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PIA Press Release

Bacolod advocacy on climate change goes to mall

Bacolod City (25 February) -- A week-long exhibit dubbed as "The Changing Climate" was launched this week by the Philippine Network on Climate Change, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bundesministerium Germany, Haribon Foundation, GTZ, Germany's Climate Initiatives in coordination with the Visayas Network on Climate Change (VNCC) and SM City Bacolod.

The activity is spearheaded by VNCC and Earth Day convenors, and Committee on Energy Chaired by Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, who also authored the Earth Day Ordinance of Bacolod City.

The United Nations Framework Convention defines climate change as a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly 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.

The changing climate is related to daily human activities, choices and actions. These uses up energy from fossil fuels that emit the gases that are responsible for climate change.

The exhibits identified as items or activities that use too much energy the incandescent light bulbs, badly-maintained appliances, food preservatives, plastics and disposable wrapping, keeping the water running, non-segregation of trash, and not engaging in carpooling or driving personal vehicles alone.

In the Philippines, extreme weather costs the billions of losses. From 1975 to 2002, intensifying tropical cyclones caused an annual average of 593 deaths and damage to property of P 4.5 Billion (around US $ 83 Million) including damage to agriculture of P 3Billion or around US $ 55 Million based on PNCC Mapping Study.

The exhibits also stressed the things we can do to reduce and adapt to the impacts of climate change that will have a positive effect on biodiversity. This includes a mix of practices on forestry management, sustainable agriculture, coastal resource conservation, sustainable energy development, ecological solid waste management, government policies and civil society participation are strategies that will either reduce or adapt to the impacts of climate change and contribute to saving and conserving biodiversity.

The VNCC also encourages people to eat, buy and advocate for environment-friendly agricultural practices, promote the use of indigenous crops that are more suited to local climate-related conditions, incorporate trees and shrubs into agricultural lands (agro-forestry) to reduce soil erosion, moderate climate extremes on crops, improve carbon sequestration and improve water quality at the same time provides goods and services to local people, practice long rotation plantation in which vegetation and soil carbon is allowed to accumulate to sequester and maintain carbon much longer than short rotation plantation, and adopt new, local technologies for enhancement of crop production such as the Systems Rice Intensification (SRI) and the development and use of heat and drought resistant crops.

The group also encouraged people to join coastal clean-ups, re-plant, restore and maintain mangroves and salt-marsh vegetation that can protect against sea level rise and storm surges as mangrove forests are important spawning grounds and nurseries for numerous fish species, stop the use of explosives and poison in fishing to reduce coral bleaching and establish networks of marine reserves or marine protected areas that incorporate coral reefs, sea grasses and mangroves.

Under the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle concept, one can compost organic waste and recycle waste to reduce the emission of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4) from waste dumpsites and attend trainings on ecological solid waste management and turnover segregated waste in the material recovery facilities (MRFs) near your barangays, schools and subdivisions.

The exhibits also promote the reduction of energy consumption and advocate for sustainable energy resources by commute using public mass transport, installing only efficient /day lighting in buildings and homes, patronizing only more efficient and CFC-free electrical appliances, heating and cooling device and promoting and support community-based renewable energy systems (CBRES) such as small hydropower, wind and solar energy for irrigation, agricultural processing facilities and household energy needs.*(Batapa News/PIA/EAD) [top]

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