Building resilient communities

By: Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos July 29,2018 - 08:54 PM

ATTY. GLORIA ESTENZO RAMOS

Climate change is real. Our response to it should be a topnotch priority, especially as we are among the most vulnerable to its dire consequences.

Building resilient communities is a goal that should be in the agenda of national and local authorities and the people themselves.

We are now getting used to seeing flooded sceneries dotting cities in Cebu, Metro Manila, and various regions in our country.

The Japanese, who are perceived to be the most prepared people in coping with disasters, had a grim reality check when more than a hundred lost their lives in the landslides and floodings that hit some parts of Japan.

A record-breaking heatwave was felt in Japan, United Kingdom and temperate countries that normally do not bask in warm temperature like what we are used to.

Visiting sunny and hot London and Scotland a few weeks back, it felt like being in our beloved tropical land, except in having to deal with sunset which happened almost 10 in the evening.

The impacts to the ocean is alarming especially for us highly dependent on fish and seafood as the main bulk of our protein diet.

Ocean acidification leads to “reduction of the ability of reef-building corals to produce their skeletons.”

How many of us realize the important role corals perform in our daily lives – for biodiversity and coastal protection, fisheries, medicine and rest and recreation?

It is clear that adapting to climate change requires long-term planning in a participatory manner and the serious implementation of the laws enacted to make us cope with its onslaught and in protecting our right to a balanced and healthful ecology and livelihoods. This includes ensuring the resiliency of the natural habitats of species of flora and fauna.

By strengthening the protection of our environment, we are likewise protecting the quality of life, the health and the livelihood of constituents.

Strategies have been crafted by not a few local government units in ensuring the sustainable use of and resiliency of our life support systems.

Their examples have shown that prioritizing such can be done and can even benefit the constituents in the long run.

An example is Negros Occidental under the leadership of Governor Freddie Maranon.

Apart from establishment of marine protected areas and no-nonsense enforcement, the province is leading the country in the export of the famous Blue Swimming Crab which were in decline in the Visayan Sea because of over-fishing.

It has put up hatcheries and involved the community as their livelihood programs. Millions of them had been released to replenish the stock of the Blue Swimming Crabs, which have definitely benefitted and improved the quality of life of the local communities.

The Build, Build, Build Program of the current administration should not impair the sustainability of our natural life support systems such as land, air and water. It should instead build the resiliency of our ecosystems and our people.

 

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TAGS: building, communities, resilient

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