Forest Fires. Ice Cap melting. Sea level rising at a faster rate. Flash floods. Super Typhoons. These are just some of the natural calamities and events brought about by Climate Change. Since these issues are quite urgent, I happened to be invited by Couch Sessions initiated by the Philippine Information Agency as represented by Ms. Rachelle Nessia on August 28, 2014 6PM at the Center Suites, Escario. The PIA Cebu aimed to use social media as an outfit for info dissemination on current and public issues most especially concerning environment conservation. With its theme “Ano ang Pinagbago Mo Para Sa Kalikasan?”, it aimed to air out issues that affect us and resulted to drastic environmental changes we encounter daily.
Our guest speakers for the Couch Sessions are Dr. Ed Llamedo of DENR 7, expounding on the National Greening Program [Execuive Order 26] that was created by the government to reduce poverty, promote food security, environmental stability, biodiversity conservation and enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation. EO 26 supports and complements EO No. 23, which bans logging in natural and residual forests. In this infographic, it clearly shows how the invasive species do more harm than help in reforesting our areas.
Here are the reasons why NGP is still one great way to replenish our denuded forests:
- It seeks to improve the water quality of our rivers and irrigation for farm lands
- It seeks to reduce the potential for floods
- It seeks to soak up carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere
- It seeks to lay the foundations for an expanded wood products economy
- It mandates all government institutions and agencies not only to support in terms of planting but also in the production of quality seedlings, mobilization of all government employees and students to plant 10 seedlings each, annually.
- Upland communities will be tapped to be responsible in taking care of the seedlings planted by other participants and as a result, will be included in the Conditional Cash Transfer Program of Dept of Social Welfare and Development.
Aside from that info, during the couch chat session, Atty Chad Estella of PENRO, Province of Cebu who pioneered in monitoring ordinances protecting the environment, also provided essential info on the case of the sink holes in Kintarkan Islet of the coast of Bantayan Island. These sink holes resulted from the degradation of limestone from acid rains. Through time, these emerged as climate changed drastically over the past decade placing families in constant danger. Though costly and pretty much difficult to sustain on the research and monitoring, Atty Chad would like everyone to know that the DENR and PENRO are doing ways on how to attend to the matter so that everyone will be spared on the consequences of disturbing the original contour and landscape of our environment.
These couch chat sessions really paved the way for something that we must act on immediately. The social media, when put to good use, is a powerful tool to make the general public be aware and interact so find a working and viable solution to each problem. And I know most people are glad that PIA Cebu made the move to get digital. Kudos!
After the session, I vowed to make the move to change and save our Mother Earth. How about you? What have you changed for Mother Earth? Do let me know your thoughts below!