Home to amazing creatures of the sea

(Note: The following article was first published in the Business Mirror on April 30, 2016.)

Have you ever seen a dolphin or a whale while cruising?

If you have by chance, consider yourself lucky.

These marine mammals are rarely seen nowadays, as their global population has decreased dramatically, mainly because of habitat destruction, pollution, hunting and bycatch, or accidental catching.

While whales are traditionally hunted for food and medicine, dolphins and sea cow, another threatened marine mammal called dugong in the Philippines, often fall victims of by-catch, as they are trapped in nets.

As such, watching whales, dolphins or, in…

Read more: Home to amazing creatures of the sea

Albay Coral Reef Program Launched

TO CAUTION the impacts of climate change, the Province of Albay — in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) — will implement a Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Program (SCREMP).

Albay Governor Joey Salceda said the Albay-DENR partnership program, forged in mid-April this year, includes a livelihood component to be managed by legitimate people’s organizations.

“With alternative sources of income, Albay fishermen need not ‘overfish,’ added Salceda.

Under the agreement, Albay and DENR will donate P100,000 to each of the four municipalities – Oas, Libon, Pioduran and Ligao City, which located in the west coast of…

Read more: Albay Coral Reef Program Launched

Humanity’s survival hinges on 1.5°C target

Senator Loren Legarda has called on global leaders to immediately ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, even as she stressed the need to target the more ambitious but safer 1.5-degree Celsius warming limit.

“In the Agreement, our commitment is to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and that 1.5 degrees is an aspiration. But the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit should not just be an aspiration; we must do everything not to go beyond that, because the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal is a matter of survival. We have already breached the 1 degree…

Read more: Humanity’s survival hinges on 1.5°C target

DENR Names Two Heritage River Systems

THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has designated two river systems with important cultural heritage value as water quality management areas (WQMAs), a move that is expected to boost the tourism industry in the cities of Baguio and Naga.

By virtue of two separate administrative orders signed by Environment Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje on April 18, the Bued River System in Northern Luzon and the Naga River in Camarines Sur have been added to the list of WQMAs now numbering 23.

Paje said that securing the integrity of the two river systems not only ensures the sustainable…

Read more: DENR Names Two Heritage River Systems

Community watersheds: Long-term solution vs. drought

As a long-term solution to the yearly dry spell due to El Niño, the government in partnership with farmers’ groups should construct and develop community watersheds in drought-prone areas.

Thus is the recommendation of former agriculture secretary William Dar, citing the success of community watershed projects in India, where he led for 15 years the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

“With community watershed as a springboard for other interventions, ICRISAT has enabled thousands of farmers in 66 watersheds in India increase their crop yields up to four tons per hectare from a measly one to two…

Read more: Community watersheds: Long-term solution vs. drought

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