NEWS AT A GLANCE

April 5-11, 2021

BUSINESS MIRROR
 
A fifth of food output growth has been lost to climate change
 
Climate change has been holding back food production for decades, with a new study showing that about 21 percent of growth for agricultural output was lost since the 1960s. That’s equal to losing the last seven years of productivity growth, according to research led by Cornell University and published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study was funded by a unit of the United States Department of Agriculture. The revelation comes as the United Nations’ World Food Programme warns of a “looming catastrophe” with about 34 million people globally on the brink of famine. The group has cited climate change as a major factor contributing to the sharp increase in hunger around the world. Food inflation is also on the rise as farmers deal with the impact of extreme weather at a time of robust demand.
 
 
MANILA BULLETIN
 
Learning, Enjoying, and Earning from Agro-Forestry (Native Trees, Part IV)
By Jaime Laya
 
Forest tree nursery owner Gerardo “Geff” Cedeño, whom I met virtually on Facebook, gave me a quick rundown on Philippine hardwoods. I’ve always assumed that their wood is great for buildings and furniture. It was therefore an eyeopener that many can and should be significant recurring income sources. The commercial value of coffee, pili, and cashew trees is already recognized, but much can still be done, like cultivating them in large orchards as is being done elsewhere for macadamias, almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazel nuts, etc. We have other trees of similar commercial potential like kalumpít and balobo that are unknown to most.
 
 
MINDANAO NEWS
 
Emergence: Indigenous Women Struggle On
By Dr. Jean Lindo
 
Davao City— It is with honor that I accept this invitation to share experiences with you friends and colleagues in social justice movement. Allow me to express my gratitude for your interest in listening to the plight of indigenous women in the Philippines and for giving me freedom to develop my discourse according to my grassroots feminist slant. My talk has four key messages.
 
 
MIRAGE NEWS
 
Global dataset uncovers community relocations amid disasters and climate change
 
The movements of communities across the world due to disaster risks are mapped by new UNSW Sydney research. Research that is intended to help inform how communities around the world can better relocate amid natural disasters and intensifying climate change has been launched by UNSW Sydney’s Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law and the state-led Platform on Disaster Displacement. Faced with increasing exposure to disasters and the effects of climate change, some communities opt to move permanently out of harm’s way. Some call this process ‘planned relocation’, and the new research maps hundreds of such community moves since 1970, in all parts of the world.
 
 
PANAY NEWS
 
Small acts, big change
 
It wasn’t much of a big news when, on March 27 at 8:30 p.m., millions of people around the world – including Filipinos – marked Earth Hour by switching off electric lights for an hour to save energy, cut carbon emissions and mitigate global warming that cause climate change. Probably because the coronavirus disease pandemic was hogging much of the limelight. But let’s not miss what the annual Earth Hour campaign wants to communicate – small acts can create big, significant changes, even to the environment. Oftentimes people are overwhelmed with the gargantuan task of protecting the environment, without realizing that the small acts ignite greater action and result in significant achievements.
 
 
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER
 
‘Tawilis Patrol’ joins scientists in effort to save prized Taal fish
By Maricar Cinco
 
March and April are supposed to be a lean season for the “tawilis” (Sardinella tawilis) market, as catching the freshwater sardine is prohibited to allow it to spawn freely in its natural habitat in Taal Lake. But for environmentalists like Jord Earving Gadingan of the nongovernment Sa Ngalan ng Lawa (In the Name of the Lake), it is their best chance to reach out to both fishermen and consumers to preach the conservation of the tawilis.
 
Embracing the light: Churches tap solar power
By Jhesset O. Enano
 
In the past few years, Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos in Negros Occidental has been at the frontline of a crusade waged both from the pulpit and on the streets. Alminaza, 61, is part of the Philippine Catholic Church’s strong opposition to the use of fossil fuels in the country. And the threat to the diocese looms large: a proposed 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in its coastal city.
 
Reforestation often useless
By Ernesto M. Ordoñez
 
Unless reforestation is done properly, it is a waste of money. There is, however, a model that works. It should be implemented using four stages. Let us assess how reforestation has fared in the Philippines. In an Inquirer article by Jhesset Enano published last March 20, she wrote: “The forest cover in the Philippines has been reduced to less than 10 percent of the original due to widespread logging and other threats to forest ecosystems.” This should be addressed in two ways: first, enforce the laws to protect the forest and, second, plant to get back our forest cover. We discuss here the latter approach.
 
A post-COVID-19 green stimulus for PH
By Laurence L. Delina
 
Another Philippines exists in which policymakers planning for post-COVID-19 economic recovery prioritize the creation of a carbon-neutral society for all Filipinos: a green stimulus. Our new reality should already be bringing about a sense of urgency among our politicians to scour for resources and inject vast sums of money to stimulate a post-COVID-19 economy. In this alter-Philippines, the government would create meaningful jobs in areas such as public health, housing, sustainable energy, and education with an emphasis on “shovel-ready” projects that can put unemployed and precariously employed Filipinos to work immediately. The government could provide jobs as needed through an extensive jobs creation campaign that would swell during the economic recession, and narrow as the economy improves and when people begin to find work elsewhere. The green stimulus economy provides an alternative to low-paid work bound up in carbon-intensive supply chains like those at fast-food chains and shopping centers, which are currently the major employment opportunities on offer for many Filipinos. This approach addresses the immediate needs of Filipino workers who have been laid off or have had their working hours reduced because of the enhanced quarantines. At the same time, the green stimulus would address the climate emergency with the urgency it demands.
 
Polar bears forced to forage eggs as warming shrinks hunting grounds
By Agence France-Presse
 
Paris — Hungry polar bears are increasingly foraging on seabird eggs as climate change shrinks their Arctic hunting grounds, but research published Wednesday on the phenomenon highlights the struggle these apex predators have to adapt to their rapidly changing environment. The climate change threat to polar bears is well known, driven by the extraordinary pace of change in the Arctic, which is warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole.
 
Climate change driving marine species poleward
By Agence France-Presse
 
Paris — Warming waters have driven thousands of ocean species poleward from the equator, threatening marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of people who depend on them, researchers reported Monday. Comparison of data on nearly 50,000 species over three 20-year periods up to 2015 revealed that the exodus from tropical waters is accelerating, they reported in the journal PNAS.
 
BSP wants more bank loans for ‘green’ ventures
By Daxim L. Lucas
 
The central bank is urging the local banking community to redouble efforts at mitigating the effects of climate change by supporting green and sustainable finance as part of their lending strategies. In a speech delivered at the recent Trust Officers Association of the Philippines (TOAP) membership meeting, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said he was “glad to note that a number of banks have already issued products in this space in the past few years and even during the pandemic.”

Enough Water Supply Seen This Summer

By Ronnel W. Domingo

There are no expected water supply problems for Metro Manila, Rizal and Cavite as ample stock in Angat Dam allows for full allocation to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and even for irrigation needs even in these summer months. Sevillo David Jr., executive director of the National Water Resources Board, told the Inquirer in an interview that supply was enough until the onset of the next rainy season.

 
Emden Deep yields dirty secret in Philippine Trench: Trash
By Jhesset O. Enano
 
When Filipino oceanographer Deo Florence Onda and American explorer Victor Vescovo descended into the Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench, the third deepest point in the world, they were met with almost complete stillness. At a depth of 10,045 meters, they peered through the small windows of the deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor and watched their surroundings move as if in slow motion.
 
 
PHILIPPINE NEWS AGENCY
 
Coast Guard collects 2K-liter oil residue from sunken ship
By Jigger Jerusalem
 
Cagayan De Oro City – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and local community were able to collect at least 2,000 liters of oil residue from an old cargo ship that sank in the coastal Barangay Lower Jasaan, Jasaan town, Misamis Oriental on Sunday. Sabas Tagarda Jr., Lower Jasaan village chairman, said the oil residue was caused by the sinking of MV Racal IV, a cargo boat that had been docked at a local shipyard in Lower Jasaan five years ago. Using sawdust and mosquito net, PCG was able to collect the oil that was already mixed with saltwater. He said to capture the oil, sawdust is spread out to the sea. Oil is absorbed by the sawdust which is then gathered using the mosquito net.
 
 
PROJECT SYNDICATE
 
Vaccination gap jeopardizing climate action
By Justin Vaïsse
 
Paris – Will negotiators from the Global South be barred from attending the United Nations climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow in November because they are not vaccinated against COVID-19? This scenario will not arise, one hopes, because developing-country officials will almost certainly receive their shots in advance. But whether they will want to negotiate with rich economies that have been hoarding vaccines is less clear. Welcome to 2021, where global climate negotiations could become collateral damage of vaccine nationalism. In normal times, the bone of contention between rich and poor countries was who should bear the brunt of efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But the pandemic has already pushed back climate talks by a year, and now threatens to create an additional North-South rift.
 
 
TATLER PHILIPPINES
 
Is Global Warming Still Happening In 2021?
By Jove Moya
 
Time and time again, environmental scientists and advocates remind us to refrain from doing activities that accelerate climate change and global warming in hindsight. The sad reality is, we are only reminded of this problem when we see pictures of starving polar bears or thirsty koalas that animal welfare organizations desperately put online to raise awareness. Global warming continues to happen even when we're not looking. According to a United Nations report, we only have less than a decade to prevent the irreversible damage of climate change. “We are the last generation that can prevent irreparable damage to our planet,” the report said. 
 
 
THE MANILA TIMES
 
The cost of inaction is higher than cost of action
By Ludwig O. Federigan
 
Climate change will not happen in our distant future because, as scientists have said, climate change is happening within our human life span. Unfortunately, only half of the citizens in the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) viewed climate change as a serious and immediate threat to our well-being, according to The State of Southeast Asia 2021 Survey Report. It dawns on how much more work is needed to influence and motivate every Asean citizen to act urgently on this emergency. Without any doubt, unlike our Asean neighbors, around 85 percent of Filipinos view climate change as a serious and immediate threat to our country. A new survey conducted last month showed that 86 percent of Filipinos believe that climate change is bad for both our environment and our livelihood. Two of the costliest typhoons — Typhoon “Rolly” (international name Goni) and “Ulysses” (international name Vamco) — that hit the country last year left aggregate destruction amounting to P40 billion. The Philippines ranked as the fourth country most affected by extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019 by the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.
 
After noise pollution, what next?
By Amado S. Tolentino Jr.
 
For a while, legal minds in the Philippines were in a bit of a quandary about noise pollution. Some argued that the 1999 Clean Air Act (Republic Act 8749) defines air pollutant as any matter that is detrimental to health such as dust, soot, cinders, fly ash, etc. Since noise is not matter but energy, it is not legally actionable. But it is good that the same Clean Air Act classifies noise as an emission, i.e., unwanted sound from a known source which is passed into the atmosphere; therefore, it is actionable. Though interrupted by the coronavirus health crisis, light pollution could emerge in the “new normal” as a global environmental problem, considering the continuing “wonders” in light technology development that we read about and see on TV and portable screens nowadays.
 
Legarda files bill to protect resources in pandemic
By Currie Cator
 
A lawmaker on Friday filed a measure that seeks to create an ecosystem and natural accounting system in a bid to protect the natural resources of the country during the health crisis. “For decades, the debate has been whether to choose the economy over conservation of natural resources. This is a false dichotomy,” Loren Legarda, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, said. “The economy and all of society are fully and entirely dependent on resources — our natural capital that include our forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems.” House Bill (HB) 9181, or the “Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System Law of 2021,” includes “externalities,” which are not valued as capital in the national income accounts system.
 
The ‘smoking gun’ at the bottom of the ocean
 
On March 23, Filipino oceanographer Deo Florence Onda and American explorer Victor Vescovo made a remarkable journey to the Emden Deep, the deepest spot in the Philippine Trench east of Mindanao. The event was historic in the sense that it was the first manned mission to the third deepest ocean depth on Earth and that it appropriately was made by a Filipino scientist as the Emden Deep is also the deepest point in Philippine waters. The 10,045-meter descent aboard a deep-sea submersible called the DSV Limiting Factor took Onda and Vescovo about four hours, and while they could not know for sure what they would see at a place never before visited by man, they certainly did not expect to see what they found: trash, and apparently a lot of it.
 
 
 
CCC in the News
 
 
 
DAILY GUARDIAN
 
CCC appeals to envi journalists to back PH gov’t in strengthening climate action
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the influential role of the media in raising the alarming issue of climate change in the country, laymanizing its complexities, and shaping opinions and engaging the public in taking urgent, and ambitious climate action. In the ‘Collab on Climate Change Fellowship’, organized by the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, the CCC, led by Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, delivered a lecture to the participating environmental journalists about the Philippine Government’s response to climate change.
 
CCC calls for strengthened and unified actions to restore Earth
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) encourages all Filipinos to join in the global call for strengthened and unified actions to nurture the Earth in celebration of the Month of Planet Earth this April. April of every year is declared as the Month of Planet Earth by virtue of Proclamation No. 1482, s. 2008, and throughout the month, various sectors celebrate with activities aimed at raising awareness and strengthening programs to protect and save the planet from environmental degradation and to ensure a sustainable future for all. With the theme, “Doing our Fair Share to Restore the Earth,” this year’s celebration calls for sustainable and resilient recovery not only from COVID-19, but also from the escalating climate-related disaster risks. While looking for efficient ways to put a stop to the rise of COVID-19 cases and providing aid to the Filipinos who were severely affected by the pandemic, we must not pull back from continued climate action.
 
 
MANILA METRO
 
CCC calls for strengthened, unified actions to restore Mother Earth
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is encouraging all Filipinos to join in the global call for strengthened and unified actions to nurture the Earth in celebration of the Month of Planet Earth this April. April of every year is declared as the Month of Planet Earth by virtue of Proclamation No. 1482, s. 2008, and throughout the month, various sectors celebrate with activities aimed at raising awareness and strengthening programs to protect and save the planet from environmental degradation and to ensure a sustainable future for all. With the theme, "Doing our Fair Share to Restore the Earth," this year's celebration calls for sustainable and resilient recovery not only from COVID-19, but also from the escalating climate-related disaster risks.
 
 
PHILIPPINE INFORMATION AGENCY
 
Make lives healthy, sustainable through plant-based diets –Plant-based chefs
By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
 
Plant-based chefs highlighted sustainable food consumption through cheap and easy-to-do plant-based recipes, and its major opportunities and benefits in terms of human health, environment, and the economy during the 40th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic “Oh My Gulay!” The online conversation hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, featured sustainable food enthusiasts including Chef Mae Dolonius of Studio Plantmaed; Chef JR Royol, Host of GMA’s Farm to Table; and Asha Peri of Ecology of Food. The guests shared their journey on becoming plant-based advocates, and encouraged the viewers to switch to sustainable and a healthy lifestyle through plant-based diets.
 
Back PH govt in strengthening climate action, CCC urges environment journalists
By Ma. Alaine P. Allanigue
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) has emphasized the influential role of the media in raising the alarming issue of climate change in the country, laymanizing its complexities, and shaping opinions and engaging the public in taking urgent, and ambitious climate action. In the ‘Collab on Climate Change Fellowship’, organized by the Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University and Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, the CCC, led by Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, delivered a lecture to the participating environmental journalists about the Philippine Government’s response to climate change. “The government welcomes this collaboration, such as with the media, where we can convey some of the work that we are doing and to seek your help to support us in conveying the needed messaging to more Filipinos about climate change. This pandemic has taught us that we could only achieve great things with unity. We need to have a common objective, and we need to reach out in terms of supporting those who are the most vulnerable,” said Herrera.
 
CCC on World Health Day: Build a more just, equitable, healthier world
By Joedie Mae D. Boliver
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) on Monday joined the global community in calling for the protection of rights of all people to equal opportunities and adequate access to essential services, in celebration of World Health Day. April 7th of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 3: Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages. With the theme, “Building a fairer, healthier world for everyone,” this year’s celebration highlights the World Health Organization (WHO) principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”
 
CCC calls for strengthened, unified actions to restore Mother Earth
By Ma. Alaine P. Allanigue
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is encouraging all Filipinos to join in the global call for strengthened and unified actions to nurture the Earth in celebration of the Month of Planet Earth this April. April of every year is declared as the Month of Planet Earth by virtue of Proclamation No. 1482, s. 2008, and throughout the month, various sectors celebrate with activities aimed at raising awareness and strengthening programs to protect and save the planet from environmental degradation and to ensure a sustainable future for all. With the theme, “Doing our Fair Share to Restore the Earth,” this year’s celebration calls for sustainable and resilient recovery not only from COVID-19, but also from the escalating climate-related disaster risks.
 
Plant-based diets 'Oh My Gulay' in 40th episode of ‘Stories for a Better Normal’ series
By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan
 
Plant-based chefs will gather virtually to share knowledge on plant-based diets, including preservation of vegetable dishes in Filipino cuisine, and to raise awareness on the power of plant-based food to address the climate crisis on the 40th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic “Oh My Gulay!” The episode, hosted by three-term former Senator, now Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 8 April 2021, 10 a.m. via Facebook Live through the Climate Change Commission, Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and the Department of Education. Joining the online conversation are sustainable food enthusiasts including Chef Mae Dolonius of Studio Plantmaed; Chef JR Royol, host of GMA’s Farm to Table; and Asha Peri of Ecology of Food to discuss nutritious and sustainable food consumption through easy-to-do, plant-based recipes.
 
 
THE MANILA TIMES
 
Climate body asks Filipinos to help save Earth
 
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is encouraging all Filipinos to join in the global call for strengthened and unified actions to nurture the Earth in celebration of the Month of Planet Earth this April. April of every year is declared as the Month of Planet Earth by virtue of Proclamation 1482, s. 2008, and throughout the month, various sectors celebrate with activities aimed at raising awareness and strengthening programs to protect and save the planet from environmental degradation and to ensure a sustainable future for all. With the theme, “Doing our Fair Share to Restore the Earth,” this year’s celebration calls for sustainable and resilient recovery not only from coronavirus disease (Covid-19), but also from the escalating climate-related disaster risks.