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Marc Collins Colinares Speaks: "Philippines in Critical Times"

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Uploaded on Mar 11, 2010

We are now on critical times as result of mans irresponsible and uncaring actions on the earths natural processes. Today, we are living witnesses of beaten-up mountain ranges, denuded with trees, fouled with destructive wastes, exploited, and vandalized. Around the world, - theres a rapid depletion of the mountains life-giving resources due to perverse economic incentives and political motives, inappropriate technology and land tenurial insecurity, greed, and indifference.

Indeed indicators of global ecological problems are unfolding before us in catastrophic dimension; - in the Philippines, - drought continues to ravage the country that has destroyed millions of dollars worth of crops, - reduced water supply and caused widespread blackouts as power companies become helpless with the decreasing water levels in hydroelectric dams. Plus the fact that our country has just survived the series of typhoons late last year that destroyed 1.5 million metric tons of rice, countless infrastructures; displaced people and caused hundreds deaths and substantial amount of property damaged. Indeed, - these are the outcome of our senseless onslaught on the very delicate functioning of the mountain ecosystem that seriously endangers the provision of energy, air, water, and nutrients needed by all living creatures; and its ability to mitigate climate change. True indeed, - the drought has affected 400,000 acres of farmland and is expected to increase - foretelling a more grimmer scenario. Much so, that damage to crops is now estimated at more than $61 million, - and again, - Philippines that has become the worlds largest importer of rice, has imported additional 2.4 million tons of rice - a sad fact! - when in the past our country was self-sufficient in rice production and exporting rice.

The dry spell, - has also caused daily power outages that adversely affected human development. This is aggravated by the knowledge, - that today government and leaders are pre-occupied for the May Election where problems confronting the country are not given utmost attention. Even after election, elected officials will take much time to organize, formulate and implement action plans, including efforts to reform government institutions to effect good governance, eradicate graft and corruptions, - and above all bring back peoples confidence in leaders and the government. Not an easy task! that will eat much time, that even after the term of office of a candidate it can never be fully accomplished, that is, - if we have chosen a strong and reform leader who has the will to address the problems plaguing the country; and of course, a vigilant civil society that will participate actively in guiding the destiny of our people and country, a long way to go!!!. and worst, - if we chose the wrong path then we will be heading into a collision course with disaster.

Thus, let us not be exploiters and destroyers of the natures treasures. Instead let us be noble masters and guardians of these living mountains for within us lie the unique capacity and ability to protect, preserve, and enhance the quality and conditions of these precious natural legacies. This re-enforces the Human Development Internationals appeal to ban climbing activities at Mt. Apo and all mountains as the drought continues in order to prevent forest fires, - much so, that more than a third of our forest have already been lost; and it is sad, that deforestation continues unabated due to illegal logging, slash and burn techniques of farming, human encroachment, rural population expansion and others. The continuing disappearance of our forests pose great concern not only that it will weaken mountains ability to support life and mitigate climate change but also, - due to the high levels of endemic species - where out of the 1,196 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles in the country, nearly 46 percent are endemic and 40% among plants.

Thus, we must we must expand our expression of justice, compassion and harmony to the natural realm of mother earth, for just like human beings mountains too are pained by countless neglects and abuses. Above all, let us awaken the human heart with its healing and transforming power and reestablish a productive and sustaining relationship between the legitimate demands of civilization and uncompromising reverence to the fragile resources of nature. For a shattered component of this delicate chain of natures bioprocesses could adversely affect the ecosystem and the worlds environment; destroy our very existence regardless of race, creed, nationality or territory.

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