Earth Hour – Be Involved

Earth-hour-1

As most of you may well know, one of my advocacies is the preservation of our Environment and it’s that time of the year once again that we celebrate the “Earth Hour”.  So for those that are unaware what Earth Hour is, below are some facts on the climate change’s effect on the Philippines and an article from earthhour.org for your reference.

Recently French President François Hollande visited the Philippines and central to their dialogue was on the subject of the environment and climate change. In his press statement, President Hollande underscored the consequences of global warming, citing the experience of the Philippines following the passage of Typhoon Haiyan ( Yolanda ) in November 2013, and emphasized the need for both countries to collaborate in addressing it.

In his press statement, President Hollande said he and President Aquino agreed that “in the context of the preparation of the Climate Conference (21st Conference of Parties), France and the Philippines should work together towards addressing the important cause.

What is the effect of climate change in the philippines ?

The Climate Change Congress of the Philippines carries out research on the impact of global warming on the Philippines, with its over 7,000 islands, and has found alarming results.

“The data clearly shows that Filipinos are paying for the problems that industrial nations caused in the past century,” says Esteban Godilano from the NGO, saying the impact has already reached dramatic proportions.

“In 2011, we were the third most-affected country – after the small island republics Vanuatu and Tonga, which are much smaller than any of our provinces. But that was before almost half of our country was devastated by three powerful typhoons – Sindong, Pablo and now Yolanda, perhaps the strongest storm the earth has ever experienced with a wind speed of up to 315 kilometers per hour.”

Because the storms are getting stronger and more frequent – Esteban Godilano says there were 24 typhoons last year compared to 18 15 years ago – much of the infrastructure must be rebuilt to withstand such winds. And the cost of this will be exorbitant.

In the past, typhoons tended to strike the north of the Philippines. Now the south is increasingly dealing with storms – for example the Visayas region and Mindanao, the archipelago’s breadbasket, which has been destroyed twice in the past three years.

Who will pay for the damage to the coral reefs?

Global warming is also having a terrible impact on the ecosystem. “The rising sea temperature is damaging our coral reefs,” says Godilano. “Our research shows that large parts of the corals are already dead. Yet, coral reefs are a breeding ground for fish; that’s where they lay their eggs, where their young develop.”

This will have a direct impact on the 14 million Filipinos who live on the coast, many of whom make a living from fishing. Moreover, with rising sea levels, their homes are likely to be swallowed up by the ocean in the not too distant future.

Typhoons are becoming more frequent in Mindanao, the country’s bread basket.

Coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows protect the islands of the Philippines from the forces of the ocean and surges, reducing the effects natural disasters cause on land by up to 80 percent. The loss of these natural protective barriers due to climate change, however, will mean an increase in storm damage on land.

Godilano says it’s time that industrial nations took responsibility. He recommends that they set up a fund to help poor developing nations cope with the devastating effects of climate change.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.  It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide. Today, Earth Hour engages a massive mainstream community on a broad range of environmental issues. The one-hour event continues to remain the key driver of the now larger movement.

Here are some reasons why now is the time to take climate action :

    1. “Man-made climate change is one the biggest threats the world faces today.”
    2. Climate change will have major and unpredictable effects on the world’s water systems, including an increase in floods and droughts, causing in turn, an impact on food supply, displacement and conflict.
    3. Seasonal shifts, extreme weather conditions, change in precipitation patterns caused by climate change will impact farming and agriculture, a source of food and livelihood for more than half of the global population.
    4. The world has warmed by 0.8°C since pre-industrial times. Reports by NASA, the MET, Japan’s Meteorological Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicate that 2014 was the hottest year on record.
    5. At the current rate of degradation, the iconic Great Barrier Reef can be dead within our lifetime.
    6. A report released by WWF and leading meteorologists shows that human-induced global warming was a key factor in the severity of the 2202 drought in Australia , generally regarded as the worst ever.
    7. 2003, Scotland’s hottest year on record saw hundreds of adult salmon die as rivers became too warm for salmon to be able to extract enough oxygen from the water.
    8. Rising sea levels threaten entire nations on low-lying islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           In December this year, world leaders will be gathering in Paris to make commitments to fight climate change and ensure a sustainable future for our planet. We think we should all be aware of what the discussions will be – don’t you? Stay informed on what your government is doing to fight climate change and share your stories with us through Facebook or Twitter.

Climate change might seem too huge or too abstract a challenge but real impact can be achieved – all it takes is the first step. Join                              Earth Hour to help deliver tangible environmental outcomes and use  #YourPower to help change climate change!

hope this article brings awareness to the severity of the climate change effect on the philippines and other countries face.  can you imagine losing our famous beaches as Boracay and Palawan ?  this would greatly affect “tourism” which is fast becoming a major contributor to the income of the Philippines and livelihoods of the people living in these areas.

have a great day !

robert

Robert G. Sarmiento Properties
Professional Affiliation :
Real Estate Broker’s Association of the Philippines
President, Greenhills Chapter 2008-2009
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