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PIA Press Release

Local officials urged to act vs climate change

By Rizalie Anding Calibo

Province of Siquijor (15 September) -- "Climate Change isn't some vague future problem ? it's already damaging the planet at an alarming pace," echoes Albert Aquino, Executive Director of the St. Catherine Family Helper Project, Inc. during the climate Change Orientation Seminar-Workshop held recently at Larena, Siquijor.

Tackling The Truth About Climate Change, Aquino warns all local officials of the local government unit of Larena, including barangay captains, on the impacts of climate change to the most vulnerable sectors/system such as health and human settlements, forest, agriculture and food security, water resources and coastal and marine resources.

He also urged local officials to undertake measures that combat climate change as he cited its effects like increase in global warming, loss of glaciers and ice caps and sea level rise which brings about disastrous extreme weather events (strong typhoons, heavy precipitations, droughts, etc) that adversely affect many coastal communities, agriculture and food security.

Climate change, he said, is attributable directly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Contributory human activities, he explained, include natural and human induced carbon dioxide, from soils (biological processes), ocean, burning of fossil fuels, Transport, industries and Land-use changes; methane from wetlands, termites, ocean, flooded rice agriculture, livestock production, and waste management system (landfills, etc.); nitrous oxide from tropical soil (wet forests), ocean, nitrogen-based fertilizers and chemicals, and industrial sources; and hydrofluorocarbons from coolants, sealants and insulation.

All of these, he said are also causes of environmental degradation, including global warming.

Aquino said local officials must undertake measures to reduce greenhouse gas emission by promoting use of renewable energy (e.g., wind, water, solar, geothermal and bio-fuels), efficient power generation and conservation, production efficiency and use of low- carbon technologies, mass transport system (MRT); and improving traffic management and converting engines/vehicles into fuel efficient units.

For sustainable transport and agriculture, he cited promotion of biking and walking; and organic farming, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) Contour farming; and Agro- Forestry as he pushed for widespread adoption of 3R's (reduce, recycle, re-use) and composting by institutions, communities and households and expansion of vegetative cover through reforestation; and establishment of protected areas.

Aquino also pushed for the development of crops that are resistant to drought, flooding and pests and diseases and encouraged use of herbal pesticide/botanical spray to control drought-induced diseases and pests thriving in trees/plants, conservation of water; and planting of vegetables in each own backyard to ensure food security.

All these, he said, can be integrated in the local or barangay development plans of the town. (PIA Siquijor) [top]

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