Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Group marks `Save Sierra Madre Day` on Typhoon Ondoy anniversary

A network of Church and non-government
organizations committed to the preservation of Sierra Madre Mountains
commemorates the anniversary of Typhoon Ondoy by rallying the public
to protect the mountains and forest cover.

The Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN), a group of more than 30
organizations dedicated to the conservation of the Sierra Madre
Mountains, is marking September 26 as “Save Sierra Madre Day”.

In a statement, SSMN said the observance of “Save Sierra Madre Day”
will be held annually on September 26, the anniversary of Typhoon

With the observance of Save Sierra Madre Day, the group wanted to
create public awareness that would serve as a catalyst to move people
to action to protect the environment.

Member organizations will initiate various activities in the provinces
of the Sierra Madre Mountains, including Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva
Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Quirino, Bulacan, NCR, Rizal, Quezon,
Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.

Among the various issues SSMN wanted to bring to public awareness
through the event are forest deforestation, illegal logging and
mining, and people’s active participation in conservation.

Last year’s tragedy brought by Typhoon Ondoy “was caused by an
unusually high level of precipitation, aggravated by anthropogenic
factors including deforestation and destruction of the Sierra Madre

The longest mountain range in the Philippines, the Sierra Madre wall
protects a greater part of Luzon from typhoons that visit the island
every year.

But with rampant illegal logging, quarrying and other development
projects the mountains’ rich bio-diversity is fast shrinking.

In partnership with the Diocese of Antipolo, SSMN will start its
observance of “Sierra Madre Day” with a Mass, Rosary, Vigil and Photo
exhibit this afternoon at the Provident Village Chapel in Marikina.

Tomorrow’s activities will include a Memorial service and Mass,
followed by tree planting at the Marikina watershed with each seedling
bearing a name of someone who perished in the Ondoy tragedy.

SSMN members include Grace Padaca, former Governor, Isabela; Tony
Abuso, Episcopal Commission for Indigenous Peoples (ECIP); Donna Paz
T. Reyes, Ph.D. Executive Director, Miriam-P.E.A.C.E. (Public
.Education and Awareness .Campaign for the .Environment); Nina Galang,
Green Convergence; Fr. Bien Miguel, Diocese of Antipolo; Fr. Ernie P.
Pesimo, Diocese of San Jose, Nueva Ecija; Sr. Angie Villanueva, RC,
JPICC – AMRSP; Sr. Susan Esmile, SFIC Franciscan Sisters of the
Immaculate Concepcion, Coordinator, Justice Peace and Integrity of
Creation; Sr. Glocar Eamiguel, FMM, FMM-JPIC; Ruby Ephraim M Rubiano,
MD, Agham Partylist; Rogelio Buban, SAGIBIN- LN, Quezon; Sr. Malou
Santos, DW, Daughters of Wisdom; Order of Friars Minor-Justice, Peace
and Integrity of Creation (OFM-JPIC); Franciscan Movement for Justice,
Peace and Integrity of Creation (FMJPIC); Haribon Foundation, EcoWaste
Coalition, Task Force Sierra Madre, Task Force Kalikasan, Earth Day
Network, COPE Infanta, Tribal Center for Development.


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