Catch the weekly dose of current and important global and local climate news from our News At A Glance.



June 7- 13, 2021


Kahalagahan ng coral reef iginiit ni Legarda
By Billy Begas
Sa pagdiriwang ng Coral Triangle Day ngayong araw, iginiit ni Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda ang kahalagahan na pangalagaan ang coral reef para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga Pilipino. Ayon kay Legarda dapat ituro sa bawat isa ang importansya ng coral reef upang magpatuloy ang buhay sa dagat. “They protect coastlines from wave and storm erosion and function as nurseries and habitats for thousands of marine species. It is estimated that one square kilometer of healthy coral reef can support as much as 35 metric tons of live fish,” sabi ni Legarda.
3 Filipina artists shine in this New York exhibition on how plastics are taking over our ocean
The archipelago of the Philippines has always been home to seafaring people, creating deep bonds between inhabitants and the bodies of water they border.  This relationship has grown increasingly complex: scientists project that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish, and the Philippines is one of the largest markets for single-use plastic. American inventors patented the flexible, plastic food pouch in 1955, and by the 1980s these sachets inundated the Philippines and other worldwide markets, eventually polluting international waterways. 
Illegal wildlife trade threatens PHL birds
By Jonathan L. Mayuga
A single blue-naped parrot has a use value of up to P185, 981 over the course of its lifetime. Killing and keeping illegally acquired parrots is prohibited by RA [Republic Act] 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act,” the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) posted on its Facebook page on May 22. Native parrots are not the only bird species under grave threat because of habitat loss and hunting for the live bird trade. Most birds in the Philippines are.
We are part of #GenerationRestoration
By Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim
We celebrate World Environment Day every June 5 to generate action on pressing environmental issues. This year, our observance is guided by the theme “Reimagine. Recreate. Restore.” as we formally launch the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration—a broad global movement that resounds a call to halt the worsening environmental degradation and protect the world’s ecosystems. Earlier, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) released a report stating that our current lifestyle uses up natural resources equal to that of 1.6 Earths. Humanity is consuming more than what the planet, our only one, can provide. This contributes to the alarmingly fast rate by which we lose biodiversity compared with our efforts to restore nature.
Reimagine, recreate, restore’ environment for future generations
Every year, on June 5, the Philippines joins other member-countries of the United Nations in the observance of World Environment Day.  The month of June is also observed as Philippine Environment Month.  This year’s celebration expands further into the launching of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), “a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.” The theme of this year’s observance is: Reimagine. Recreate. Restore. As the world goes into the second year of a raging pandemic, there is greater impetus to focus on how to stem the tide of environmental degradation.  “Healing from the pandemic is linked to healing the planet.”
What the Philippines can contribute to win against climate change
By Tony La Viña
I have written many times that the global climate emergency is upon us. We are already experiencing its impact and it will only get worse. But are we helpless against climate change? Are the worst scenarios inevitable? Should we just give up and do what we can to prepare for what is to come? The good news is that the impact of climate change is not written in stone. We can still win against climate change.
Harnessing the potential of black sand
By Charlie V. Manalo
Black sand, for all the dollars it could actually generate for the country even in its raw form, is not without negative impact. What could be considered the latest craze in mining, black sand or magnetite is used as an additive in the manufacturing of concrete and steel products, magnets, paint, ink, paper, jewelry, and cosmetics, making it a very lucrative commodity in foreign markets such as in China and Taiwan and as such, magnetite extractions are now being conducted in large scale in the areas of Cagayan, Pangasinan, Zambales and some parts of the Visayas.
DOF Backs Green Projects In Mindanao With 'Sustainable Finance'
By Ben O. de Vera
The Philippines’ shift to greener energy sources would also be funded by sustainable financing schemes to ensure the country adhered to its climate-change mitigation commitments under the Paris Agreement, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Wednesday. “The Philippines takes its climate change adaptation in conjunction with disaster risk reduction. The DOF plays a lead role in mobilizing financing for climate change mitigation. We are currently establishing a sustainable finance ecosystem to synergize investments from both the public and private sectors,” Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez told a roundtable discussion organized by the British Embassy Manila on Wednesday.
Taking it slow in a fast­paced world
By Pacita U. Juan
Yes we want to change things fast, but in a slow way. And what inspires us to do so is our being part of Slow Food (, a grassroots movement to eat good, clean and fair food. How is going slow possible? In Palawan, a friend started what is inspired by Israel’s kibbutz—a commune type of arrangement where five farmers work in the same area but doing complementary activities—one is making soil, one tends to animals like goats and chickens, one does vegetable plots and the two others may do aquaculture, rice or tend to fruit-bearing trees. Also in this model is a 100-square meter plot of lowland vegetables like pechay, talong and alugbati, or just pinakbet ingredients. In this kibbutz model, the farmers complement each other’s harvests and are able to eat a balanced meal, without having to go to market.
UK to boost ties with PH on climate, biodiversity conservation
By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
The United Kingdom will continue working with the Philippines to tackle climate change and promote biodiversity conservation, British Ambassador to Manila Daniel Pruce said Wednesday. Pruce made the statement during a virtual roundtable discussion ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) which will be hosted by the UK in Glasgow from November 1 to 12.
PH working with ADB, WB on measures vs. climate change
By Joann Villanueva
The Philippine government is now working with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on a goal to acquire all coal-fired power plants in Mindanao, a Department of Finance (DOF) official said. In a virtual roundtable briefing hosted by the British Embassy on Wednesday, Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez, who read the speech of DOF Secretary Carlos Domiguez III, said the government intends to repurpose the coal-fired power plants to increase the region’s renewable energy.
‘Wag tapon nang tapon! Loren Legarda urges Pinoys: Embrace sustainable living
By Billy Begas
On the eve of the 123rd year celebration of the country’s independence, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda urged Filipinos to break free from the throwaway culture and unite in building a pollution-free environment. Legarda said Independence Day reminds Filipinos of how we were able to break free from the clutches of colonial oppression and inequality more than a century ago.
Women as fierce protectors of mangrove forests
By Jun N. Aguirre
Kalibo, Aklan -- For over three decades, the mangrove forest has long been an inseparable part of the lives of people in villages in central Philippines. They have been taking care of the vast forest for generations. Women from four villages --Barangay Old Buswang, the Kalibo Mangrove in the province of Aklan-- developed a tight bond with the forest as it became a place for sharing food, culture, interactions and hopes. For years, women have been fierce protectors by putting their lives at risk by taking head-on the challenges in the growth of the mangrove forest.
Protecting the planet
By Fr. Shay Cullen
Have you ever seen the sun set upon the sea, the migrating birds fly in formation proud? Have you ever seen the mighty forest and heard the birds sing clear and loud? Have you seen the flowers in the meadows and the fields that provide the nectar for the bee, that gives the honey in the hive hanging from the tree? Have you ever seen the dolphin’s race across the ocean waves? The mighty whales that swim in the oceans strong and brave?
Sustainability initiatives for the sugar industry
By Ludwig O. Federigan
Sugarcane has been cultivated for human and animal consumption for over 500 years. About 80 percent of sugar produced from sugarcane is cultivated in 110 countries, covering approximately 27 million hectares that produce an annual average of some 170 million tons. Sugarcane is planted in around 65 million acres of land worldwide with a dozen countries using at least 25 percent of their farmland to grow it. The industry contributes significantly to gross domestic product in major sugarcane-producing economies like the Philippines and is one of the biggest livelihood providers because it supports millions of farmers.
Ocean pollution and human health
By Amados. T0lentin0 Jr.
Ocean pollution is worsening and poorly controlled. It involves a complex mixture of toxic chemicals, plastics, petroleum, urban and industrial waste, pesticides and fertilizers, pharmaceutical chemicals, agricultural runoff and sewage. More than 80 percent of the pollution comes from land-based sources. It reaches the oceans through rivers, run-offs, atmospheric depositions and direct discharges. A particularly alarming threat right now is ocean plastic pollution. Plastic debris is not limited to the shores of the Mediterranean, the Atlantic or the Pacific. Trillions of plastic waste circulate through the world's oceans from the Antarctic to the Arctic, both close to the surface and in the deep sea.
US, PH expand cooperation on biodiversity conservation
As the United States marks its 75th year of diplomatic relations with the Philippines, the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have agreed to advance their cooperation to protect the Philippines' rich natural resources and improve access to clean water and sanitation. In February, USAid and the Philippine government, through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), signed a four-year, P7.25-billion agreement to protect the environment, promote sustainable use of natural resources, and reduce risks from natural disasters. On May 27, USAid and the DENR signed the sub-agreements to implement two projects under that agreement: the Sustainable Interventions for Biodiversity, Oceans and Landscapes (SIBOL) and Safe Water Project.
SM invests in resilience to counter climate change
As a country experiencing an average of 20 typhoons a year and of increasing intensity, the Philippines is third among countries most vulnerable to climate change due to its location. This makes investing in disaster resilience vital to building a more sustainable future for the country.

CCC in the News
Philippines contributes to over one-third of world's ocean plastic waste - study
By Job Manahan
The Philippines has contributed to 36 percent of the plastic waste that ended up in the world's oceans, with the Pasig River identified as the top plastic pollution source, a study has revealed. According to a peer-reviewed study published in the Science Advances journal, 466 rivers in the country alone are emitting 356,371 metric tons of "mismanaged plastic wastes" annually. 
19 Philippine rivers among top 50 ocean polluters in the world–study
By Jonathan L. Mayuga
A scientific study released by The Ocean Cleanup in the journal Science Advances has identified Pasig River and 18 other Philippine rivers among the top 50 polluting rivers in the world. These rivers in the Philippines, the study added, represent more than a quarter of rivers worldwide that are responsible for 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution.
An urgent call to stop using single-use plastic
By Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II
Because of the pandemic, there has been a kind of break in air pollution and environmental emissions around the world. But now that countries are slowly opening up and people are cautiously emerging from their homes, we can expect to see a rise in environmental problems once more. Covid-19 did not cancel out climate change, after all. Measures to address climate problems should be part of the recovery strategies that every nation is drawing up at this time.
Pasig is world’s most polluting river — study
By Angelica Y. Yang
Pasig River is considered the world’s most polluting river when it comes to plastic waste, according to research published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). At the same time, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Group (ICTSI) Foundation on Wednesday launched initiatives to help rehabilitate the polluted river.
Pasig River as world's top plastic polluter a 'badge of dishonor' — Roque
The study by a Netherlands-based group that named Pasig River as the top plastic polluter among rivers worldwide is a fresh call for authorities to do better in enforcement of relevant laws, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday. Roque called the tag a "badge of dishonor," as he noted that progress in the river rehabilitation efforts has been slow.
Youth edition of 2021 Sulong Pilipinas to tackle climate change
The Duterte administration is partnering next week with young Filipinos in the latest edition of Sulong Pilipinas, this time to craft strategies on how different sectors of society can work together to counter the disastrous effects of climate change. Titled “Sulong Pilipinas 2021: Climate Change and the New Normal with the Youth Sector,” this event will be held virtually on June 15 in support of health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19, according to Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Paola Alvarez.
Sulong Pilipinas to tackle climate change
By Chino S. Leyco
The Duterte administration is partnering next week with young Filipinos in the latest edition of Sulong Pilipinas, this time to craft strategies on how different sectors of society can work together to counter the disastrous effects of climate change. Titled “Sulong Pilipinas 2021: Climate Change and the New Normal with the Youth Sector,” the event—hosted by the Department of Finance (DOF)—will be held virtually on June 15, 2021.
#MINDANAO: Why June 5 matters
By John Tria
Yes, June 5 is world environment day. Celebrated globally, it passed through the archipelago and our calendars without much notice save for some posts in some social media pages. Nonetheless, in the two months since Earth Day last April we have seen many environmental realities dawn on us, from a “somewhat summer” in Mindanao (because it was rainier than usual) to the arrival of the first rains courtesy of Typhoon Dante- also entering via Mindanao. World Environment Day prods us to think very deeply about our environment and how it affects us and, more importantly, how we affect it. Our environmental laws are designed to check on our behavior towards the environment.
Philippines contributes to over one-third of world’s ocean plastic waste – study
By Aquilino Managbanag
The Philippines has contributed to 36 percent of the plastic waste that ended up in the world’s oceans, with the Pasig River identified as the top plastic pollution source, a study has revealed. According to a peer-reviewed study published in the Science Advances journal, 466 rivers in the country alone are emitting 356,371 metric tons of “mismanaged plastic wastes” annually. It also said majority of the “largest emitting rivers” globally are located in Asia, contributing 81 percent, followed by Africa (8 percent), and South America (5.5 percent).
19 Philippine rivers among top 50 ocean polluters in the world–study
A scientific study released by the publication ocean Cleanup in the journal Science Advances has identified Pasig River and 18 other Philippine rivers among the top 50 polluting rivers in the world. These rivers in the Philippines, the study added, represent more than a quarter of rivers worldwide that are responsible for 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution.
Pasig River top plastic polluter sa buong mundo – pag-aaral
By Ernie Reyes
Nanguna ang Pasig River sa plastic polluter sa lahat ng mga ilog sa mundo batay sa pag-aaral ng Netherlands-based group. Tinawag ito ni presidential spokesperson Harry Roque na “badge of dishonor” dahil sa mabagal na rehabilitasyon ng ilog. “Dati nga po meron pa tayong komisyon just on Pasig River pero wala rin nangyari,” giit ni Roque sa isang media briefing. Binuwag ni Pangulong Duterte ang Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission noong Nobyembre 2019.
Restoring ecology in the pandemic
Last June 5, World Environment Day, amongst the stream of images and posts on social media was Nena Jane Achacoso’s challenge to other citizens to plant six trees per month, “enough to compensate for the CO2 emissions we produce.” Reflecting on a report uploaded on the Rainforest Action Network’s (RAN) website that “approximately 3.5 billion to 7 billion trees” are cut every year, the University of Philippines Cebu alumna and digital content producer said in a June 5 post on Facebook that planting and caring for six trees a month is her personal commitment to “plant the seed for a better tomorrow.”
Iloilo, Jalaur Rivers among top plastic-emitting in the world – study
More than a quarter of rivers worldwide responsible for 80% of ocean plastic pollution are found in the Philippines, with Pasig River and 18 other Philippine rivers (including two in Iloilo City and province) among the top 50 polluting rivers in the world, according to a scientific study released by the publication Ocean Cleanup in the journal Science Advances (study links here and here).
Migration as a resilience strategy to climate impacts
In celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Philippines launched the report "Framing the Human Narrative of Migration in the Context of Climate Change" which reviews the existing evidence on migration in the Philippines in the context of the climate emergency. While the Philippines is one of the smallest contributors to causes of climate change, it ranks as the second most affected by climate risks impacts globally, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2020. Aside from experiencing an average 20 typhoons a year, the country now faces more frequent and extreme weather changes, rising temperature, heavier rainfall and sea level rise.
Pasig River world's top plastic polluter
By Eireene Jairee Gomez
The Pasig River as well as 18 other rivers in the Philippines were identified as among the top 50 polluting rivers in the world, a study released by the Rotterdam-based Ocean Cleanup said. Ocean Cleanup is a nonprofit engineering environmental organization based in the Netherlands that develops technology to extract plastic pollution from the oceans and intercept it in rivers before it can reach the ocean. It also conducts scientific research into oceanic plastic pollution. The study found that a quarter of the rivers that were found to be responsible for 80 percent of ocean plastic pollution are found in the Philippines.
Climate body airs alarm over plastic pollution
By Janvic Mateo
A recent study that found Philippine rivers as the top contributors of plastic pollution in oceans highlighted the issue of mismanaged plastic wastes in the country, according to the Climate Change Commission (CCC). In a statement, the climate body reiterated its call for urgent efforts to solve the plastic crisis. It said House Bill 9147 or the Single-Use Plastics Products Regulation Act, which was recently approved on second reading, serves as a potential measure that will effectively address the country’s high rate of plastic waste leakage.
Pasig, other Philippine rivers among biggest contributors to ocean
By Gaea Katreena Cabico
The Philippines was the largest contributing country to the plastic waste that reaches the ocean, with the Pasig River ranked as the most polluting river in the world, a study by a Dutch nonprofit showed. According to a study of The Ocean Cleanup published in Sciences Advances last April, the Philippines is home to 28% of the rivers responsible for ocean plastic pollution. The Philippines had 466 rivers out of the 1,656 rivers that accounted for nearly 80% of plastic inputs to the ocean.  
Climate crisis driving Filipinos to relocate — UN migration report
By Gaea Katreena Cabico
Migration is one of strategies employed by Filipinos to cope with the impacts of the climate crisis, a report of the United Nations migration agency found. A report from the International Organization for Migration Philippines identified farmers and fisherfolk, women, elderly, and the urban poor as the most vulnerable to and severely impacted by the effects of the climate crisis such as extreme weather events, increase in temperatures, sea level rise, heavy rainfall and drought. In response to the increasing climate risks, Filipinos rely on voluntary adaptive strategies such as permanent and circular migration as well as involuntary strategies such as distress migration and systemic relocation.
Pasig river, other Philippine rivers among top plastic waste carriers in the world, says study
By Catalina Ricci S. Madarang
Pasig, Agno, Davao and Iloilo rivers are among the top 50 rivers in the world that carry the most pollution into the ocean, according to a recent study. Government agency Climate Change Commission also reported the same study on Facebook on Wednesday.
Pasig River Rehabilitation Project Largest-Ever in the Country
By Jal Cutaran
It is no surprise that the Philippines is one polluted country, but it’s still pretty alarming that the world’s most polluting river is our Pasig River. San Miguel Corporation knows the importance of cleaning up the river that goes through Manila’s cities, and SMC president Ramon S. Ang has announced last week that the company will be allocating a budget of P2 billion for the Pasig River rehabilitation project.