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Kamayan para sa Kalikasan

220th

monthly

session

 J O U R N A L

 J O U R N A L

    THE WEBSITE VERSION  

    POST YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM

76th Issue.

June 2008

 
     


What is 'Green Justice'? 'Gaia's Karma' is an equivalent term. What we do to Mother Earth comes back to us as a blessing or a disaster, depending on what exactly it is that we do to Mother Earth. Why do many people disagree that 'Money is the root of all evil'? Because it's not money, but the love for money more than love for life, that is the root of all evil. Human justice systems may value one more than the other. And Mother Nature just responds accordingly.

 FORUM ECHOES           
'We will all act on
Climate Change!'
       -- forum participants

PARTICIPANTS of Kamayan para sa Kalikasan forum's 219th monthly session last May declared on the wireless microphones and on little pieces of paper that they are ready to act as organizations and as individuals to actively confront the "Global Warming" now accelerated by the volume of carbon dioxide and and other "greenhouse gases."

full story

 FORUM FOCUS         
What will be the Final Verdict on Aerial Spraying of Poison?

 Can ‘Green Gavels’ work

to guard the Environment?

THE ANNOUNCEMENT coming from no less than the Chief Magistrate of the Philippine Judiciary Reynato Puno last January was well-received.  The Chief Justice said 117 "greenie" trial courts" were to be established across the archipelago, clarifying that these were actually to be regular local courts designated to handle cases involving violations of environmental laws. The civil society organizations advocating effective environmental conservation and the people's basic rights warmly welcomed that announcement almost half a year ago. Some of these groups have started to wonder what has been achieved in this direction in first six months of this year.

full story


OTHER SECTIONS:

EDITORIAL: 

NEWS REPORT:

BOXED FEATURE:

Think of the Laws! Think of the Loss!

Partido Kalikasan Institute's on-line ‘Green Calendar’

Aerial-Spraying of  Pesticides on Bananas...and People


FOOTER QUOTE:

         “'Gaia's Karma' is an equivalent phrase for 'Green Justice.'  What we do to Mother Earth comes back to us as a blessing or a disaster, depending on what we actually do to her.”

          ----DING REYES, BIPED On the Blue Ball, 3rd Edition (to be released soon)

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Last June 5, as in earlier celebrations of World Environment Day in this country, Filipinos and representatives of many nationalities chorused a poem-prayer where Humankind stands as one before fellow-citizens of our planet Gaia, to take responsibility for past and present environmental destruction and to commit a synergy of efforts to rescue and heal, conserve and exalt our Mother Earth. But, will the judiciaries of the world allow us? Can there really be Green Gavels in the Philippines?

  EDITORIAL     

Think of the Laws! Think of the Loss!

LAWS RELATED to the protection of the environment and its proper care have been passed by nation, including the Philippines. Here, the violations and omissions related to these laws are rampant. This has led the Supreme Court to decide to set up special courts to hear and pass judgment on crimes against the environment.

      The victims of crimes that are the results of omission or violation of environmental laws are increasing in number, as the violations and the apathy escalate. The injustice is magnified when it is done by public officials since they are duty-bound and expected to observe and cause compliance, and they squander public funds with impunity.

      So we challenge the stakeholders: go out of your way and get together with groups and file charges against erring public officials at both local and national government levels.

      The victims of environmental disasters that are man-made, such as flooding, cry for justice. In urban centers, the citizens contract diseases due to polluted air and water. In coastal villages the fisherfolk are deprived of good catch due to the destruction of corrals causing depletion of fish stock. The Lumad are deprived of land where they use to raise their food. The injustice hits the poor more than the non-poor. For the poor depend on the free gifts of nature. They make their living from the environment. Therefore damage to forests, lakes and rivers is injustice done to the poor.

      Every environment injustice done today is also a crime against the coming generations. For the environment is a time continuum. How else did global warming catch up with our generation? We always have to ask our selves: what poisons are we leaving in the path of the next generations?

      What crimes are we committing to the innocents of the future times? One of the two major factors in the collapse of the civilizations, as discussed in a current best seller by Diamond Jarred reveals, is the abuse of the environment. Ant the Philippines is included in a list of countries at risk.

      The injustice is not limited to mankind. It is directly done to mother nature. Nature as a holonic system made up of interdependent subsystems. It is through this that nature creates, replenishes, recovers, heals and self-perpetuates. But too much damage on the nature environment, makes nature's recovery recovery in many instances. Some elements in the environment took centuries to develop. Man destroys in a few days and can devastate even in a day.

      Nature and/or the environment provides for the nature and sustenance of all life forms. In being equally available to all, nature practices justice. The sun shines on all, the rains fall on all, the air is available to all without discrimination. Energy and power derive their elements form nature. All these ought to be available to everyone as bequeathed by nature. These were "commonly property", before greedy elite fenced them in and commandeered the commons for their exclusive enjoyment. By depriving the many of the magnanimity of nature, they have made nature become bad in the eyes of the deprived. In this they also have done Nature a great injustice.

      In doing violence and injustice to Nature, we do violence and injustice to our own nature as stewards of life and all creation. Worse, we do violence and injustice to our calling to communion with one-another, in the eternity of life. Think about the loss!!! (Heed the laws!)..... Manghinayang nawa ang lahat!       --AVC

      TOP


  FORUM FOCUS         

What will be the Final Verdict on Aerial Spraying of Poison?
Can 'Green Gavels' work
to guard the Environment?

THE ANNOUNCEMENT coming from no less than the Chief Magistrate of the Philippine Judiciary Reynato Puno last January was well-received.  The Chief Justice said 117 "greenie" trial courts" were to be established across the archipelago, clarifying that these were actually to be regular local courts designated to handle cases involving violations of environmental laws. The civil society organizations advocating effective environmental conservation and the people's basic rights warmly welcomed that announcement almost half a year ago. Some of these groups have started to wonder what has been achieved in this direction in first six months of this year.

   
   Meanwhile a case is pending before the Court of Appeals with banana plantation owners seeking to reverse the ruling of the local tribunal in Davao City that upheld the power and responsibility of the city government to protect the life and health interests of its constituents who were being poisoned to varying degrees by pesticides air-sprayed by banana plantation owners. The owners who had sued City Hall have appealed the verdict and were gifted by the CA with a temporary restraining order against the city's ordinance. They have been spraying again.

   
   And many people are asking, what would "Green Justice" really mean in this country? People who have been asking include people who have grown to admire the incumbent chief justice for his many activist positions and innovative projects. But they know only too well than even the most well-meaning of leaders with the firmest resolve to leave a laudable legacy can really be impaired by systemic obstacles that have grown to menace its institutional performance, and public credibility, and the judiciary is no exception. For this reason, the organizers of the Kamayan para sa Kalikasan monthly environmental forum chose to focus its 220th session this June 20 on "Green Justice" -- we have invited resource persons to inform us on the general relationship between the judiciary and the environment, specifically in the Philippine setting.  The panel speakers and the rest of the participants will try to form an educated consensus on the performance of both the judges and the environmentalists on big and small cases reaching the bench. Are the judges and prosecutors (fiscals) on the side of upholding the law to protect the environment? Are the leaders of the Judiciary all consistently seeking to make sure that they would?

   
   Let's discuss it at the face-to-face session of Kamayan para sa Kalikasan this coming Third Friday. Better yet, let's start discussing these questions now by posting your information and opinions through the reply box below and/or by posting them in the e-mail group dedicated exclusively for egroup members' postings on the topics of the forum's past and announced sessions, kamayanforum@yahoogroups.com. (Non members may join by sending a blank message to: kamayanforum-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

TOP 


 

  FORUM ECHOES           

Echoes From May Forum  

'We will all act on Climate Change!' 

-- Forum Participants

PARTICIPANTS of Kamayan para sa Kalikasan forum's 219th monthly session last May declared on the wireless microphones and on little pieces of paper that they are ready to act as organizations and as individuals to actively confront the "Global Warming" now accelerated by the volume of carbon dioxide and and other "greenhouse gases." 

    Setting aside the tendency to just blame industrialized countries that are undeniably more responsible for this planetary problem, they opted instead to focus on adaptation and mitigation measures. The discussion focused on the theme of this year's World Environment Day.

    The Department of Energy (DoE) sent Energy Utilization and Management Bureau OIC-Assistant Director Evelyn N. Reyes to join the panel, and Mother Earth Foundation President Marie R. Marciano was freed from usual duties as forum moderator to represent the Philippine Network for Climate Change (PNCC). The two panel speakers and most of the forum participants had a unified consensus pinning the responsibility on industrialized countries who have accounted for most of the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. But consensus was also strong behind the attitude for Filipinos and other small-scale polluters to be active in addressing the climate change problem of the planet, and said the "blame game" should not be the main consideration, adding that small countries with long coaslines are the most vulnerable to effects of rise in sea levels directly resulting from the continued melting of polar ice. For her part, Reyes talked about the DoE's programs for gradually shifting to the maximum utilization of renewable energy sources.
   
    The participants also frowned on the practice the heavy polluters of paying carbon credits to cash-strapped economies to free themselves at least partially of the duty to drastically cut their own carbon dioxide emissions.  "Bribery cannot solve this planetary problem," Marciano stressed, "they do have to mend their pollutive lifestyles."
   
    Forum moderator Ding Reyes led the participants in pledging personal actions on climate change, declaring their commitments into the wireless microphones during the session's usual second portion and wrote them down on small pieces of paper which were later collected for coordination purposes.
 
   
    The Kamayan para sa Kalikasan environmental forum is jointly convened on the third Friday of every month Friday by the Clear Communicators for the Environment (CLEAR) and Sanib-lakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), from 10:30am to 2pm, thru free lunch courtesy of Kamayan, the forum project's consistent sponsor since March 1990.

TOP 



   BOXED FEATURE          

Aerial-Spraying of Pesticides on Bananas ...and People

Countdown starts on ban aerial spray decision 

(News report e-mailed from Davao on 5 June 2008)

DAVAO CITY.  The Mindanao-wide anti-aerial spraying group Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (Maas) on Thursday started to count down the days when the Court of Appeals must decide on the constitutionality of the ordinance that banned the controversial chemical application practiced in banana plantations in Davao City.

          Incidentally, Thursday also marked the international observance of World Environment Day.  The CA is supposed to resolve the case on July 28 or six months after the CA issued an injunction on the implementation of the ordinance.

          The influential and moneyed Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association (PBGEA) elevated its case to the CA after the regional trial court in Davao upheld the constitutionality of the ordinance, following intense court hearings and public debates.

          As they await for the end of the six-month period, Maas erected in front of the CA a billboard that shows a face of a child and a text that read: “pila na lang ka-adlaw ang pag-antos, anak (only just a few days of suffering, my child).”  Supporters from Cagayan's Social Action Center and Xavier University students joined Maas in the activity.

          Jun Alcomendras, a Kagawad from Barangay Wangan in Davao City, said that the only hope they have now is to get a favorable decision from the CA justices, although recent decisions have consistently favored the moneyed PBGEA. He explained that the decision of the court on July 28 will make a big impact to the lives of the children in the Davao communities affected by aerial spraying.

          “We are doing this for our children who still have a long way to go in this lifetime. As their parents, we have the responsibility to provide for them a healthy and safe environment,” Alcomendras said.

          Alcomendras said the CA justices, no matter how they showed their bias for PBGEA in their past decisions, can still regain the trust of the people by upholding the constitutionality of the ordinance. The regional trial court, in coming out with its decision, recognized the police power inherent to local government units as an authority that is mandated to provide safety for its people.

           Meanwhile, the counsel of the affected communities has reminded the court to resolve the case expeditiously in the face of the realities faced by the people in communities affected by the chemical application practice.

          The Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (Saligan) Mindanao filed their instant manifestation on May 26 with the prayer that the CA will decide the constitutionality of the ordinance on or before the July 28 deadline.

          “The pleading is just but a reminder that it can very well necessarily decide on the main case as well as the incidental matters relative to this case pending before the court with the exhaustive submissions of the parties,” the counsel of the intervenors said.

          “The six-month period provided by the rules are sufficient to rule on the main case considering the urgency to protect the environment. This court cannot merely turn a blind eye to the realities faced by members of the community whose lives, health and environment have experienced difficulties and challenges and the grave threats that will surface necessitate this court to act swiftly, decisively, and rightfully,” Saligan Mindanaw added.

TOP 

Stop the Poison Rain!

THE FIRST GREEN VIDEO

ON THE SLISH GREENPAGE:

via  youtube.com/synerginfo

This is a 4.5-minute video showing the effect on community members’ health of the aerial spraying of pesticides on banana crops in Davao City, despite the city ordinance banning the practice.

 

  NEWS REPORT           

Partido Kalikasan Institute's on-line ‘Green Calendar’  

THE INFOSHARE system of the Philippine environmental advocacy community got another boost recently with the launch last week of the “Green Calendar” of events on-line project of the Partido Kalikasan Institute.

      As this developed, SanibLakas InfoShare (SLISH) decided to link up the PKI’s calendar webpage with its own “GreenPage” and the Kamayan Forum’s website. The latter two web-based projects also carry links to the environment-oriented items in the country’s regional newspapers and in the website of JRS Express.

      The strengthening of the info-sharing system of the environmental movement was one of the decisions of the recent Sixth Annual Assembly of the World Environ/ment Day-Philippines network held in Puerto Princesa City last June 8.

TOP 

 

 

  BACKPAGE.AD         

World Environment Day-Philippines (WED-Phils.) Network

6th ANNUAL ASSEMBLY  

Puerto Princesa City, June 8, 2008

PRELIMINARY REPORT

By the WED-Philippines Secretariat

We are marching on to build a strong environmental network that is based on  Active Stakeholdership at the Grassroots throughout the Philippines.

Among the Assembly Resolutions are:

*  Continued development, and formalization within one year, of the WED-Phils Network (under the same or another name) as a grassroots-based nationwide all-season network that would be based mainly on the synergies among active stakeholders  This will involve building new formations such as the Mothers for Mother Nature; Green Workplaces Network; Green Campuses Network and Ugnayang Pamayanan (which would involve the local scout­ing organizations, green brigades, primary cooperatives and parents-teachers associations) in the communities and households, and embrace in active environmentalism the civic, media, social, sports and religious organizations.

*   Encouragement of forging whatever partnerships may be forged between civil society organizations in environmental advocacy and local government units and individual officials.

*   Longer and more well-rounded preparations for the United Nations-mandated annual celebration of World Environ­ment Day in designated national sites (host cities). Two years before the scheduled hosting of WED national site, a city/community is nominated and included in a short list of nominees during the Annual Assembly for that year or within three months after it, and formally informed of this shortly afterwards with the active assistance of the nom­inating organization, and informed of the criteria for the final choice. A full year before the hosting, the Assembly chooses among the shortlisted nominees one selected “next host.”  

      [National host for WED 2009 is Batangas City. Before September 5, we are going to short-list three no-minees from among the cities/communities in the Visayas, from among which we will choose in the Batangas Assembly next year the national site for WED 2010; For more information, please contact WED-Phils. Secretariat c/o <wed.phils@yahoo.com>.]

*   Promotion of Active Stakeholdership for a much broader base of Environmental Conservation advocates among a bigger percentage of the Philippine population; dev’t of core of org leaders for this work

*   Formalization Development and Promotion of Active Info-sharing mechanisms within and among Local Environmental Movements (LEMs) for mutual support of one another’s campaigns

*   More conscious integration of the thrusts of the three annual celebrations Earth Day, World Environment Day and Creation Day. Develop the Deep Ecology and Spirituality paradigm in our environmental advocacy education work.

*   Active network-wide support for people’s struggles against large-scale commercial mining, against aerial spraying of hazardous chemicals, against treaties and laws that jeopardiza our safe food, healthy environment and sustainable economy. Campaign for promotion of our natural resources as treasure sites of the world to give them protection from intrnational bodies, like the current campaign for Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, the Tubbataha Reef, the Chocolate Hills, and Mayon Volcano now vying for inclusion in the “Seven New Wonders of Nature.”

Synergize the Local Environmental Movements!

 


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All are invited. to the  Kamayan para sa Kalikasan Environmental Forum held regularly, since March 1990, on the 3rd Friday every month, 10:30am-2pm at the Kamayan Restaurant along EDSA, Mandaluyong City. It is convened jointly by the Communicators’ League for Environmental Action and Restoration (CLEAR) and Sanib-Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), fully sponsored by Kamayan.  

 
   

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