Philippine Climate Watch Alliance
#26 Matulungin St. Central District, Diliman, Quezon City
Tel.: +63 2 9248756 fax: +63 2 9209099 email:firstname.lastname@example.org
21 April 2009
Conference finds Arroyo's policies not addressing,
but worsening the impacts of Climate Change
The 1st National Grassroots Conference on Climate Change started day one of its two-day conference
with information-rich discussions designed for grassroots participants and delivered admirably by able
The good news is that every Filipino must plant 100 trees per year to sequester the carbon emission of
the country, which is attainable. The bad news however is that even if the Philippines stops emitting
carbon dioxide there will be little impact on global warming as the country's contribution to global carbon
emissions is way too low to be significant. This is according to environmental expert Dr. Tess Perez of
the Ateneo de Manila University, who delivered her presentation in the conference yesterday.
Based on government study, the Philippines contributed only 0.3% of the total global carbon emission or
just 75,998 metric tons in 1999. quot;But even with little effect on the global scale, we should continue to
plant trees as this will locally result to cleaner air and a better environment,quot; adds Dr. Perez. A tropical
tree removes 8 kg of CO2 per yr (or 8 tons per hectare).
The conference with its theme quot;Confronting Climate Change: Unity of Grassroots Organizations and
Advocates for Action and Solidarityquot; was organized by the Philippine Climate Watch Alliance (PCWA), a
broad muliti-sectoral alliance aiming to address the impacts of global warming. The objectives of the
conference is to educate the basic sectors on the issue of climate change and come up with
recommendations and plan of actions on how to mitigate and adapt to the effects of global warming at
the community level.
quot;Our main problem here is that even if the Filipinos continue to plant trees, this will only result to a
naught as the government continues to allow and even promote commercial logging and mining which
directly destroy our forests and mountains.quot; says Dr. Giovanni Tapang, convenor of PCWA and
Chairman of the scientists' group AGHAM.
The conference issued a statement saying that quot;Philippine government lacks genuine policies and
programs to mitigate climate change and help communities adapt to its impacts. The Arroyo
administration promotes and pursues globalization-oriented policies in strategic sectors, such as energy,
mining, forestry, agriculture, and trade, which render the country more vulnerable to the impacts of
Dr. Tapang questioned the Arroyo administration's sincerity in addressing climate change and its
causes. quot;How ironic it is that the government has never ceased issuing Timber Licensing Agreements
(TLA's) and Industrial Forest Management Agreement (IFMA) to large-scale loggers, and mining permits
to foreign corporations, says Dr. Tapang.
In 2005, such Forest Tenurial Agreements issued by the government has covered 3,448,687.93
hectares of forest lands. With mining, there were 294 mining agreements in existence, consisting of 2
Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAA's), 262 Mineral Production Sharing Agreements
(MPSA) and 30 Exploration Permits (EP), covering approximately 600,000 hectares of land as of 2008.
Meanwhile, Datu Monico Cayug, an indigenous leader from Kalumaran, an inter-regional alliance of
Lumad in Mindanao frets as the effects of global warming on the communities have been discussed in
the conference, some of which are very familiar because they already experience it.
quot;We are now experiencing the brunt of climate change in our everyday lives. Farming for us has become
more difficult as stronger typhoons and longer droughts have destroyed our crops. To make our dire
situation worse, many of our people are being displaced as our farmlands and forests are given to
transnational corporations for their commercial mining, logging and agrofuel plantationsquot;, says Datu
The Philippine Climate Watch Alliance (PCWA) is a broad network of non-government organizations,
grassroots and people's organizations, and individuals aiming to examine and address the impacts of climate
change on marginalized communities within the country.