Environment group: ‘The protection of the Negros forest, a reduction in disaster risk’

THE Group of Environmental Socialists (Goes) calls on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to take action on the issues affecting the forests of Negros.

The group made the call as part of the ongoing celebration of National Disaster Resilience Month with the theme “Sambayanang Pilipino, Nagkakaisa tungo sa Katatagan in Maunlad na Kinabukasan”.

For the group, the activity highlights the unified efforts of all sectors and communities towards sustainable development.

“The group has been consistent in calling on the DENR to take action against illegal structures that continue to create irreversible damage inside the protected area,” it said in a press release on Sunday July 10.

In this regard, said Goes, the best recent example is how flash floods in the North Negros Natural Park (NNNP) affected the forest area.

It is a common cause of how illegal structures have replaced natural resources in the mountains, he said.

Goes said the DENR should adhere to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 15 which pushes for the protection of our earth’s ecosystem.

“We have discovered that the stewardship contract certificate of migrant incumbents inside the NNNP has been canceled by the DENR. Yet there has been no act of demolition of the structures allegedly held illegally by violators environment,” he said.

The environmental group also claimed that “they [DENR] facilitated the application of the Special Authority for Protected Areas (Sapa) with the offending individuals while neglecting the rights of migrant holders or inhabitants inside the protected area. »

They added that the abuse of power leads to an injustice towards the ecosystem as well as an insult to the rights of the community and its intellectual capacity.

“The Sapa should be abolished,” Goes stressed, adding that while the “One Lens for Resilience: Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction” aims to educate the majority, it also states that climate change and natural disasters as constructs which are therefore due to human-induced effects.

Thus, the central point to deal with the impact is to continuously cooperate with people, that is, us, the group also said.

Goes said a coherence to promote what is best for the common good leads to a paradigm shift on policies, programs and actions.

For the group, the paradigm shift implies that we must recognize and transform our current practices and way of life which contribute to unsustainable development.

“We know that climate change is inevitable and will happen to us in greater proportions than before. Long-lasting drought may become possible and frequent, stronger typhoons and floods may occur. Thus, we must mitigate the possible risks and dangers in protecting our natural parks,” he said.

Goes said climate mitigation means reducing carbon emissions and increasing carbon sink and sequestration.

This means changing people’s lifestyles by reducing carbon footprints, planting more trees and tearing down illegal structures, the group said.

It also signifies the government’s commitment to be decisive in taking drastic measures to reduce carbon emissions for long-term effects, they added.

Furthermore, Goes highlighted that climate adaptation/disaster risk reduction (DRR) reflects on building resilient communities as a way to strengthen the foundations of security in our society.

In learning how to respond to hydro-meteorological hazards caused by climate change and human-induced hazards, a call for a unified National Adaptation Action Plan (Napa) and National Strategic Action Program (Snap) is preferable, he said.

The key is to take steps to strengthen systems and structures to be prepared for any hazard, coupled with appropriate prevention and mitigation measures at the community level.

“We call for proactively advocating for the consistent empowerment of human rights as a whole in order to lay the foundations for security,” he said, adding that “we ensure the provision of adequate basic services meeting the basic needs of people who are primarily at risk and building hazard-specific knowledge, attitudes and skills for coping capacity and improving the livelihoods and well-being of people towards resilience”.

For Goes, improving and protecting the ecosystem leads to sustainable use and benefits for all.

“As a species with other life forms, we will move through time and find ways to survive and bounce back from any misfortune,” he said.

“Our action points are driving real change by focusing on shifting the mindset from an economic cost-benefit analysis to a strong sense of moral obligation to not only reduce carbon emissions, but also to address the root causes of disaster risk,” he added. (With PR)