CLIMATE CHANGE AND GEOHAZARD: A political challenge
Nothing is permanent except change. This time-proven declaration accurately sums up the fickle character of Mother Nature. Climate Change connotes transient episodes in the earth’s history yet geohazards have fixed locations. Two different sides to the same coin.
Climate change is a hot and polarizing issue, with people divided into two (2) camps: either believing it is already upon us or adamantly denying it is happening. If we look back long enough in time, we can see that the earth has already experienced many climate changes. It was warm when the dinosaurs ruled the earth and then turned cold for the wooly mammoths. Climate change is a certainty; it is not a matter of if but more of a matter of when. It may not be anthropomorphic or caused by man, but we can and do aggravate the situation.
As stated before, Climate change and geohazards are two (2) sides to one coin. Experts foresee increased flooding and storms with Climate Change. We hasten to add that prolonged heavy rainfall will trigger landslides. Areas prone to flooding and landslides can be predicted and mapped out, that’s what we in the DENR call geohazard assessment and mapping.
We already have this program in place for years, our Mines and Geosciences people has been toiling silently to create maps and provide them to Local Government Units. In the very near future, the DENR will put up a website specifically for these geohazard maps, where they can be accessed by everybody.
We already have the tools, in the form of the maps, to avoid extensive loss of lives and properties in case of natural catastrophes but we still need to hurdle political obstacles. Unknown to many, we have already provided geohazard maps to several LGUs and have been advocating for its inclusion in their development planning. However, our is the voice in the wilderness, loud but unheard.
The DENR has already made headway in partnering with private entities, LGUs, NGOs, OGAs, and the academe in our effort to green and clean-up our countries, we also need help in mitigating possible loss from geohazards and nature’s wrath. Recently, in the aftermath of “Sendong,” the Honorable Congressman Loreto S. Ocampos of the Second District of Misamis Occidental and the Municipality of Naawan, Misamis Oritnal has sent request for assistance strengthening their geohazard capabilities. We are always ready to serve the people, let us prioritize their welfare more than politics.
In our haste for “development,” we have often taken forcibly from Mother Nature areas that should be left for her. She will retake them.
DENR 10 reforests 97,220 hectares under the National Greening Program
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Region 10 has rehabilitated 97,220 hectares of forestlands with 79,020,285 seedlings of various tree species under the National Greening Program (NGP) from 2011 to 2016.
The DENR 10 is still off the list of areas with hotspot on illegal logging with the intensified campaign on forest protection. It has mobilized communities and volunteers to help in the forest protection campaign.
With the recent massive flooding in Cagayan de Oro City and other areas of Northern Mindanao, DENR 10 Regional Director Ruth M. Tawantawan belied reports that unabated tree cutting and deforestation is the cause of the flooding.
“We can proudly say that we are doing our well to safeguard our environment and we remain steadfast with our commitment to make the communities happy with our work”, Regional Director Tawantawan said.
The headwater of Cagayan de Oro City emanates from Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park and Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Park in Bukidnon. Regional Director Tawantawan disclosed that Bukidnon has very high elevation against Cagayan de Oro City and the slope is very steep. High volume of water will flow rapidly to the cities (Cagayan de Oro and Iligan) during rainfall. It is important to have clean and unobstructed waterways, she added.
The DENR 10 continues to manage and protect ten priority protected areas namely; Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kalatungan Range Natural Parks in Bukidnon; Mt. Timpoong – Hibok-Hibok Natural Monument in Camiguin; Initao-Libertad Protected Landscape and Seascape, Mt. Balatukan Range Natural Park and Mimbilisan Protected Landscape in Misamis Oriental; Mt. Inayawan Natural Park and Bacolod – Kauswagan Protected Landscape and Seascape in Lanao del Norte; and Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park and Baliangao Protected Landscape and Seascape in Misamis Occidental.
The conservation and protection of Cagayan de Oro River Basin is a major concern of the DENR. It has organized the Cagayan de Oro River Basin Management Council (CDORBMC) on November 10, 2010. It is one of the active management councils in the country today.
The Council is a multi-sectoral group of concerned individuals, agencies and institutions who dedicate themselves in protecting, preserving, rehabilitating and managing of the Cagayan de Oro River Basin which has a total land area of 137, 934 hectares. It has eight tributaries from municipalities/cities namely Cagayan de Oro City, Libona (Bukidnon), Baungon (Bukidnon), Talakag (Bukidnon) and Iligan City . (RSCIS # 01-08-2017)
- DENR 10 reforests 97,220 hectares under the National Greening Program
- Provincial, Sub-watersheds Management Councils organized for Lake Lanao River Basin
- Area Development, Subsidiarity and Federalism BY PHILIP CAMARA ON JANUARY 5, 2017 ANALYSIS
- DENR 10 conducts Assessment, IEC Planning workshop
- DENR 10 inks MOA with Bukidnon LGUs for Rural Infrastructure Subproject