Earth day 2018 was celebrated by several environmental advocates which included an eco walk within the University of the Philippines, Diliman and Manila campuses. The successful environmental awareness walk focuses on a lot of issues which haunted the country. Among the related issues are threats to the country’s patrimony by the proposed changes to the constitution.
Earth day 2018 organizers
Earth day 2018 walk was organized by Lumaban sa Cha-Cha, Ipagtanggol ang Kalikasan (LUNTIAN), Kalikasan PNE ,LUNTIAN, the Eco-Walk organizers included AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (AGHAM), Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines (CEC), College of Science Student Council (CSSC), Climate Change Network for Community-based Initiatives (CCNCI), March for Science Alliance (MSA), Miriam Public Education and Awareness Campaign for the Environment (Miriam PEACE), Nilad, Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc. (PNPCSI), UP Manila University Student Council – Science and Environment Committee, and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP). Coalition held ‘eco-walks’ a day before International Earth Day .
In UP, the participants held a centralized walk before splitting into groups with different activities: tour of native trees around the campus, bird watching, and urban gardening workshop for children.
The organizers said biodiversity at UP represents the entire Philippines, noting there are at least 110 endemic, resident, and migratory bird species have been spotted within its campus.
Diliman also refers to a type of economical fern known as Stenochalena palustris . This fern species is also found over other southeast Asian countries.
Flora and Fauna diversity within the campus
Among them are the colasisi (Loriculus philippensis) and the Philippine scops owl (Otus megalotis). There are also Malaysian pied fantail (Rhipidura javanica).
Another example is the bignay tree (Antidesma bunius), one of the country’s native trees found in University of the Philippines in Diliman, bears fruits eaten by various species of fruit bats that are part of the campus’ local biodiversity. The same with several species of fig trees within the campus.
The pollinators of the fig are type of wasps and these are eaten by bats and birds. There are also plans of planting more native and endemic Philippine trees within the campus ground to improve the existing biodiversity.
“From our mountain ridges to our urban green spaces down to the coral reefs, our last ecological frontiers are facing increased risks of plunder today,” Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE) national coordinator and LUNTIAN convener Leon Dulce said Saturday.
The group also noted that environmentalists and communities against destructive big mining projects, plantations and dams remain vulnerable to reprisals the military they accuse of being in the payroll of mining companies.
The event was posted at Kalikasan Facebook page last April 18, 2018 and hundreds of participants have signed-up for the FREE tour. Participants are also requested to wear green t-shirts and wear comfortable shoes.
Assembly time was held on April 21, Saturday at 6:00AM for a short onsite registration period.
Organizers of the event stress out the proposed amendment on the charter’s Article XII on National Economy and Patrimony that seek to allow full 100 percent foreign ownership in strategic resources and sectors.
“The country’s experience under the Mining Act of 1995’s full foreign ownership scheme resulted in no concrete economic gains, with companies entitled to repatriate 100 percent of their profits back to their home countries,” the group said.
“Through the eco-walk, we want to impress upon the participants an inkling of what is at stake for the environment of the entire county should ‘Chacha’ push through and if the killings and human rights violations of environment defenders go unabated.
Photo courtesy of Kalikasan FB, Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Inc. and Dr. Jorge Ferrer.