to exude technical expertise in the most modest, humble and  academically appropriate manner.  Being recognized as a media hype, will not be me because I don’t have  and will never have that advantage.

I do believe that Climate Change is the most critical environmental issue in the Philippines. Though our focus is Adapting to the Change, mitigation should also be focused at.  I believe I can contribute my training, experience and expertise on this area and I need to learn more.

I guess my issue with Gina Lopez is that people around me compare me to her, which to me is NOT a good thing. I have nothing against her, but her ways and means are not something I want to emulate. Gina Lopez is an environmentalist, I am not like that, and I am  doing my best to break away from that perceived mold.

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Filed under Career Notes, Climate Change, Corporate Social Responsibility, GHG Mitigation Effort, Greenwash, Renewable Energy and Biofuels

The Burden of a Hundred Millionth Filipino

crab sauce

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

Beyond The Rolling Hills

Beyond The Rolling Hills

Just got back from Malandag, Sarangani Province in Mindanao. We took a land trip to Davao City and the flight back to Manila was horrible. We have to go through a three to four hour delay due to bad weather. Davao City was on halt due to flooding. Upland in Sarangani, flooding is not an issue but the lack of forest cover is sure less protection from  a heavy down pour down  hill.

Clear cut land is a usual site in my travels and it has been common in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  Land has not been properly utilized to maximize its benefits. People in power and  the mass and hordes of proverty stricken people have brazenly utilized land towards degradation without foreseeing the possible tragedies that may lie ahead. Regardless of periodic and seasonal tragedies that were already experienced, not much has changed. Population grows grows grows and land is used brazenly, may be this is what we really want small steps towards our total destruction or we just make ourselves blind because not knowing is not hurting.

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November 1, 2013 · 1:38 pm

Climate Change Adapting

Climate Change Adapting

 

Walking home after an appointment was cancelled.  Please, don’t let us believe that this is God’s Wrath for corruption, this is just another impact of rising sea levels.  Climate change is already here, we just need to adapt to it.

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August 20, 2013 · 12:25 pm

Shallow thoughts and strong principles

During my early years in implementing EMS, most people in the organization have started out programmes such as making a song about the environment, poster making contests or tree-hugging events in lieu of tree plantings. In a less mature organization, these programs are acceptable, since environmental performance targets are still in the baseline data gathering stage, but if such programs still exists after 10 years yet building system chillers are rotting away eating up so much energy during normal operational conditions, then the organization has remained in a position of shallow thoughts rather than of strong principles.

The way people have thought about me have also ranged from shallow thoughts to strong principles, I know some people have a tendency to assume and judge, maximizing their inductive reasoning or people I have known for years putting me in a pedestal.  Maybe now, I had hoped to have people around to share the same principles of having developed specific performance targets and long term continual improvement goals and could at least do away with poster-making, songwriting or tree-hugging for the sake of greenwashing.

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Filed under Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Audit, Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Management System, Greenwash, Sustainability

Invest in renewable energy

Invest in renewable energy

I made this banner way back in 2010, before I left the methane to markets project and saying goodbye to my anaerobic biodigester friends.  The phase of development is really slow, renewable energy projects are running at a turtle’s phase here in the Philippines, though I am getting my monthly salary and getting some opportunities to be trained in GHG verification, there seems to be no great impact renewable energy have in policy-making.

The Renewable Energy Act has been around for quite some time yet the impact is not much, now the Philippines is facing an energy crisis where areas within the country face rotating black-outs which could have been prevented by developing small-scale renewable energy projects.   I do miss being a part of a project implementing renewable energy initiatives, even something as small as putting up a small microscale digester in a small farm.  If only such initiatives were replicated similar to what has been done in Vietnam and Cambodia, we won’t have to rely on diesel-powered generators or even power barges that run on carbon emitting fossil fuels.

There is so much opportunity but we just could not see it because… I don’t know… I just don’t understand the policy scenario why opportunities are being missed and our environmental initiatives are just simply for show and not for return on investments.

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April 6, 2012 · 11:09 am

its climate change, change change change your perspective

Photoshopped DPWH Officials

I have had enough of the news of people in flood inundated areas crying their hearts out, blaming this or that or whoever they can point their fingers on for the dire situation that they are in.  Things have changed, there is always a threat that we will get flooded more often.  These people are climate refugees, displacement will be a normal seasonal occurrence, an a nomadic lifestyle will be the norm unless we establish climate adaptive communities.

The storm surges of Manila Bay have cleared a lot of shanties within the coastline. It is good to commend Navotas for preventing illegal settlers from resettling into the risk-prone area. In my readings, the Navotas, Malabon and Pampanga River Delta were once mangrove forests, the rapid conversion of mangroves into fish pens in Navotas and Malabon have led to the siltation of the area which had temporarily became land created by silts.  Land area created through siltation is prone to liquefaction and will always be recovered by the sea once sea levels have risen which is the trend of climate change.

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Filed under Climate Change, Disaster Management