State of The Philippine Environment and Society Rio 10 Sustainability Watch
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchState of thePhilippine Society& Environment E i t
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchWHAT IS AT STAKE IN THEDESTRUCTION OF THEPHILIPPINEENVIRONMENT …
the Philippines is a MEGA-DIVERSITY COUNTRY -one of the Earth’s biologically wealthiest nations. We havebeen cited as having, hectare for hectare one of the having hectare, Sustainability Watchhighest degree of biological diversity on the globe. (e.g.there are more tree species for example in one hectare ofthe Luzon island than in all of Northern Europe)The Philippines is a mega diverse countryTh Phili i i di
While we are one of the Mega-Diversity Countries, thePhilippines is also one of the HOTTEST OF ALL HOT Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchSPOTS – th most severely endangered among th the t l d d themega-diversity countries. Of all the 25 global hot spotsidentified, the Philippines has the smallest remainingprimary vegetation – only 3% of the original extent extent.Furthermore, In a recent internationalstudy,study it was realized that except forVietnam, the Philippines was the leastprepared to protect communities andthe environment from the ecologicalgstresses created by economic growth.But… we are also one of the HOTTEST OF ut… a e a so o e o t e O S OALL BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchPoverty More than 40% poverty rate. Rural poverty & the continuing migration to urban centers p y g g cause rapid growth of urban poor communities in the cities. Because rural communities, especially those on the upland live in ecologically fragile areas, poverty directly forces these areas communities to exploit the remaining natural resources unsustainably. Yet, Yet the problem of poverty in the Philippines is not mainly a problem of lack, but a problem of equitable sharing of resources. The top 10% own more than 40% of all income while the lowest 10% own less than 2% hile lo est o n Resources needed to reduce and eliminate poverty are limited. The Philippines is still saddled with a debt burden that cannot be supported.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchBad Governance & Lack of People Empowerment The Philippines ranks 9th in an Asian regional correlation study on corruption corruption. It is estimated that at least 30% of government funds, including funds for sustainable development including environmental protection & conservation; is lost to corruption i l i i i l i every year. For every peso of collected tax, .57 cents g yp , goes to government g expenditures, while .43 cents goes to private pockets. We have given birth to so many laws and policies that enshrine people participation And yet, people continue to participation. yet complain about inaccessibility of information and seat for representation, thus hampering their ability to fully participate
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchDangerous PD Population Growth l ti G th Philippine Population was estimated 80M last 2000 with an annual growth rate of 2.4% - a 1.4M annual increase & g projected by 2025 to be 100M. This means that the total population will double in just one generation. For the first time in our history, almost half of the entire history population will be living in cities. In 1990 43% is urban with an urban migration rate of 3.6% which has raised the current urban population to about 48%. 48% In 1990 18 million live in the upland communities with about 30% of them living in ecologically sensitive area. Today, it has h reached a staggering number of about 24 to 26 million h d t i b f b t t illi with densities of 160 to 175 person per sg. km. This means that we have already surpassed the carrying capacity of our upland communities since 1990. l d iti i 1990
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchNature Abuse Loss of Forest Cover and Watersheds. In 1934, the Philippine had 17 million hectares of forest. In 1990, this has been reduced to only 6 million with only 800,000 to 900,000 considered virgin or old growth forests. Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Destruction. The major y j problem in marine/coastal ecosystem is over fishing. Destructive fishing practices result in decreasing catch of small fishers due to increasing fisher population or g p p encroachment of commercial fishing vessels with their highly exploitative gears into fragile coastal waters. Of the 50 traditional fishing g g grounds, 11 have already been destroyed.. , y y The country is already harvesting about 1.3 million tons in fish catch every year. We are now nearing the estimated maximum production of 1.45 to 1.8 million tons. a u p oduct o o . 5 .8 o to s.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchNature Abuse Rapid Loss of Biological Diversity. Due to the rate of destruction of our forests, it is estimated that the country has forests lost 50% of our endemic plant species. Only 5% of the country’s 30,000 sg. Km of coral reefs is in excellent condition. In 1918 the country had 500,000 mangrove forests. di i h h d 00 000 f In 1990 only 139,000 to 142,000 remains. Of this only about 10,000 to 20,000 are old g , , growth or virgin mangrove forests. g g We have lost nearly 80% of our mangroves in the past 75 years. 30 to 50% of our seagrass beds have been lost in the last 50 years.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchNature Abuse Bio-Piracy and the Imposition of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). (IPR) Our biological resources are important to us not only for their intrinsic value and the role they play in ensuring our food security and the various benefits they give to out earth’s continued functioning. It is also important because a large part i df i i i l i b l of our nature heritage is tied up with the knowledge and practice concerning the utilization of these biological resources. Based g g on present trends, companies and institutions that develop useful products and processes from traditional knowledge and biological innovations apply for intellectual property rights (IPR) over so-called innovations. Through IPR, they acquire monopoly rights to prohibit others from using the innovation without paying for such use.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchNature Abuse Modern Biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). (GMO ) The promise of GMOs in plants to solve malnutrition and food insufficiency are veiled with uncertainties. As a technological innovation that recently swept the Philippines at a rate beyond its capacity to regulate, health-related risks particularly to individuals with impaired immune systems have been raised but not adequately answered. Even the scientific community does not have consensus opinion on safety and the range of risks possible in the absence of tests to human volunteers. volunteers
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchNature Abuse Climate Change & Renewable and Clean Energy. The Philippines is 50% dependent on imported fuel, mainly Phili i i d d t i t df l i l petroleum. The burning of petroleum produces prodigious amounts of heat and gases that are not only hazardous to human health but are greenhouse substances that exacerbate global warming. With increased population, industrialization and electrification our contribution to global warming will electrification, also grow.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchNature Abuse Sustainable Agriculture.The country is using too much of fertilizers and pesticides. We are using 4.5 million tons of pesticides 45 fertilizers per year and 16,000 tons (a 3 fold increase from 4,000 tons 5 years ago) of pesticides. Fertilizers are leached and end up i the rivers and seas. Too much use degrades the d d in h i d h d d h soil. Pesticides on the other hand poisons our water supply There is a corporate monopolization of seeds, technologies and all other agricultural inputs. Government policies and standards prevent farmers from exercising their rights to choose the kind of seeds they want to plant in the manner and h th ki d f d th t t l t i th d time they prefer.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchAttack at Cultural Diversity Rapid Loss of Cultural Diversity. There are more than 100 groups of i di f indigenous peoples (IPs) communities in the l (IP ) iti i th Philippines. Because of development aggression, most of these indigenous communities who for centuries have continued to practice sustainable living are losing their land and their cultural identity; and with it the value of sustainability. sustainability Traditional stewards of our upland and forest areas primarily Indigenous Peoples’ (IP) Communities challenged by massive changes in their physical as well as cultural environment are starting to reject their sustainable lt l i t t ti t j t th i t i bl ways and abandon their original role.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchA promising solution to the many problemsconfronting Philippine society today is thegenuine implementation of SustainableDevelopment – a development that meets theneeds of the present generations withoutcompromising the ability of future generationsto meet their own needs.
Susta ab ty atc Sustainability WatchState of thePhilippine Society& Environment E i t