Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Environmental group proposes solutions for climate change challenges

The Save Sierra Madre Network (SSMN) suggested on Tuesday some solutions for climate change challenges facing the country.

SSMN said the massive flooding and landslides in different parts of the country focused the nation’s attention to the urgent need to address climate change due to global warming.

“The government is challenged by these calamities to a paradigm shift and redirect its strategy on development towards social, economic, and ecological sustainability,” SSMN said.

The group urgently asked President Benigno S. Aquino III to give top priority to the survival of the Filipino people by:

* Imposing a total commercial log ban in all natural forests; cancelling immediately all Integrated Forest Management Forest Agreements (IFMAs) in natural forests that have become facade for illegal logging.

* Issuing an Executive Order for the non-renewal and/or cancellation of the rest of the IFMAs in natural forests because of imminent public danger and certifying the urgency of passing a legislation related to this.

* Providing an alternative livelihood program for the small loggers and charcoal makers to liberate them from the clutches of their financiers and unscrupulous government officials.

* Implementing a massive and genuine reforestation program, through rain forestation which uses indigenous species, to combat the rapid denudation of the forests.

* Strengthening forest protection programs by providing sufficient funds to guarantee the presence of well-trained and equipped forest ranger units in critical areas to conduct monitoring and arrest illegal loggers.

* Ensuring the formation of multi-stakeholder partnership structures such as forest protection coordinating councils in every local government unit (LGU) with active participation from non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs), church, academe and other sectors in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation (PIME) of forest programs and other related initiatives.

* Cleaning up the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) of corrupt officials through an independent committee investigating the bureaucracy, so that it can be truly responsive to a just and sustainable development and use of the natural resources.


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