Laguna’s 7 Crater Lakes proclaimed world’s most threatened

Laguna’s 7 Crater Lakes proclaimed world’s most threatened

  MANILA – The Philippines’ Seven Crater Lakes in San Pablo City, Laguna have been chosen as the “Threatened Lakes of the Year 2014” by the Germany-based environmental group Global Nature Fund (GNF). In commemoration of World Wetlands Day, the GNF drew attention to the advancing destruction of the seven crater lakes, named Sampaloc, Bunot, Mojicap, Pandin, Palakpakin, Yambo and Kalibato. The GNF and the Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation (FSLF) are seeking sustainable measures to protect the lakes and improve the quality of their water. For over 30 years, the Seven Crater Lakes were used for recreational activities by local residents. However, years of neglect have led to their deterioration. In the 1990s, illegal constructions sprouted along the lakeshore while fish cages mushroomed on the lakes, covering as much as 70 percent of the surface area. 2012 satellite images showed that fish cages still occupy more than 40 percent of the surface area, compared to the allowable 10 percent. A supposed moratorium on the renovation of existing fish cages and establishment of new cages has not been enforced.   Bobby Azores, chairman of the FSLF, said the growing number of fish cages exacerbates the degradation of the lakes to the point of killing aquatic life. “This is evidenced by occasional fish kills and the massive growth of green algae as a result of the high pollution levels of the lake,” Azores said. “Freshwater bodies like ponds and lakes, especially a small lake like Lake Sampaloc, are considered to be ‘stagnant water’ and have little ability to cleanse themselves, unlike oceans or seas,” he added. Collective effort Since 2000,...
Environmental Awareness Activity Heightened Conservation in Southern Luzon

Environmental Awareness Activity Heightened Conservation in Southern Luzon

The environmental awareness activity of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) partner-grantee Luntiang Alyansa para sa Bundok Banahaw (LABB) has propelled primary and secondary schools to continue similar efforts in protecting Mts. Banahaw and San Cristobal in Laguna and Quezon, and heightened their zeal for conservation. The recent activity of LABB and San Pablo Colleges (SPC) that gathered around 600 students from 15 primary and secondary schools in San Pablo, Laguna, impressed neighboring schools to participate and make this a yearly activity. This also came very timely as southern Luzon was ravaged by typhoon Trami (locally known as Typhoon Maring) which was magnified by the southwest monsoon, driving home the point of critical environmental concerns such as climate change. Thus, the children were able to relate how conserving forest resources could alleviate these concerns while providing for basic ecological services needed by the communities. In her welcome message, SPC Vice President for Academic Affairs Jocelyn Baradas mentioned that young students should be educated on the importance of the environment. “Everyone must be involved, even the young people like you. This is the time to act. If you ask why should you be involved? I say, why not? Everyone of us is bound to suffer the effects of climate change.” See original post...
Southeast Asian Nations Conference on Biodiversity 2009

Southeast Asian Nations Conference on Biodiversity 2009

Dr. Rodel Lasco, senior scientist and country program coordinator for the World Agroforestry Centre reported on the unique ecosystem rehabilitation initiatives in the Philippines. Lasco first mentioned the gains of initiatives in Albay province, which is known as an entry point of most tropical cyclones visiting the country. He said that maintaining and restoring the natural infrastructure of the province is a good ecosystem rehabilitation strategy. The rehabilitation initiative encompasses water recharge, clean up of rivers as well as planting of mangrove forests as safety barriers and coastal defense. Another interesting feature of Lasco’s report is his mentioning of the unique examples of indigenous tribes in the rehabilitation and management of the ecosystem. He revealed that the Ikalahans of Northern Luzon has a food-processing center established since the 1980s. The facility processes products from the wild and has been a regular source of livelihood for the tribe through the years. Lasco also cited the role of policy making in the harvesting of resources, land use classification and the declaration of sanctuary areas in protecting the ecosystem of the location. The scientist was equally impressed with the muyong, a traditional Ifugao way of tending the forest. A muyong, is a forest holding, which is a source of water for the rice fields. Besides irrigating crops, the muyong prevents soil erosion and is an important source of food, lumber and medicine for the Ifugaos. The muyong was said to be the secret behind the longevity of the Banawe Rice Terraces. Finally, Lasco cited Mount Kitanlad in Bukidnon, which is the home of three indigenous tribes namely the Bukidnon, the Higaonon and...
Laguna highlights seven lakes for its coffee table book

Laguna highlights seven lakes for its coffee table book

San Pablo, Laguna – The City Tourism council of San Pablo featured the natural artistic beauty of the seven lakes for their coffee table book that will help the province of Laguna to be popularly known as “Laguna: The Blessed Province” and as one of eco-tourism destination in the Philippines. The group of Seven Lakes Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (SLFARMC), City Tourism Council and some experts’ photographers from Manila was hired to initiate the said coffe table book. The main objective of city tourism council is to enhance the natural resources of the said province and protects aquatic and marine lives in Seven Lakes that also serves as a livelihood program. Aside from the Seven Lakes, people of Laguna are very proud to their own tourist destination such as Marilim Cave, Tarak and Lagaslas Falls. “Maganda din na mapag aralan ng mga dalubhasa ang mga “flora and fauna species” sa pitong lawa upang malaman kung may natitira pang endangered, rare or threatened species sa lugar upang patuloy na maprotektahan ito para sa “biodiversity conservation” ng mga lawa.” Donnalyn Eseo, city tourism officer said. She added beside the common aquatic and marine lives they might also have endemic species that only exist in seven lakes such as Tawilis from Taal lakes and Sinarapan from Buhi Lake. Fishermen from the said place are intensifying the campaign against illegal fish cages. Beth Wagan from Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) said that they will conduct a monitoring team for the illegal cages and ensure its registration and taxes payment through notices starting this month of September.   Source: GMAnews    ...
Creation of the Seven Crater Lakes Management Council

Creation of the Seven Crater Lakes Management Council

The Seven Crater Lakes Watershed Management Council (SCLWMC) was formally organized on July 31, 2009 in a meeting held at the Siesta Residencia de Arago, San Pablo City. This Council is composed of the LLDA, local goverment units of San Pablo City, Nagcarlan and Rizal towns, San Pablo City Water District, FARMC and organizations (representing fisherfolk/farmers, academe/professionals, industries/business sector, and environment, media, religious and civic groups). The Council is tasked with pursuing a Comprehensive Watershed Management Program for the seven crater lakes. They will have their first capacity building activity and “Lakbay Aral” on September 4-5, 2009 in order to equip the Council members with the necessary expertise and knowledge on the principles of intergrated resource management. The Board of Trustees is composed of authorized representatives of the different government and non-government organizations. Officers are: Chairman – Mr. Felimar Torrizo (Academia de San Ignacio), President – Mr. Bobby Azores (FSLF), Vice-President – Dante Capistrano (Bantay Tubig), Secretary – Peping Cortez (Apex Club) and Treasurer – Vic Longno (Christian Brotherhood of Businessmen and...
RP river basins in dire need of rehab, says DENR

RP river basins in dire need of rehab, says DENR

By JOB REALUBIT Environment Secretary Lito Atienza said that of the country’s 421 major rivers and 20 river basins, 50 are almost totally degraded while the rest are affected by partial degradation due to man’s neglect to protect them. The Environment chief bared the sad state of the country’s bodies waters during a forum on Philippine rivers at the DENR office in Diliman, Quezon City where he enjoined everybody and as well as the different sectors of society to work together in cleaning up all rivers, lakes, streams and all areas where water freely flows. “Naiintindihan natin na ang tubig ay isang yaman at buhay, ngunit marami sa ating mga kababayan ay hindi ganun ang pananaw hanggang sa ngayon. Para bagang napakabagal ang pagtanggap ng mga Pilipino sa pangangailangan sa pagprotekta at paglilinis ng ating mga ilog,” Atienza said. “We have to work together and do something in order to benefit from our bodies of water to attract development that is sustainable for our economy and our future,” Atienza added. During the forum, the DENR and the ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.-Bantay Kalikasan (AFI/BK), represented by its managing director Regina Paz L. Lopez, signed a memorandum of understanding for the rehabilitation and development of all river basins nationwide starting with the Metro Manila River Basin. The Metro Manila river basin includes Manila Bay, Laguna Lake and Pasig River. The DENR chief said the project will not only concentrate on the restoration of Pasig River but also on the restoration of both Laguna de Bay and Manila Bay because the waters coming from the two bays flow into the Pasig River. “We...