Aug 3-9, 2020

A promise of sustainability and social empowerment
By Dinna Chan Vasquez
These days, editors, columnists and writers attend press conferences and product launches via Zoom, Microsoft Team and other videoconferencing platforms that serve such purposes. It is both personal and impersonal. You see the subjects up close on your computer or phone screen but you don’t really get to talk to them. You ask your questions on a chat box provided for that purpose. Doing everything online is not something I am averse to actually. It’s just unfamiliar for now. 
France, MMDA to work on Pasig waterway waste
THE French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, or AFD) and the Metropolitan Agency for the Treatment of Household Waste in the Paris Region, or Syctom, signed a grant agreement on July 21 for a pilot project aimed at strengthening household waste management in Pasay City.
Personal finance and the environment
By Genesis Kelly S. Lontoc
The “New Normal” presents a grand opportunity for all of us to craft a better Philippines. Everyone has to contribute in order to accelerate the recovery process.
Toxic chemicals may be in fast food wrappers and take-out containers, report says
By Sandee LaMotte
What's the first thing you should worry about when you look at the packaging on your fast food or takeout? No, it's not Covid-19 -- science assures us the risk of catching the novel coronavirus that way is miniscule.
Indonesia forward on community forest goal, hobbled by pandemic
By Thomson Reuters Foundation
Handing over state forests to indigenous and local communities is a complex process - and coronavirus has slowed down field work. Indonesia has cut back its planned transfer of state forests to local communities this year by half - an area twice the size of Los Angeles - because of the coronavirus outbreak, according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Covid-induced energy plunge shrinks coal development in Southeast Asia
By Hannah Alcoseba Fernandez
Travel restrictions and obstruction of supplies borne out of the pandemic have fast-tracked the drop in new coal in a region considered one of the strongest growth markets for dirty energy, a new Global Energy Monitor report has found.
DENR leads demolition of illegal structures in protected areas
By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Saturday vowed not to tolerate illegal occupation of lands within protected areas after the agency discovered illegal occupants inside the Upper Marikina Watershed and Masungi Wildlife Sanctuary in Baras, Rizal.
Lockdown emissions fall will have ‘no effect’ on climate
By Agence France-Presse
The unprecedented fall in greenhouse gas emissions from lockdowns during the pandemic will do “nothing” to slow climate change without a lasting switch from fossil fuels, an international team of researchers said Friday.
Rights group to host online event in commemoration of World Indigenous People’s Day
By Gabriela Baron
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center (LRNRC) will host online event #IPGoals on Friday (Aug. 7) in commemoration of World Indigenous People’s Day.
The powerful explosions in Beirut and Tianjin: 5 years apart; both caused by improper storage of hazardous chemicals
By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Thousands of tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate is being explored as responsible for a powerful blast in Beirut, Lebanon that left at least 135 people dead and some 5,000 wounded on August 4, 2020.
Thousands rescued from destructive forest fires in southern France
By Agence France-Presse
Almost 3,000 people were evacuated Tuesday night, some by boat, from homes and camping sites near Marseille in southern France as forest fires tore through 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) of vegetation.
PH climate activists hope CHR makes polluting firms accountable
By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Filipino communities in the frontlines of the climate crisis are hoping that the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) will hold the world’s biggest polluting companies accountable for human rights violations due to the impacts of climate change.
DENR employs faster reporting system in enforcing waste management program
By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has started using an enhanced online monitoring system to efficiently track local government units (LGUs) in compliance with the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.
BSP joins NGFS for green banking
By Lee C. Chipongian
As part of climate change initiatives and to push for sustainable finance, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has joined the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) which is a group of 69 central banks and supervisors dedicated to enhancing the financial sector’s global response to all risks to the environment. 
Environment, health groups call for total ban on importation of hazardous wastes
By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Environment and health groups appealed to the Philippine government on Tuesday to totally ban the importation of hazardous wastes.
DENR to anti-mining groups: Don’t mix up issue of insurgency and environment
By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said anti-mining groups should not mix up issues of insurgency and environment and must not irresponsibly tag mining companies in the killings of environmental defenders.
Group lauds BOC for sending back waste imports to SoKor
By Raymund Antonio
An environment watchdog on Monday commended the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for keeping its promise to ship back the remaining illegal plastic waste imports sent here from South Korea.
Illegal trade of Philippine pangolins is surging, report shows
By Elizabeth Claire Alberts
A single, wild pangolin wandered across a golf course in the Philippine’s Cavite province in March 2018. When the golf club staff spotted the scaly anteater, which was hundreds of miles from its natural habitat on the island of Palawan, they contacted the authorities to come retrieve it. The pangolin was eventually put into a rehabilitation program in an attempt to release it back into the wild; in the end, however, it didn’t make it.
L’Oréal Philippines announces local sustainability roadmap
L’Oréal Philippines has announced its roadmap in contribution to the Group’s global sustainability targets. In collaboration with local stakeholders and partners, the Group’s focus areas for the Philippines are sustainable e-commerce, consumer empowerment and education through Green Beauty, and social empowerment through the nationwide expansion of its beauty education program, Beauty For A Better Life.
More details on the QC ostrich that died of ‘stress’
By Jhesset O. Enano
One of the two runaway ostriches seen inside a subdivision in Quezon City reportedly died due to stress and the other bird had been turned over to a government animal shelter, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
Energy chief says Palawan ‘open to hosting’ nuke plant
By Ronnel W. Domingo
The Palawan local government has joined a short list of areas that are “open to hosting” a nuclear power plant, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said, even as the Philippines is practically still approaching square one toward the use of the socially sensitive technology.
DENR taps military, says NPA a threat to tree-planting campaign
By Bong S. Sarmiento
Koronadal City—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here is tapping the military for security for its greening program in the Soccsksargen region after threats from communist rebels slowed the pace of its implementation in the past.
ASEAN at 53: building resilience, gearing for recovery
By Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim
Laguna, -- Since its establishment 53 years ago, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has forged ahead and stood united in the face of adversities. As the Region faces larger challenges, its robust and enduring cooperation is needed now more than ever.
DENR, SMC Foundation partner in mangrove rehab to save Manila Bay
By Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu
City Of San Fernando, -- About 1,000 propagules of Bakauan babae scientific Rhizophora mucronata were planted by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Foundation in a 10-hectare coastal area of Tibaguin village in Hagonoy, Bulacan.
Dinagat mining firm joins fight vs. sargassum debris
By Danilo Adorador
Cagdianao, Dinagat Islands – Seen as a blight on shorelines and considered a nuisance by fishermen, the sargassum seaweed is now being used to fertilize the mined-out lands of nickel miner Cagdianao Mining Corporation (CMC) here.
Village in Pangasinan town turns plastic into furniture, bricks
By Hilda Austria
Asingan, Pangasinan – Residents of Barangay Ariston East here have turned plastic wastes into sofa, coffee table, plant boxes, and walls for their eco-park during the community quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Exec sees Baguio’s urban decay by 2043 if not addressed soon
By Liza Agoot
Baguio City – The local government here is in the process of changing plans, programs and even policies to interconnect environment, society and economics to prevent the city’s urban decay by year 2043.
Cimatu disallows cutting of trees at Cebu City Covid-19 cemetery
By John Rey Saavedra
Cebu City – Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu on Tuesday ordered the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Central Visayas to ensure that no trees will be cut in the grave site for the deceased coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients here.
Youth, there’s still time to take action, protect Earth
By Ludwig O. Federigan
I am dedicating my column today and next Saturday, August 15, to be in harmony with the Filipino youth in celebrating International Youth Day on August 12 with the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action
CCC in the News
Legarda bats for green COVID-19 recovery plan to promote economy, climate resilience
By Charissa Luci-Atienza
House Deputy Speaker and Antique lone District Rep. Loren Legarda has batted for a sustainable and resilient pandemic recovery plan that would promote environmental protection and economic resilience.
Unity, innovation in climate activism stressed
By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Filipino youth climate leaders who have trained under the Climate Reality Project founded by Nobel laureate and former United States Vice President Al Gore have underscored the significance of unity and innovation in climate activism, especially in the time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Millennial farmers, gardeners amid pandemic in online 'Stories for a Better Normal' series
By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
Caloocan City, -- The 12th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” on Thursday featured “Millennial Farmers and Gardeners” and their stories and experiences in venturing into agribusiness and the importance of sustainable farming amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Experts discuss PH climate, sea level changes at online forum
By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
Caloocan City,-- Experts on Wednesday discussed the current and future state of climate and sea level change in the Philippines during an online forum hosted by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and its National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), in collaboration with the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center.
Youth-led Climate Activism Featured in “Stories for a Better Normal” Series
For the 11th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Youth Climate Activism,” House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, together with fellow Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders, underscored the critical role of the youth in climate action and shared their insights and experiences on how they are leading climate initiatives before and during this pandemic.
Unleashing Antique’s Golden Age
By Lai S. Reyes
Deputy Speaker and Representative of the Lone District of Antique Loren Legarda was a three-term Senator, emerging number one twice in the 1998 and 2007 senatorial elections, and ranked second in 2013. She was the only woman to become Senate Majority Leader and Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Finance. She has also received much recognition and commendation within the country and even in the global arena