The melting of the polar ice caps, frequent and stronger typhoons, the thinning of the ozone layer–these are just some of the telltale signs of Global warming. It is no longer a myth or a conspiracy theory, that’s why more and more individuals are doing their fair share in helping stem the tide. Speaking of tides, here are some organizations dedicated to save Nemo, Dory, and other sea critters.
Save the Philippine Seas.
A report on a US-based company that allegedly imported shells, corals, and other endangered marine wildlife from the Indo-Pacific region, which included the Philippines on April 9, 2011 sparked the independent movement now called the Save the Philippine Seas (SPS).
Organized by concerned individuals, the group went public primarily online through the #reefwatchPH used in Twitter on May 26, 2011. According to a speech given by SPS member Anna Oposa at the Senate investigation on coral plunder in 2011, the rape of the Philippines’ rich marine resources was not just a national concern, but rather an international one because of its global significance.
“We are here to help spark the political will to promote compliance. From a handful of individuals who worked together last month, our number has grown exponentially. We have created a movement called Save Philippine Seas, which is currently conducting a marine resource watch, actively lobbying and researching on the amendment of penalties, enforcement of law, and keeping citizenry aware through social media. We have received an overwhelming number of messages from Filipinos and non-Filipinos from here and abroad offering their help. The bayanihan spirit is very much alive,” said Oposa.
In December of last year, Globe Telecom led an awareness campaign and partnered up with SPS and organized a marine biodiversity workshop to discuss the best practices on sustainability and biodiversity in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, where 30 business owners and a Department of Environment and Natural Resources representative attended.
“The program serves as a tool to give proper education and awareness to every household and every barangay in order to solve our solid waste management problem. I would like to appeal to the local community and all business establishments here in General Luna that we help each other and work together for the success of our environment conservation efforts; for the prosperity and progress of our own municipality,” said Jose Wilbert L. Gorgonio, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer, General Luna regarding the event.
Waves For Water
Founded by Jon Rose, Waves For Water (W4W) to date, has conducted 125 projects throughout 40 countries and provided an access to clean water for roughly 8 million people across the globe by providing water source creation solutions that include well digging, well restoration, rainwater harvesting, and custom-built water filtration and purification systems for different communities.
The organization has implemented more than 150,000 water filtration systems, 100 rain harvesting systems, and more than 100 wells constructed or restored as well.
In the country, W4W partnered with the Land Bank of the Philippines, one of the largest banks nationally with branches in every district, to implement filtration systems for communities in need, especially in typhoon-stricken areas and for future typhoon preparedness.
W4W is strongly rooted on disaster relief, starting with the devastating earthquake in Haiti where it still remains to have a strong presence. The organization’s major partnerships include those forged with the United Nations, Partners in Health, Compassion International, and Nike, which aided them in responding to every major natural disaster since 2009, including earthquakes in Japan, Nepal, and Ecuador; flooding in Pakistan, India, and Brazil; and storms in Mexico, Vanuatu, and Haiti.
Currently, W4W is raising funds for various projects, which includes but is not limited to the Sulawesi Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Initiative, Rohingya Refugee Relief Initiative, and Tropical Storm Lidia Response Initiative.
Marine Conservation Philippines (MCP)
The non-stock, non-profit organization founded in 2012 is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO) geared towards preserving and protecting coastal resources in the Philippines through education, volunteerism and research.
MCP partnered up with the Department of Environment and National Resources for the implementation of the CMEMP (Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management Plan). They also host and facilitate DENR staff training in scuba diving, monitoring methodology and statistical analysis.
The organization was also involved last year in the provincial team implementing the United Nations initiative, Green Fins, alongside The Reef World Foundation and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, aiming to reduce the environmental impact of the diving industry.
The organization was established by a group of leading foundations namely, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), Sandler Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
The 1999 study they commissioned sparked the birth of Oceana when the results came out that less than 0.5 percent of all resources spent by environmental non-profit groups in the United States went to ocean advocacy.
At that time, there was no organization working exclusively to protect and restore the oceans on a global scale and ever since, Oceana has won more than 200 victories and protected more than 4.5 million square miles of ocean by conducting specific, science-based policy campaigns with fixed deadlines and articulated goals.
During the Benham Rise 2016 Expedition, Oceana Philippines provided remotely operated vehicles and technical diver-videographers along with local marine scientists, Philippine Navy divers and the Philippine Coast Guard to discover the reef ecosystem underwater.
With more Filipinos gaining awareness and concern for the vast and rich natural resources of the country, it would not take long before there is no more need for conservation. A strong typhoon can easily be blocked by a stronger dedication and deeper appreciation for the environment.