Tag Archives: environment

[People] Protecting the Planet | by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Environment

Protecting the Planet
Shay Cullen

11 June 2021

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 dolphins race across the ocean wave,
The mighty whales that swim the oceans strong and brave?
A breathless sight of beauty you will ever see
If we will just allow them to live and to be.

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[Press Release] Environmental Advocates’ Plea: Stop Activist Killings | EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment #Killings

Environmental Advocates’ Plea: Stop Activist Killings

Responding to the brutal killings of nine activists last March 7, environmental advocates pressed the government to ensure that the lives and liberties of those peacefully exercising their constitutionally-guaranteed rights are upheld and protected.

“As the fight for Mother Earth is a fight for her children too, the EcoWaste Coalition condemns the spate of politically-linked killings that have claimed the lives of activists working for and with the marginalized sectors,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, including the nine activists who perished from the bloodbath last Sunday following joint police-military operations in CALABARZON.

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[Press Release] Groups Push for Zero Waste Approach Amid Plans to Build 300 More Landfills by 2022-EcoWaste Coalition

#HumanRights #Environment

Groups Push for Zero Waste Approach Amid Plans to Build 300 More Landfills by 2022

Environmental advocates have weighed in on the plan of the government to construct 300 more landfills by 2022.

Through a press statement, leaders of the Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Mother Earth Foundation and the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to reconsider its plan to build more landfills across the country and to focus its efforts in enforcing the salient provisions of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

Republic Act 9003 provides for a comprehensive and ecological approach to managing discards primarily through waste prevention, reduction, segregation at source, reuse, recycling, and composting, excluding open dumping, open burning, and waste incineration.

The 20-year old law, enacted in the aftermath of the deadly Payatas dumpsite tragedy, requires the country’s over 42,000 barangays to develop ecological solid waste management programs, promote waste separation at source, enforce a segregated collection for biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste, and establish Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in every barangay or cluster of barangays.

The said law further prohibits, among other things, the manufacture, distribution or use of non-environmentally acceptable packaging materials; the importation of consumer products packaged in non-environmentally acceptable materials; and the importation of toxic wastes misrepresented as “recyclable” or “with recyclable content.”

“DENR should concentrate on implementing RA 9003 and not build more disposal sites such as landfills. This plan will encourage the people not to practice source segregation and also promote the collection of mixed waste,” said Sonia Mendoza, Chairman, Mother Earth Foundation. “An Extended Producer Responsibility Law and banning single-use plastic packaging will greatly decrease the amount of residual waste that will have to be disposed of in landfills.”

For his part, Joey Papa, President of the Bangon Kalikasan Movement, asked: “How many more hundreds of hectares will be covered by these landfills, which are actually garbage dump sites? Why not use precious, diminishing areas of land for reforestation as shield against storms and typhoons, and as a source of food and livelihood for the people especially in critical times like this pandemic, made worse by global warming and climate change?”

“We must collectively and constantly exert efforts, in our homes and communities, to decrease the use of non-biodegradable materials, to be recycled; immediately eliminate single-use plastics which must be totally banned; and increase the use of biodegradable and plant-based resources, with the excess to be composted. This will reduce centralized collection by 60%-80% as successfully proven by BKM and its partner communities since 2003,” he said.

“We call on the DENR to seriously consider this proposition, our appeal for the longest time,” Papa said, in view of the agency’s recent announcement that it will set up 300 more so-called “sanitary” landfills, until 2022. There are now 189.

“Landfills are designed to serve as sinkholes for the refuse of the present generation. Thus, they unjustly become veritable graves for the resources that are valuable for reuse and use by the future generations. It should not be the backbone of the nation’s solid waste management strategy on the basis of practical, ethical, health and environmental grounds,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition, recalling the group’s Unity Statement adopted at its founding conference on 14 January 2000.

As the Zero Waste Month is celebrated this January in line with Proclamation 760, the groups urge national government agencies and local government units to work toward realizing the Zero Waste vision, goal and action plan to rid cities, municipalities and barangays of toxic dumpsites and incinerators and to keep the environment safe from chemical, plastic and waste pollutants.

“R.A. 9003 stresses waste avoidance and volume reduction through the adoption of best practices in ecological waste management, but the preference for quick fix solutions such as landfills and incinerators, including waste-to-energy burn technologies, persists among some of our government officials,” the groups noted.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Video] Kung may 397M ka pambibili mo ba ng dolomite?-WokeDtalk Episode 9

#HumanRights #Environment Kung may 397M ka pambibili mo ba ng dolomite?

#WokeDtalk discussion.
Makipagtalakayan hinggil sa ating Right to Environment, Climate Change at bilang kabataan.

https://web.facebook.com/Y4Rofficial/videos/4019215998094459

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[Statement] Kaliwa dam: bangungot ng kaunlaran -STEP-Sierra Madre

Kaliwa dam: bangungot ng kaunlaran

Pinipilit ipatanggap sa atin ang Kaliwa Dam. Ginagamit na dahilan ang diumanoý krisis sa tubig sa Kamaynilaan. Sa biglang tingin, parang okay naman. Pero kapag sinuring mabuti ang proyekto, lilitaw ang maraming katanungan na senyales ng nakatagong malaking problema at kapahamakan.

Dumaan ba sa tamang proseso ang proyekto? Mahalagang suriin kung dumaan sa tamang proseso ang anumang proyekto dahil ito ang hakbang para magarantiyang ligtas ito at magsisilbi sa kapakanan ng mamamayan. Sa kaso ng Kaliwa Dam, mapagpasya ang mulat at malayang pagsang-ayon ng mga kapatid nating Katutubong Dumagat-Remontados, gayundin ang pagsang-ayon ng lahat ng LGU na apektado nito gaya ng mga bayan ng Infanta, Real at Nakar. Gayunman, ang konsultasyong isinagawa ng MWSS sa mga Katutubong Dumagat-Remontados noong Disyembre 2019 ay batbat ng kontrobersiya. Gayundin sa pamamagitan ng Board Resolution, ang bayan ng Infanta ay nananatiling tutol sa Kaliwa Dam. Gayunman sa kabila ng mga problemang ito, agresibo ang MWSS na maitayo ang Kaliwa Dam. Sa katunayan, kahit sa gitna ng pandemya kung saan limitado ang mobilidad natin sa sarili nating bayan dahil sa community quarantine ay malayang nakakalabas-pasok sa Kaliwa Dam site ang mga Intsik at nagtutuluy-tuloy ang DPWH sa konstruksyon ng access road sa Kaliwa Dam kahit sa alituntunin ng IATF ay tigil muna ang mga gawaing konstruksyon. Ngayon, halos patapos na ang access road.

Ligtas at epesyente ba ang impra-istruktura ng Kaliwa Dam? Una, ang contractor ng proyekto ay ang China Energy Engineering Co. (CEEC) Ltd. na ayon mismo sa Commission on Audit (COA) ay hindi nakapagsumite sa MWSS ng kumpletong rekisitos sa tamang panahon. Ang kompanyang ito rin ay na-ban ng World Bank noong 2019 sa kasong pamemeke ng mga credentials sa proyekto nila sa Republika ng Zambia. Maging ang dam na ginawa nito sa bansang Ecuador ay pinatigil din dahil sa nakitang 2 libong crack nito na maaaring maging sanhi ng pagbulas gaya ng nangyari sa isang dam sa bansang Brazil. Ikalawa ang lokasyon at disenyo ng itatayong Kaliwa Dam ay mapanganib. Ayon sa mga eksperto ang lokasyon ng pagtatayuan ng dam ay malapit sa faultline, kung kaya delikado ito sa mga paglindol. Ang sukat at taas ng dam ay lubhang malaki at mataas na maglulubog sa ilang bayan at komunidad kahit wala pang kalamidad, at papatay sa mga ilog na magdudulot ng pagkawala ng pangisdaan at tagtuyot sa mga sakahan. Ang laki ng dam ay sapat para maulit ng higit na mas matinding trahedyang inabot natin noong bagyong Winnie kung ito ay umapaw , lalo na kung ito’y mabulas.

May krisis nga ba sa tubig sa kamaynilaan? Ayon sa mga eksperto, kung tubig-inumin lamang, sapat ang kasalukuyang suplay na tubig sa Kamaynilaan. Ngunit kung ito’y para sa lumalaking demand ng urbanisasyon na kinatatangian ng malalaking mga malls, subdibisyon kung saan halos lahat ng bahay ay may swimming pool at nagpaparamihan ng mga kotse at sasakyan, at mga naglalakihang hotel at restaurant, kakapusin nga ang Angat Dam. Malinaw kung gayon na ang Kaliwa Dam ay hindi para sa tubig ng mamamayan kundi para sa layaw at tubo ng iilang mayayamang negosyante’t kapitalista. Sila ang makikinabang, tayo naman ang mapapahamak.

Malinaw kung gayon na hindi kaunlaran ang hatid sa atin ng Kaliwa Dam kundi pasakit at kapahamakan. Wawasakin nito ang kalikasan; palalayasin nito ang mga katutubo sa kanilang lupang ninuno; pagkakaitan nito ng mayamang tubig-ilog mula sa Agos River ang mga lupaing agrikultural at tatanggalan din ng pagkukunan ng pagkain ang mamamayang nakaasa dito; at higit sa lahat, isusuong tayo nito sa matinding panganib.

Ang Sierra Madre ay kabuhayan at pananggalang natin. Ang pagkawasak nito ay nangangahulugan din ng pagkawasak ng ating kabuhayan at kaligtasan. Sisirain ng Kaliwa Dam ang Sierra Madre. Ito pa lamang ay matibay ng dahilan para tutulan natin ito. Hindi natin kailangan ang Kaliwa Dam. Ang kailangan natin ay malusog na Sierra Madre. Wag tayong magpalinlang o maglaway sa panandaliang pakinabang na ilang milyong pisong Royalty Fee dahil ang katumbas naman nito ay ang ating kaligtasan at kabuhayan.

Pahayag mula sa Southern Tagalog for Environmental Development and Protection of Sierra Madre (STEP-Sierra Madre) at Ugnayan ng Mamamayan laban sa Mapaminsalang Dam (UMALMA DAM)

Setyembre 26, 2020
#PadyakParasaKalikasan
#SierraMadreDayAyawNaminsaKaliwaDam
#PadyakLabansaKaliwaDam
#NotoKaliwaDam
#WeOpposeKaliwaDam
#WeMakeSTEPSaveSierraMadre

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[Statement] of the Diocese of Lucena against Coal-Fired Power Plants in Quezon Province

Statement of the Diocese of Lucena against Coal-Fired Power Plants in Quezon Province

We, the clergy, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Lucena, recognizing the need to uphold the integrity of creation and the common good for all human persons, especially in the face of the present climate emergency, fervently oppose the two (2) coal-fired power plants proposed by SMC Global Power Holdings to be constructed Brgy. Ibabang Polo, Pagbilao, Quezon. We also reiterate our strong opposition against the construction of Atimonan One Energy (A1E) 600×2 MW coal-fired plant in Brgy. Villa Ibaba in Atimonan, Quezon. We call upon these corporations and their power subsidiaries to listen to cry of the earth and cancel their plans to set up this dirty, deadly and costly source of energy. We appeal to the local and national government and their respective agencies, to listen to the cry of the people of Quezon and disallow these projects and any further coal plants in our beloved province.

The proposed coal-fired power plants by SMC subsidiaries: (1) the 4×355 MW of Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. (CLPPC) and (2) the 2×355 MW of Lumiere Energy Technologies, Inc. (LETI) are currently in the pre-permit stage of project development and are planned to commence construction this August 2020 and July 2021 respectively. Quezon province already has two (2) operational and four (4) other coal plants. These two projects by SMC, and the ongoing one by A1E, will add more environmental degradation and health risks to our locality. Already, the people of Quezon, especially the poor and vulnerable, have suffered respiratory and skin diseases associated with toxic coal plant emissions. Furthermore, they have been robbed of their land, their livelihoodin particular, those fisherfolk of Lamon and Tayabas Bay and their rights from pollution, development aggression and exclusion from decision-making processes.

Pope Francis, on the 5th anniversary of his historic ecology encyclical letter, Laudato Si, in May 2020, has echoed his call to build “safe, accessible, reliable and efficient energy systems based on renewable energy sources that would make it possible to respond to the needs of the poorest populations and at the same time limit global warming.” The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged countries to stop financing the coal industry, to deliver a sustainable future following the pandemic. In a recent online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency, the UN chief said that “coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans.”

We oppose these coal-fired power plants also because they are entirely inconsistent with the care for our common home so desperately needed today. Given that humanity must do all it can to prevent a catastrophic 1.5°C warming by 2030 and thus phase-out coal as an energy source by the same year, these power plants must be ceased. Their cancellation will not only prevent massive greenhouse gas emissions but will stand as a decisive rejection of all unsustainable and carbon-intensive practices here in Quezon and the rest of the country.

Instead of constructing outdated, profit-oriented and polluting power plants, we enjoin these coal proponents and these subsidiaries to instead place their efforts and resources in developing Quezons renewable energy sources and ensure that both ecological balance and human dignity are benefited (CBCP Pastoral Letter, July 16, 2019). Second, we urgently ask the Quezon LGUs to stand unanimously against all coal projects and include the marginalized and those most affected in decision-making, while the Department of Natural Resources should revoke the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of the applicant companies and review the environmental compliance of other coal plants in our province. Finally, we call upon all the faithful of the Diocese of Lucena to take a stand against all practices which destroy God’s creation, to commit themselves to care of the earth and the poor and to work for the realization of God’s Kingdom where the life of each flourishes upon a green and vibrant common home.

Reject SMCs and other Coal Projects in Ibabang Polo and the rest of Quezon province. End Coal now!

Signed by:
The Bishop and the Clergy of Lucena
Annual Spiritual Retreat
August 24-28, 2020
Sentro Pastoral ng Diocesis

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[From the web] Green groups denounce DENR plan to mine and dredge rivers as economic stimulus: Mining will not stimulate economic recovery -ATM

Green groups denounce DENR plan to mine and dredge rivers as economic stimulus: Mining will not stimulate economic recovery

QUEZON CITY – Alyansa Tigil Mina denounced the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) plan to push for more mining and river dredging to jumpstart economic recovery due to COVID19.

ATM said that the minuscule economic contribution of mining to the Philippine economy poses a bigger threat to rural and indigenous communities and the environment. The group urged the national government to find better, greener, and more sustainable solutions to contribute to stimulating the economy under a new normal.

Economic data from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) reveal that the mining industry contributes less than 1% to Philippine GDP and employs only about 0.4% of the total labor force of the country. Research by Bantay Kita also estimates more than Php 50 billion pesos of taxes are foregone by mining companies because of too many exceptions and incentives.

On June 10, 2020, DENR announced mining and river dredging as part of the country’s economic recovery response amid the coronavirus pandemic. DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu noted their plan to treat mining as an essential industry rather than a destructive activity.

This was strongly condemned by green activists. “Just because they want to ‘treat’ mining differently, does not eliminate the reality of environmental destruction, displacement, and its adverse impacts on agriculture and livelihood,” said Daipen Montes of Homonhon Environmental Rescuers Organization (HERO) from Homonhon Island, Eastern Samar.

“Another thing is the arrival of foreign vessels that loaded chromite from our island. We do not have a doctor nor a functioning hospital. It threatens the safety of our families during COVID19,” she added.

DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda clarified that they will be introducing responsible mining to resuscitate the economy; citing that the DENR will be stricter in the implementation of environmental policies on mining-activities.

ATM National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera however, criticized this claiming that, “responsible mining is fake news. It solely relies on the voluntary compliance of scale mining companies, there is no legal definition and therefore no parameters to monitor or measure compliance.”

While the country was under enhanced community quarantine in March, cargo ships allegedly staffed with Chinese crew operated in Homonhon Island, Eastern Samar. Additionally, mining companies in Didipio, Nueva Vizcaya; Brooke’s Point, Palawan; Aroroy, Masbate; and Macarthur, Leyte were also reported operating despite quarantine protocols.

“It is evident that DENR’s approach to mining is irrational. They allowed the continued operations of mining and further endangering the lives of mining-affected communities with possible exposure from

COVID19. Human rights violations have also become more unrestrained during the quarantine,” Garganera concluded.

“It is a disgrace that DENR is campaigning for what they call as responsible mining”, said Judy Pasimio, National Coordinator of LILAK-Purple Action for Indigenous Women. She accused DENR of turning a blind eye to people’s complaints against mining.

In April, OceanaGold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI), together with about 100 elements from the Philippine National Police violently dispersed a peaceful sit-in protest of indigenous peoples in Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya. The protest was to prevent the entry of fuel tankers to the mine site whose mining contract has expired last June 2019. “It is laughable that DENR would call it “responsible” when human rights violations are rampant in mining-affected communities,” added Pasimio.

COVID-19 has multiplied the challenges faced by affected communities. Residents constantly fear for the health of their families, causing anxiety and sleepless nights especially to women who tend to the young and the sick. Livelihood and food security have also been affected. Similarly, areas with river dredging projects worry about the negative impacts of such extractive activity.

Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos City said, “The concept of river dredging can easily be used as a front for magnetite mining activities. Our rivers in Negros are rich in black sand minerals. Without achieving the level of transparency needed by host communities, we will continue to disapprove of this development on our island.”

Read complete article @www.alyansatigilmina.net

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[Press Release] Group Hails Efforts to Bring Laudato Si to Life -EcoWaste Coalition

Group Hails Efforts to Bring Laudato Si to Life

15 May 2020, Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition has lauded the continuing efforts to bring Laudato Si, the groundbreaking encyclical letter of Pope Francis on “Care for Our Common Home,” to life amid the climate and coronavirus crisis.

In a press statement, the advocacy group for a zero waste and toxics-free society expressed its solidarity with the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM-Pilipinas) in celebrating the Laudato Si Week from May 16 to 24, coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the said encyclical letter on the 24th, with the theme “Everything Is Connected.”

Pope Francis in a video message had earlier invited the church to celebrate Laudato Si Week while repeating his urgent call for a concerted response to the ecological crisis. “The cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor cannot continue,” he said as he urged everyone to “take care of creation.”

“Laudato Si is a compelling instrument that citizens can rely on for inspiration and guidance as we muster our strength to break away from throw-away culture and toxic production that is turning our planet, to quote Pope Francis, ‘to look more and more like an immense pile of filth’,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Amid the global climate and health emergency and the quest for a green post-COVID era, we urge everyone to participate in various efforts aimed at strengthening policies and practices to protect human health and the environment and ensure the quality of life and dignity for all,” she said.

The climate and health emergency, the EcoWaste Coalition said, provides a unique opportunity for the entire society to redesign wasteful and polluting systems toward achieving a just, sustainable and toxic-free future.

In his encyclical letter, Pope Francis noted that “we have not yet managed to adopt a circular model of production capable of preserving resources for present and future generations, while limiting as much as possible the use of non-renewable resources, moderating their consumption, maximizing their efficient use, reusing and recycling them.”

Among the many ills facing the Earth, he called attention to the fact that “each year hundreds of millions of tons of waste are generated, much of it non-biodegradable, highly toxic and radioactive, from homes and businesses, from construction and demolition sites, from clinical, electronic and industrial sources.”

Laudato Si Week is sponsored by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and facilitated by GCCM and Renova+ in collaboration with a legion of Catholic partners.

Reference:

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/pope-francis-laudato-si-week.html

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Press Release] Environmental and Food Security Advocates Say Home Composting and Farming Should Form Part of the Post-COVID “New Normal” -EcoWaste Coalition

Environmental and Food Security Advocates Say Home Composting and Farming Should Form Part of the Post-COVID “New Normal”

11 May 2020, Quezon City. Advocates for environmental protection and food security cited the importance of home composting and gardening as the country grapples with the dire impacts of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on people’s lives and the economy.

At a webinar organized by the EcoWaste Coalition, environmentalist Noli Abinales and urban container gardening (UCG) pioneer Perfecto “Jojo” Rom, Jr. drew attention to the tremendous benefits of home composting and farming in preventing and reducing waste, restoring soil nutrients, and ensuring nutritious and safe food on the table.

As communities and families come to terms with the COVID-19 outbreak, both Abinales and Rom pointed to home composting and farming as worthwhile practices that should form part of the sustainable “new normal” following the pandemic.

“We need to separate household waste materials at the source instead of mixing them up. The non-biodegradable waste can be reused, repurposed, or recycled, while the bio-degradable waste can be processed into a natural fertilizer or soil amendment through composting,” said Abinales, founder of Buklod Tao, who also reminded the public to separate and safely manage household hazardous waste.

“Turning food waste and other organic waste into compost should be the norm in our post-COVID society as this will hugely reduce the volume of waste we produce and dispose of,” he pointed out, noting that biodegradables account for over 50 percent of the country’s solid waste composition. “Composting is as simple as ABC,” he said, adding there are various composting methods to choose from that will suit one’s living conditions and needs.

Rom, an avid gardener from Davao City and founder of Home Farmers Club, saw UCG as “the foundation of democratized agriculture” where available containers and spaces are used to grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs for family consumption. Rom is the author of “UCG: The Home Farming Manual.”

UCG, a blend of ecological sanitation philosophy and natural farming system, is “emerging advocacy to simplify agriculture and involves all who are interested to grow what they eat and eat what they grow,” he explained. “It is the technology of home farming that is used to grow food in limited spaces in urban areas.”

As the “nutrition garden of the household”, UCG addresses the food and nutrition security issues and needs of a family while reducing food expenditures, he said.

“It is the cheapest and healthiest way of food production as it utilizes bio-wastes as sources of fertilizers in gardening,” Rom said, who also views home-based UCG as “an effective and doable climate change adaptation measure” that should be promoted and supported.

“We don’t need to become an environmentalist, a forester or an agriculturist to care and make this planet and its inhabitants healthy,” he said, “just make gardening a way of life starting with a single pot.”

For his part, Jove Benosa, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition, stated that “home composting and farming is down-to-earth solutions to our nation’s swelling garbage production and our families’ lack of access to adequate and nutritious food, especially during emergency situations like the coronavirus outbreak.”

“Our post-COVID roadmap will be incomplete if the promotion of home composting and farming, along with other sustainable practices, will be left out,” he concluded.

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[Video] Entry for #GlobalEarthDayChallenge -Y-BEAN

Entry for #GlobalEarthDayChallenge
8th Entry for the #GlobalEarthDayChallenge April 22, 2020

A Young BEAN member from Lamao Limay, Bataan
Jeff Carias Reyes a proud LGBTQ+ member
Listen to his statement.
#GlobalEarthDay2020

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[Press Release] Hazard Pay for Frontline Environmental Workers Urged for the Duration of the COVID-19 Lockdown -EcoWaste Coalition

(EcoWaste Coalition, together with labor groups, backs hazard pay for garbage collectors)

7 April 2020, Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental health organization, has proposed to the government the provision of appropriate hazard pay for garbage collectors during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to stem the spread of the dreaded novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Through a letter sent via e-mail to four department secretaries, the group pointed to the need to provide assigned garbage collectors, particularly household waste and healthcare waste collectors, with some kind of hazard compensation due to the heightened health and safety risks they face in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The calculation of the requested hazard pay should begin on March 17, 2020 until the ECQ is terminated.

While President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through Administrative Order No. 26 has authorized the provision of hazard pay to government employees who physically report for work during the ECQ period, the same entitlement may not apply to most garbage collectors who are often hired by waste management companies contracted by local government units (LGUs), the group said in their common letter to Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and Budget Management Secretary Wendel Avisado.

“As frontliners from the environmental sector in the country’s determined efforts to prevent and control COVID-19, we believe that garbage collectors are entitled to hazard pay — regardless of their employment status – due to the risks they face in the performance of essential waste management services, which can be considered hazardous, especially under the extraordinary circumstances brought about by the coronavirus outbreak,” wrote Eileen Sison, President, EcoWaste Coalition.

The lack of clear-cut regulations for the disposal of infectious waste from households, as well as the apparent increase in the disposal of infectious waste from healthcare facilities, justify the provision of hazard pay for these frontline environmental workers, the group said.

“Without their indispensable service, we may be faced with even more environmental and health hazards from uncollected waste,” emphasized Sison.

In the absence of a law requiring employers from providing their employees with hazard pay, the EcoWaste Coalition requested the four department secretaries “to use moral suasion to strongly encourage employers of garbage collectors — be they private companies or LGUs — to grant them daily hazard pay during the ECQ period.”

As some waste management companies and/or LGUs may be unwilling or financially constrained to offer hazard pay for garbage collectors, the group requested the national government to take on such responsibility with urgency as a humanitarian gesture in these most trying times.

“Such action will be in sync with Republic Act 11469, or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, particularly on the ‘provision of safety nets to all affected sectors’ of COVID-19. These can be factored in the social amelioration benefits, or the disaster funds of the LGUs,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

Several labor organizations have supported the provision of hazard pay for garbage collectors that is being pushed by the EcoWaste Coalition through e-mails and text messages sent to the group.

Among the groups backing the proposed hazard pay for garbage collectors are the Associated Labor Unions – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP-NCR), Consolidated Council of Health and Allied Profession (CCHAP-PSLINK), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), National Public Workers Congress (PUBLIK), Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK), and the Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO).

EcoWaste Coalition
78-A Masigla Extension, Barangay Central, 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-82944807 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org, http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com

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[From the web] Envi group condemns South Cotabato midnight mining deal -ATM

Alyans Tigil Mina (ATM) condemns the recently uncovered DENR order extending the contract of an open-pit mining in South Cotabato, signed by former Mines and Geosciences Bureau Director Leo Jasareno in 2016.

On June 8, 2016, the MGB through former Director Jasareno, signed a 12-year extension of the Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of Sagittarius Mines, Incorporated (SMI) covering the Tampakan Gold Copper Project.

ATM said the illegal FTAA extension circumvented the autonomy of the local government of South Cotabato. The provincial government of South Cotabato previously passed a local ordinance banning open-pit mining on June 29, 2010, preventing the massive 23,571 hectares Tampakan copper-gold mining project from causing irreparable damage in the province.

SMI, together with the Tampakan Mining Group, is the project holder for the Tampakan copper-gold mining project. It is the largest open-pit gold project in Asia. Its operation will displace an estimated 4,000 the indigenous tribes of B’laans and about 10,000 lowland farmers from neighboring communities that rely on the nearby watershed for agricultural use.

Read more @www.alyansatigilmina.net

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[From the web] Green Groups Vow Support for QC’s Ban on Single-Use Plastic and Paper Disposables -ecowastecoalition.org

In response to the plea made by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, various ecology groups signified their support for groundbreaking citywide policies aimed at reducing the volume of single-use plastics and other residual wastes.

At a press conference held yesterday, Belmonte announced the promulgation of Ordinance No.2876, which bans the distribution and use of single-use plastics and disposable containers in hotels and restaurants in the city effective February 1, 2020, as well as Ordinance No. 2868, which bans the distribution of plastic bags by retailers effective January 1, 2020. Ordinance 2868 will also ban the distribution of brown bags in various establishments one year after it has taken effect.

“Introduced by Councilor Dorothy Delarmente, these Ordinances are concrete steps taken by the City Government to prevent plastic bags and single-use plastics from entering the waste stream and thus lessening the possibility of these plastics from ever reaching bodies of water, she said, stressing “it takes a concerted effort from all stakeholders to prevent this problem from escalating.”

“I encourage all stakeholders to support the newly-enacted ordinances,” Belmonte said. “We hope that you will continue to partner with the City Government to advance our advocacies on climate change, sustainability, and environmental protection,” she told members of the EcoWaste Coalition, which co-organized the press conference.

Belmonte’s clarion call drew immediate support from the EcoWaste Coalition and other green groups.

“The promulgation of these twin pollution prevention ordinances against plastic and paper disposables is as a step in the right direction,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of theEcoWaste Coalition, who commended Belmonte, Delarmente and the City Council for giving priority consideration to these progressive environmental policies.

“This action from the ground should encourage the speedy approval of a robust national legislation phasing out single-use plastics and other disposables to advance the consumption and production agenda in the country,” she pointed out.

Sonia Mendoza, Chairman of the Mother Earth Foundation, also lauded the passage of the ordinances stressing that “other local government units should take their cue from Quezon City and enact similar measures that will address the proliferation of throw-away packaging such as single-use plastics, which constitute a main obstacle in community efforts to reach the Zero Waste goal.”

“These waste prevention measures targeting the consumption and disposal of single-use plastics and other throw-away materials will surely contribute to reducing the city’s massive production of garbage. We expect the business community and the citizenry to rally behind the effective enforcement of these measures, as well as the promotion of sustainable practices toward a greener city,” said Dr. Angelina Galang, President of the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy.

Read more @ www.ecowastecoalition.org

EcoWaste Coalition
Unit 336, Eagle Court, 26 Matalino St., 1100 Quezon City, Philippines
Phone/Fax:84411876 E-Mail: info@ecowastecoalition.org
Website: http://www.ecowastecoalition.org

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[Statement] DENR-MGB is lawyering for the mining industry and creating confusion -ATM

Quezon City – The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is dispensing fake news.

Our alliance denounces in the strongest possible terms the attempt of the MGB, particularly its Regional Director for Region 12, EngineerFelizardo Gacad Jr to promote destructive mining in South Cotabato.

In an article at Manila Standard, Dir. Gacad was quoted as stating that the Tampakan project is “expected to go in full swing in the coming months, with the fresh endorsement from the national government reportedly coming out soon.” Gacad allegedly claims as well that “a timeline has been released for the reactivation of SMI’s Environmental Compliance Certificate.”

These are big words and in reference to a major and controversial mining project such as Tampakan, will have serious repercussions.

But the statements are incredulous and absurd. Coming from a Regional office of the MGB that has consistently refused to listen to local resistance against the Tampakan mining project, we are unconvinced but not surprised.

We dare Dir. Gacad to present any order or memo from the Office of the President that such instructions were actually transmitted. Even if such a far-fetched directive was issued, we remind Dir. Gacad of the following important and substantial issues:

1. DENR Administrative Order 2017-10 (Ban on Open-pit Mining) is still in effect, and President Duterte has publicly declared that he supports and will continue to implement this policy. As recent as Sept. 30, 2019, Sec. Panelo reiterated this clear stand of Pres. Duterte on the ban on open-pit mining.

2. Executive Order 79 (EO 79) or “Institutionalizing and implementing reforms in the Philippine Mining Sector, providing policies and guidelines to ensure environmental protection and responsible mining in the utilization of mineral resources” is still in effect. Section 1 of EO 79 stipulates the “areas closed to mining applications”. The Tampakan Mining Project even violates DENR regulations when more than 3,000 hectares of the proposed mine are 1,000 meters above sea-level.

3. South Cotabato has a Provincial Environment Code passed in 2010 that prohibits open-pit mining. This provincial ordinance is still in effect. Newly-elected Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr. has said that any request to review or amend this local ordinance will not be coming from him.

4. The Tampakan mining project has failed to secure the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of more than 1,000 indigenous peoples from the B’laan tribe that will be impacted by the mining project.

5. The land-use conflict between indigenous peoples (ancestral domains), agrarian reform beneficiaries (CARP areas), protected areas and the mining tenements has not been settled.

6. At least three watershed covering four provinces with over 270,000 hectares will be directly impacted by the mining project. The Hydrology Impact Study for this project has not been disclosed and meaningfully discussed with stakeholders.

We do not know from what planet Engr. Gacad is getting his information giving him misplaced optimism about the re-activation of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the Tampakan Mining Project. Clearly, there are numerous and considerable issues that need to be addressed, even before the national government can consider re-activating this mining project.

Dir. Gacad must also realize that there is no conflict between a national law and the local ordinance against mining. Clearly, there is a conflict between two national laws – the Philippine Mining Act and the Local Government Code.

If Dir. Gacad insists on his flawed interpretation that national laws should prevail over local ordinances, we suggest that he take his case to court. That will be the only consistent behavior of the DENR-MGB, since they have always lawyered for the mining industry, and taken the side of mining companies, against the will of the people.

This latest attempt of DENR and MGB Region 12 to sow confusion is a clear example of why “responsible mining” does not exist in the Philippines.

Rene Pamplona, Advocacy Officer of Convergence for Integrity and Environmental Justice (CIEJ), based in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, added that “We believe that the FPIC underwent questionable processes, and that negotiations for the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) were done in bad faith. So essentially, the FPIC is not valid, and the Tampakan project does not enjoy acceptability from the Blaans, and we are afraid that conflicts will escalate, if the mine is allowed to push through.”

Finally, we demand the following:

1. DENR and the MGB must immediately disclose to the affected communities and the LGUs the alleged directive or instruction from Office of the President or from Malacanang for the re-activation of the ECC for the Tampakan Mining Project

2. MGB Directo Wilfredo Moncano must explain what parameters they are using in making such outlandish and absurd policy pronouncements recently abut mining. These include the alleged “interim renewal” of FTAA # 1 in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya and this unbelievable claim of the re-activation of FTAA # 2 of the Tampakan Mining Project. Clearly, MGB is disobeying the policy directions of Pres. Duterte on the ban on open-pit mining.

3. DENR Sec. Roy Cimatu must order right away a review process of all these questionable pronouncements by MGB. Obviously, the MGB and DENR are promoting the mining industry by disregarding the still existent rules and regulations within DENR itself. Sec. Cimatu must also ensure that MGB (and other bureaus within DENR) is complying with all environmental laws and all other national laws that are related to local environmental governance.

4. NCIP must immediately review all the documents and reports submitted to their office, including the documented cases of human rights violations related to the Tampakan mining project.

For more details:
Jaybee Garganera, ATM National Coordinator – (+63917) 549-82-18 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net
Rene Pamplona, CIEJ — (+63965) 288-42-66 / blackthorns1725@gmail.com

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[From the web] Kayabangan at kasakiman, bunga ng kawalan ng pakialam sa kapwa at kalikasan -Veritas

Pinasinayaan ng Kanyang Kabunyian Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle ang Solar Power Facility ng Holy Apostles Senior Seminary sa Guadalupe Makati, ika-17 ng Septyembre.

Ayon kay Cardinal Tagle, isang magandang hakbang ito lalo na ngayong buwan na ipinagdiriwang din ang Season of Creation.

Binigyang diin ng Arsobispo ng Maynila na ang paggamit sa natural resources bilang alternatibong pinagkukunan ng enerhiya ay pagpapakita ng pagmamahal at malasakit sa kalikasan.

Iginiit ni Cardinal Tagle na kapag nawala na ang pakialam ng tao sa kapwa nito at sa kalikasan ay nagsisimulang maghari ang kayabangan at kasakiman.

Babala ng Cardinal, ang dalawang ito ang nagiging sanhi upang maglaho ang pagpapahalaga ng tao sa lahat ng nilikha ng Panginoon.

“When caring is no longer appreciated as a human value, when being caring is replaced by carelessness, I could care less, when caring is replaced by greed, by pride, when caring is thrown away, when caring disappears, even human beings are thrown away, values are thrown away.” Pahayag ni Cardinal Tagle.

Click the link to read more:

Kayabangan at kasakiman, bunga ng kawalan ng pakialam sa kapwa at kalikasan

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[From the web] Groups Push for Effective Enforcement of RA 9003 and Corporate Accountability to Tackle MM’s Burgeoning Garbage Woes -EcoWaste Coalition

Quezon City. Reducing the massive 9.2 million kilos of waste produced on a daily basis by Metro Manila’s 17 local government units (LGUs) is a daunting task but not totally impossible.

Environmental health groups espousing the Zero Waste approach to resource management emphasized this point as national government agencies pressed the public to dispose of their discards properly to minimize drainage and flooding problems and to stop garbage from getting dumped into the Manila Bay.

To reduce the average daily waste generation in Metro Manila estimated at 9,283,889 as per government’s calculation, the Mother Earth Foundation and the EcoWaste Coalition underlined the need for effective enforcement of Republic Act 9003, or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

The groups likewise called attention to the need for industries and businesses involved in the manufacture and sale of consumer goods to take responsibility in reducing their production and usage of single-use plastics choking storm drains, rivers and the oceans.

MEF Chairman Sonia Mendoza, who is also a member of the Metro Manila Solid Waste Management Board, pointed out that strengthening the implementation of RA 9003 at every household, barangay and local government is essential if the society is to reduce the volume of trash that ends up being buried or burned in disposal sites, or gets dumped into Manila Bay.

“There is no question that we need to give the enforcement of RA 9003 a much-needed boost at all levels in order to maximize and benefit from proven Zero Waste strategies such as waste segregation at source, recycling, composting and their associated social enterprises and community livelihoods,” she said.

“A renewed commitment to enforce the RA 9003, especially by our mayors and barangay captains, will significantly reduce Metro Manila’s waste production and the amount of residuals requiring disposal,” she added.

Stressing the need for corporate action to combat plastic pollution, Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition, urged companies to adopt bold policies and measures to halt single-use, throw-away plastic packaging.

“We can no longer solely put the blame on consumers and poor communities for our garbage woes. Corporations need to roll out plastic reduction policies, re-design products with the environment in mind, and to disassociate themselves from throw-away plastics and harmful chemicals polluting the oceans,” she said.

According to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), biodegradable waste comprises 52 percent of the waste generated by the metropolis, recyclable waste covers 38 percent, and residual waste makes up the remaining 10 percent.

“Why is 85% of the total waste being collected by Metro Manila LGUs dumped in landfills? As per RA 9003, it should only be residual waste, which is only about 10 – 20%? If we use the MMDA waste characterization data, it should only be 10%,” Mendoza highlighted.

Based on the above figures, biodegradables should be composted or used as animal feeds, recyclables should be sold to junk shops and recycling firms, and only residuals should be collected by municipal or city trucks for disposal, the groups said.

The honest-to-goodness enforcement of RA 9003 and related laws such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Environmental Awareness and Education Act, complemented by strong plastic reduction policies and targets by socially responsible companies, will also help in stopping the creeping entry into the country of costly and unsustainable disposal technologies such as burn or thermal waste-to-energy incineration, the groups said.

http://www.ecowastecoalition.org/2019/08/11/groups-push-for-effective-enforcement-of-ra-9003-and-corporate-accountability-to-tackle-mms-burgeoning-garbage-woes/

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[Statement] DENR is working against communities and the environment -ATM

Agency hides decision to allow mining in Nueva Vizcaya, despite expired mining contract

Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) is deeply concerned and horrified by the lack of transparency and callousness of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in allowing continued mining operations in Nueva Vizcaya despite the expiration of a mining contract there.

Last June 20, 2019, the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreement (FTAA) of Oceana Gold Philippines, Inc. (OGPI) to mine expired. To the knowledge of local governments and mining-affected communities in Brgy. Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, the mining company does not even have an application for a renewal of its mining contract.

The resistance against the renewal of the said mining contract is led by Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Governor Carlos Padilla, who shared with ATM copies of his position paper dated February 2016 and a Sanggunian Panlalawigan (provincial legislative council) resolution issued June 17, 2019, strongly opposing the renewal of the mining contract of OGPI.

It was only last June 18, 2019, in a dialogue at the DENR Central Office, that MGB officials admitted to Gov. Padilla and barangay officials that MGB had favorably endorsed the application for renewal of OGPI and that this endorsement was submitted to the DENR Secretary last April 2019.

The next day, June 19, 2019, in a dialogue between Gov. Padilla and DENR Sec. Cimatu also at the DENR Central Office, Cimatu allegedly assured the provincial chief that DENR has not yet transmitted to the Office of the President any endorsement for the mining contract to be renewed.

However, local officials and community organizations in Nueva Vizcaya expressed disgust when OGPI recently showed them an official letter by the Mines of Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the DENR, dated June 20, 2019. The letter was addressed to OGPI President Jose Leviste, Jr., assuring the mining company that they will be “permitted to continue their mining operations beyond June 20, 2019, pending the confirmation of the renewal”.

The series of events reveals the callousness of DENR as they have ignored the official opposition of local governments and numerous petitions of local organizations against the renewal of the mining contract.

Last October 2, 2018, in a dialogue between environmental groups and the DENR, MGB officials stated in front of DENR Sec. Cimatu that there is no application for renewal by OGPI. However, a letter dated June 21, 2019, by OGPI General Manager Mr. David Way, to Barangay Chairperson Ireneo Bobola of Brgy. Didipio stated that OGPI’s Notice of Renewal has been filed with DENR Region 2 office way back in March 2018 and that it has been processed to the DENR Central Office and transmitted to the Office of the President.

ATM finds it highly irregular that DENR failed to inform local government officials and affected communities about the application for renewal of the mining company. Despite the numerous public positions of the local government against the mining operations, MGB and the DENR still found it justifiable to favorably endorse the application. Keeping the application and endorsement procedures a secret leads to many questions that need to be answered by DENR officials.

Clearly, OGPI and the DENR failed to live up to the high standards of transparency and accountability in the extractives sector as espoused by Philippine Extractive Industries Initiative or PH-EITI. This comes at the heel of the refusal of DENR to publicly disclose the Mine Audit Results conducted in 2016 led by former DENR Sec. Gina Lopez. DENR has likewise refused to release the results of its internal technical review of the Mine Audit. In both instances, mining operations across the country were recommended for either closure or suspension.

Our alliance rejects the explanation of MGB officials that their hands are tied when they endorsed the application since it complied with all the technical requirements. Given the numerous violations of environmental laws and non-compliance of the mining operations, the MGB and DENR have failed to uphold precautionary principles as forwarded by Agenda 21 and the UN Convention on Sustainable Development (UNCSD).

As the Philippines is facing the challenges of climate change, extreme weather events and water scarcity, the real needs of farmers and local communities in Barangay Didipio and the whole town of Kasibu must be prioritized, and not the destructive operations of an irresponsible mining company. The DENR must have forgotten that Nueva Vizcaya is a watershed for the whole region of Cagayan Valley and is part of the Sierra Madre range.

We call on DENR Sec. Cimatu to revoke any favorable endorsement issued by DENR for the renewal of FTAA # 001 and the immediate revocation of mining permits and licenses of OGPI.

We demand that the MGB immediately conduct a review of the application process and documentation requirements of OGPI, and to include the aspect of social acceptability, as primary criteria for endorsing the renewal of FTAA # 001.

We remind President Duterte that he has made a promise to stop destructive and irresponsible mining and to ban open-pit mining in the country. His resolve will now be tested with the application for renewal of OGPI in Nueva Vizcaya.

Our alliance expects him to deliver on his promise.

For more details: Jaybee Garganera – ATM National Coordinator (+63917) 549.82.18 / nc@alyansatigilmina.net

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[Video] Bataan: Life in Ashes -350 Pilipinas

 

350.org is an international climate justice organization encouraging citizens to action with the belief that publicizing the increasing levels of carbon dioxide will pressure world leaders to address climate change and to reduce levels from 400 parts per million to 350 parts per million.

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[Off-the-shelf] Introduction to Human Rights and Environment video -MOCC Chile

Introduction to Human Rights | Lesson 27: “Environment and Human Rights”

This lesson is part of an International Human Rights free online course. You may follow it in Udemy http://www.udemy.com/introduction-to-… or in our Youtube channel http://youtube.com/moocchile (If you want a virtual certificate, you should follow the complete course in Udemy)

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[In the news] Climate change could pose ‘existential threat’ by 2050: report -CNN Philippines

Twenty days of lethal heat per year. Collapsed eco-systems. And more than one billion people displaced.

Those are all probable scenarios that could devastate societies by 2050 if swift and dramatic action isn’t taken to curb climate change, according to a think tank report backed by a former Australian military chief.

The paper, by the Melbourne-based Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration, is not a scientific study, but an attempt to model future scenarios based on existing research.

It paints a bleak future in which more than a billion people are displaced, food production drops off and some of the world’s most populous cities are left partially abandoned.

Its foreword is written by Chris Barrie, a retired admiral and former head of the Australian Defense Force, who said that “after nuclear war, human-induced global warming is the greatest threat to human life on the planet.”

Read more @cnnphilippines.com

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