As the heat of summer intensifies, the steel-hulled Chinese fishing vessel numbered 63168 ran aground near midnight of April 9 in the north atoll of Tubbataha reef. The Chinese crew was detained upon suspicion of poaching as their ship was left lying on top of the corals. No clear plans on its removal has yet been reported in the news.
Earlier this year, a US Navy minesweeper, the USS Guardian, ran aground on a different area of the reef and damaged an estimated 2,000 square meters of corals before it was salvaged into pieces. The estimated fine under Republic Act 10067 or the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act of 2009, reaches a total of $1.4 million or P60 million at a rate of P 24,000 per square meter of damage. A team of scientists from the UP Marine Science Institute, the National Institute of Physics and other institutions is currently at the site of the area damaged by the USS Guardian to assess its extent as well as prepare for its rehabilitation.
Letter to the Editor
March 20, 2013
DENR and MGB, blind followers of Philex
Yesterday's Senate public hearing on the Philex Mine Waste Spill was a response to Senator Serge Osmeña's speech last February 5, 2013. The public hearing exposed the DENR and MGB's ineptitude to take action to the Tailings Pond Breach that happened in August of 2012. Clearly, these government institutions are beholden to the Philex Mining Corporation and cannot be trusted to fight for the welfare of the communities affected by the mine tailings spill.
Isang pulgas na makikita sa munisipyo ng Maria Aurora sa probinsya ng Aurora at malamang sa iba pang bahagi ng Pilipinas ay nakakuha ng pansin kamakailan sa mga mananaliksik mula sa Estados Unidos. Ito ay binigyan nila ng scientific name na Lentistivalius philippinensis na nabanggit sa nalathalang ulat sa peryodikong ZooKeys, isang pandaigdigang siyentipikong peryodiko na naglalathala ng mga peer-reviewed open-access na mga pananaliksik sa biodiversity.
Umabot na sa halos kalahating ektarya ang pinsala ng sumadsad na USS Guardian sa Tubbataha Reef.
Sa katatapos lamang ng forum sa University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman kasama ang ilang environmentalist group na Pamalakaya at Gabriela, sinabi ni Dr. Giovanni Tapang ng Task Force Save Tubbataha na maaaring lumawak pa ang 4,500 metro kwadradong pinsala sa naturang heritage site, dahil sa pagdaan ng Bagyong Crising.
Pinuna rin ng grupo ang pagbayad ng P38-milyong multa ng Amerika para sa pinsala na maliit umano kumpara sa $15-milyon na ibinayad ng US Navy sa kahalintulad na kaso sa Hawaii noong 2009.
February 23, 2013
Environmental and women’s groups are demanding ”justice beyond monetary compensation” for the USS Guardian’s grounding of the Tubbataha Reef National Park, saying that the incident is a blatant example of US disrespect for Philippine patrimony and natural resources.
“We want indemnification beyond financial compensation, the prosecution of liable officials and the serving of due punishment, and the payment of all charges necessary to restore Tubbataha to its pristine state before the grounding,” said Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment National Coordinator Clemente Bautista, Jr.
Niña P. Calleja
February 22, 2013
Philippine Daily Inquirer
For an official of Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI), proof of the “environmental soundness” of the company’s Tampakan gold and copper project in South Cotabato came in the form of an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
SMI, a company largely owned by global miner Xtrata Copper, said that the ECC served as a go-signal from the DENR—the first step of a long process that would culminate in the construction of an open pit by 2015.
The company hopes to begin commercial operations in 2019.
Semirara is owned by the 5th richest man in the Philippines, David Consunji. Based on the Forbes list of the 40 Richest Filipinos, Consunji's net worth reached $2.7 billion in 2012. Forbes said Consunji's net worth was borne from construction-related pursuits. Consunji and his 8 children operate DMCI Holdings Inc., the holding firm for all the business interests of the family.
DMCI Holdings was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange on December 18, 1995 as a holding firm. David Consunji remains chairman of the board of the company, while his son, Isidro, is President.
Feb. 18, 2013 — The widespread reduction in Arctic sea ice is causing significant changes to the balance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This is shown in a new study conducted by researchers from Lund University in Sweden, among others.
Read more at Science Daily News
As I write this column early Wednesday morning, the final text for negotiations in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) came out and was promptly emailed to me by friends and colleagues attending the events in Brazil. I was midway in relating how uncertain it was to have a negotiating text in time for the opening of the meeting as disagreements over the draft continued on even until yesterday. With only days before the opening of the Rio+20 convention, many parts of the text were strongly contested by country delegates.