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The Daily Tribune

(Without Fear or Favor)



World Wildlife Fund for Nature-Philippines

The Philippines Matrix Project

Merry Christmas from WWF!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

WWF Christmas greetings coursed thru: 

Mr. Gregg Yan
Information, Education and Communications Officer 
World Wildlife Fund for Nature- Philippines

Copenhagen Oceans Day highlights need for business support in Coral Triangle (15 Dec. 2009)

Businesses in the Coral Triangle must support national strategies to protect underwater environments or risk losing the precious marine resources that underpin the region’s economies, WWF said last December 15, 2009 at the close of Oceans Day at Copenhagen.

Oceans Day provided an opportunity for Parties and Observer States, as well as non-government organisations and the general public, to address the implications of the emerging Copenhagen agreement for oceans, coasts, and coastal communities around the globe.

It highlighted the direct link between climate change, the health of the oceans and human wellbeing, as well as the need for the private sector to support bold adaptation actions that will minimise climate change impacts on coastal communities and marine resources.

“Nowhere is the need for global action on climate change more obvious than in the Coral Triangle, where more than 100 million people depend on the health of the sea for their income and sustenance,” said the head of WWF’s Coral Triangle Programme Dr Lida Pet-Soede.

“This is a part of the world where we have strong political will to protect underwater environments and coastal communities but this can only bear fruit with the support of hundreds of seafood businesses and fishing operators, tourism companies, airlines, and other enterprises that rely the region’s marine resources for their business.”

The Coral Triangle is scientifically described as a region covering the marine areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste.

All six Coral Triangle governments committed to a plan of action at the World Ocean Conference to ensure the sustainability of their shared coastal and marine resources, and to take their concerns to the world stage at Copenhagen.

A report launched by WWF at the World Ocean Conference earlier this year found that in the Coral Triangle under the current climate change path there would be 50 per cent less protein available from the sea by 2050 and 80 per cent less by the end of the century.

Business leaders in the Coral Triangle will come together with Asia Pacific policy makers next month in Manila on January 19 and 20 to discuss the role of the private sector in protecting marine environments in the Coral Triangle.

The Coral Triangle Business Summit will be hosted by the Philippines in collaboration with WWF and will be aimed at establishing new partnerships between the private sector, policy makers and organisations interested in sustainable business opportunities.


WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Media Release
15 Dec. 2009

For more information: 

Charlie Stevens, WWF Coral Triangle Media Office, +61 (0)424 649 689;
Gregg Yan, WWF-Philippines Communications Manager, +63 (2) 920-7931 / +63 917-833-4734. 

Marikina Climate Change Mural Espouses Hope (15 Dec. 2009)

Marikina Climate Change Mural Espouses Hope

Even as the historic Copenhagen climate talks were in full swing, Filipino artists and environmental advocates crafted a stunning climate change-themed mural in one of the country’s most climate-afflicted cities, Marikina. A vibrant 100-square meter mural now adorns the Marikina Riverbanks.

The Green Strokes climate mural now adorns the Marikina Riverbanks complex to remind people that simple innovations and a positive attitude can surmount climate effects such as typhoons, floods and droughts.

Says WWF-Vice Chair and CEO Lory Tan, “This mural is about empowerment and hope. “Ondoy taught us a painful and very expensive lesson. With climate change, no one is ever exempt. Its impacts are dynamic and non-linear. Coastal zones and flood prone areas along riverbanks and lake shores will of course get hit. But less vulnerable areas and sectors are affected as well. Are we prepared to adapt to this nebulous, aggressive future? Clearly not. But it is never too late to work pro-actively.”

As part of the Global Day of Action on Climate Change held last 12 December, the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) conducted a series of events – kicked off by the climate mural painting event and capped off by a climate-themed concert.

Individual Actions Key to Mitigation

Earth’s second-largest archipelago, the 7150 emerald isles of the Philippines host some of the most productive coasts and forests in Asia. Sadly, the country is also amongst those least-prepared to adapt to changing climates – as the lessons of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng have shown. Millions of people may have to migrate from coastal regions to less-vulnerable inland areas and the ability of the country’s natural resources to provide food and livelihood might greatly diminish as more destructive climate shifts continue to assail the archipelago.

World leaders are now meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the United Nations Climate Conference to craft a successor to the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. The conference will run for two weeks and will in all probability, decide the fate of many archipelagic nations.

Painted by a cadre of volunteer artists, the mural highlights the importance of individual acts to mitigate climate effects. Says Tan, “Start with your own home. Or office. Reflect on the danger and disruption that came into your lives with the last storm or flood, and take the steps needed to make sure that this does not happen again to the people or activities closest to you."

WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Release
21 October 2009 
(Reposted with permission, from http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=175)

For more information, please contact:

Liesl Lim
Climate Consultant, WWF-Philippines

Gregg Yan
Communications Specialist, WWF-Philippines

El Nido Environmental Enforcement Team Honoured (27 Nov. 2009)

Five civilians were honoured for taking part in a daring night-time raid which netted seven poachers and 13 endangered sea turtles off El Nido in northern Palawan last April.

Honoured last 19 November were Edward Lorenzo, Jacques Arzaga, Zosimo Dangan, Ronald Tonacao and WWF Administrative Assistant Christopher Zata. The awards were presented during the 8th anniversary of Joint Task force Malampaya (JTFM), a composite team from the different units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines which protects northern Palawan from poachers and illegal fishers.

The awards were presented by JTFM Commander Col. Esteban Castro. Other military awardees are Cdr. Michael Ordono, LCdr. Romeo Requilman, TSgt. Ludevico Rovillos, Qtr Master 3rd Class Aranan Jalaludin, Second Man Class Electronics Technician Denmark Torres, Sgt Renato Apiado and Sgt. Michael Violante.

Aside from the main duty of securing the Malampaya Gas to Power Project, the task force has for years seen action against foreign poachers, often illegally hunting for sea turtles – the shells of which are used for tortoiseshell – a material used as far back as the ancient Greek and Roman eras to fashion jewellery, combs and brushes. Dried and mounted turtle shells are also sold as curio items across Southeast Asia.

Apprehended last 7 April near El Nido’s Cawayan Isle was a speedboat with seven Chinese nationals and 13 dead green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas). The poachers have been charged with the violation of Sec 87 or ‘poaching in the Philippine waters’ of RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
On 29 August 2008, 101 dead hawksbill turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata) were recovered from Vietnamese fishing vessel Q.ng 91234-TS five nautical miles east of Cabaluan Isle in El Nido.

On 6 July 2008, four Vietnamese aboard vessel Q.ng 95986 were arrested for alleged poaching off Guntao Isle, again in El Nido. Four other fishing boats, believed to be Vietnamese, escaped.
Foreign turtle poachers are no strangers to El Nido’s rich waters, dubbed as the ‘Poacher’s Paradise’ for the frequency of foreign intrusions.

Adds WWF Project Manager RJ de la Calzada, “Our message is clear – El Nido does not tolerate poaching in any form. Hand in hand with Task Force Malampaya and our allies, we shall continue our vigilance in protecting northern Palawan’s rich marine sanctuaries.”(30)


WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Media Release
27 Nov. 2009

For more information, please contact:
RJ dela Calzada
El Nido Project Manager, WWF-Philippines

WWF Tops List of NGOs Which are Best for Business Support (24 Nov. 2009)

WWF and Forum For The Future lead the growing numbers of NGOs advising top UK firms on environmental issues, according to a new report from industry analyst Verdantix.

The report placed WWF as the top NGO for business advice, hailing its breadth of resources and its practice of using strict environmental criteria to only work with selected firms - a move that ensures its credibility as a green charity is not tarnished.

Forum For The Future took the silver medal, with the report arguing that it boasts a strong awareness of the realities of running a business, and as a result provides businesses with commercially and financially viable advice.

A number of NGOs were also praised by the report for offering strong specialist advice, with the Carbon Disclosure Project singled out for its guidance on carbon management, the Green Alliance highlighted as one of the best sources of policy advice, Tomorrow's Company hailed for its best practice sharing, and Fauna & Flora International and the Forest Stewardship Council recommended for advice on bio-diversity and forestry issues respectively.

The study found that 50 per cent more CSR directors plan to work with an NGO on water scarcity in 2010 compared with 2009, while 57 per cent of respondents intend to launch NGO-related activities on climate change adaptation in 2010 compared to just 40 per cent in 2009.

Report author Rodolphe d'Arjuzon said NGOs could expect to see increased demand from businesses in a number of new areas from next year, with "running a sustainable business, water management and climate change adaptation topping the list".

The study evaluated offerings from 12 environmental NGOs and interviewed 30 CSR directors at FTSE 100 companies. They said the primary business benefit from working with NGOs is their ability to validate and challenge sustainability strategies.

Respondents also warned that while having an understanding of business is important, NGOs should not dilute their value to businesses by stifling criticism or working too closely with firms.

"They must not get seduced into believing they must always be aligned with business, and should maintain a carrot and stick approach," observed one CSR officer at a major retailer. (30)


24 Nov. 2009

For more information, contact:
Gregg Yan
Information, Education and Communications Officer
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines)
4F JBD Plaza, 65 Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City

Tel:  +63 2 920 7923/26/31
Fax:  +63 2 426 3927
Email: gyan@wwf.org.ph

What (was) at Stake in Copenhagen? (21 Oct. 2009)

What (was) at Stake in Copenhagen?

The Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, where world leaders decided on the fate of humanity just recently concluded. What happens to the Philippines if the outcome is less-than-favorable? Read on to find out.

Earth’s second-largest archipelago, the 7150 isles of the Philippines form the apex of the Coral Triangle, the world’s most productive undersea food factory – able to annually generate 40 tonnes of seafood per square kilometer – more than enough to provide food for every Filipino.

Sadly, the country is amongst those least-prepared to adapt to changing climates – as the lessons of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng have demonstrated. Millions of people may have to migrate from coastal regions to less-vulnerable inland areas and the ability of the country’s natural resources to provide food and livelihood might greatly diminish as more destructive climate shifts continue to assail the archipelago.

The Future Begins in Copenhagen

From 7 to 18 this  December, environmental ministers and officials met in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Conference to craft a successor to the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. The conference ran for two weeks and will in all probability, decide the fate of many archipelagic nations.

COP15 is the official name of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit — the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP is the highest body of the UNFCCC and is made up of environment ministers who meet yearly to discuss and facilitate climate-related developments. Over 15,000 officials, advisers, diplomats, campaigners and journalists are expected to attend COP15, to be graced by heads of state from almost 200 nations. The most significant outputs from COP15 should be the following:

1. Significant reduction of greenhouse gases for industrialized countries.
2. Specific emissions caps for developing countries.
3. Financing for climate adaptation measures, especially in developing countries.

The Decisions Will Affect Millions

WWF, the world’s largest and most respected conservation organization, is calling for the continuation of the Kyoto protocol in industrialized countries as well as a decisive protocol in Copenhagen – which should legally bind all major emitters. Should talks break down, then more frequent and destructive climate events will surely assail climate-vulnerable countries – especially the Philippine Isles.

The recent floods brought about by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng serve as grim testaments to remind the Copenhagen delegates that what they are discussing are not only piles of papers but documents which will decide the fate of millions of people. The US, considered the highest carbon emitter in history, must set an example for other countries in committing to substantial reductions in carbon emissions and to set up a global fund for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

As the world’s leading environmental solutions provider, WWF sent Copenhagen representatives to ensure that the right decisions are made. For what’s at stake is not land, nor money, nor power. At stake is the survival of our people.

WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Release
21 October 2009 
(Reposted with permission, from http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=171)

For more information please contact:

Yeb Saño
Climate Change and Energy Programme Director, WWF-Philippines
920-7923/26/31, 0917-807-9089

Gregg Yan
Information, Education and Communications Officer, WWF-Philippines

Archive: 10 Steps For Success in Copenhagen (6 Nov. 2009)

10 Steps For Success in Copenhagen

WWF has defined 10 elements of substance which need to be dealt with in the final outcome of the Copenhagen process. These elements must be covered by clear decisions in the Copenhagen climate deal.

1. A legally binding outcome building on the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol and their ultimate objectives and principles which include all Parties to the Convention, based on a system of five-year commitment periods with emergency review clauses to enable the accommodation of new scientific knowledge. The preferable form of the Copenhagen outcome will be an amended Kyoto Protocol, which is closely linked to a new Copenhagen Protocol. These 'sister protocols' should include the elements described below;

2. A Shared Vision to secure the survival of countries, cultures and ecosystems to establish low-carbon development worldwide and to guarantee equity. Recognition that achieving this means that global temperature rise must be kept far below 2* C compared to pre-industrial levels, recognizing that even 1.5* C warming poses great risks. And recognition that global emissions will have to peak and then start declining in the 2013 - 2017 period;

3. Agreed emission reductions targets for Annex 1 countries for the 2013 - 17 commitment period, leading them towards reduction as a group to 40% below-1990 emissions levels by 2020, and a provision that Annex 1 countries develop Zero Carbon Action Plans as the framework for their emissions reductions pathway towards decarbonization by 2050;

4. A framework for UNFCCC recognition of developing country actions, unilateral and supported, adding up to an aim by developing countries as a group to reduce emissions by at least - 30% compared to business-as-usual. The framework would recognize nationally-appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), and would provide for these to be included in comprehensive and visionary 2050 low carbon action plans (LCAPs);

5. A mechanism under the UNFCCC for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) by at least -75% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels. This must respect the rights of local communities, indigenous peoples and protect biodiversity;

6. An adaptation action framework that in particular seeks to protect the most vulnerable countries and communities as well as ecosystems. This should include the creation of an international insurance mechanism, including just compensation;

7. A public financing framework for mitigation and adaptation under the UNFCCC which includes guaranteed provision of sufficient, measurable, reportable, verifiable public finance by industrialized countries for (a) mitigation action by developing countries to enable a low-carbon development, and for (b) adaptation action by developing countries. Such finance is to be additional to current official development assistance, must not consist of carbon market finance and should be in the order of 160 US$ Billion per year for the period 2013 - 17 on the basis of assessed contributions, raised in particular through the auctioning of emission allowances for industrialized countries and through emission allowances for the global aviation and shipping sectors;

8. A technology mechanism which supports technology cooperation to secure research, development and dissemination of low-carbon technologies, including a technology-fund financed by developed countries to secure technology transfer for developing countries. The technology mechanism should work through technology action programs, driven by technology development objectives. It should coordinate with existing international, regional and bilateral technology efforts;

9. An institutional framework with new and increased institutional capacity under the guidance and authority of the UNFCCC to secure the needed coordination, support and implementation capacity for the mitigation, technology, adaptation and REDD commitments & incentive mechanisms, based on a democratic governance system representing developing and developed countries fairly. Actual implementation could happen through existing institutions outside of the UNFCCC, provided these reported to the UNFCCC through the coordination mechanism;

10. An agreement on standards or rules for a number of foundational areas, including inventories, LULUCF treatment in developed countries, carbon markets, MRV for both developed and developing countries and compliance procedures. International shipping and aviation must be part of the overall mitigation effort and policies to reduce emissions should also generate climate finance.

WWF will be working around-the-clock to ensure that decision makers in Copenhagen come up with responsible and no-nonsense solutions to the global climate crisis. The stakes are simply too high to ignore.

WWF is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization. Help us come up with practical environmental solutions by visiting wwf.org.ph/howhelp.php or calling 895-6294. Together, we shall face environmental adversity - to leave our children a living planet. 

WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Release
06 November 2009
(Reposted with permission, from http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=170)

For more information please contact:
Yeb Saño
Climate Change and Energy Programme Director, WWF-Philippines
920-7923/26/31, 0917-807-9089

Gregg Yan
Information, Education and Communications Officer, WWF-Philippines

Lack of Accountability Threatened Copenhagen Climate Talks ( 21 October 2009)

Lack of Accountability (Threatened) Copenhagen Climate Talks

Gland, Switzerland: conservation organization WWF today issued a warning to the world that a lack of political nerve could divert the world from achieving a climate deal in Copenhagen.

“The world doesn’t want Copenhagen to come to mean another Doha,” says Kim Carstensen, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative.

“Kite flying in the media and diplomatic manoeuvres behind the scenes are a reflection of the industrialized countries trying to lower expectations as they continue to dodge the hard decisions on slashing their emissions and funding the transition to a low carbon economy. The world is looking for leadership, but instead the leaders are starting to hand out their excuses in advance.”

WWF has been tracking the growing diplomatic whisper campaign, noting references to another plan on climate which excludes a binding legal agreement in Copenhagen.

WWF says that a legally binding deal is the only format that will give the world a chance to avoid increasing predictions of climate catastrophe.

“There is only Plan A or Plan F and plan F stands for failure,” says Carstensen.

“Climate won’t wait on ministers` political and diplomatic manoeuvres. Leaders must not avoid difficult decisions now because the fact is that these decisions are only going to get harder.

“Many countries in the developing world have already acted and are signaling that they can move further, but they also need the legal certainty and confidence that industrialized countries will meet their commitments.

“Substantial sectors of business and labour also are gearing up to move, but they are calling for the sort of certainty that comes from a legally binding global agreement. Investors and markets need confidence in order to really kick start the low carbon economy,” says Carstensen.

Carstensen says it was no coincidence that the upsurge in suggestions a deal was off appeared in the run-up to negotiating teams going into the final preparatory meeting in Barcelona in just over a week.

“This is a dangerous game because it could distract the negotiations before Barcelona next week and cause significant failure in Copenhagen,” Carstensen says.

“Every ingredient bar one to make a deal is in place. Governments have had two years of negotiating times and space, they have all the science they need, all the text options and words they need and all the arguments they need to be convinced that now is the time and place to do the deal. The only missing ingredient is political will.”

"The US Senate must pass a bill in time for December, as their leadership has promised; but we certainly don’t want to see other industrialized countries hiding behind what they think the US Senate will do.”

WWF is calling for the retention of the Kyoto protocol for industrialized countries together with a new protocol in Copenhagen that is legally binding for all major emitters.

The deal should include - amongst others - ambitious emission reduction targets from industrialized countries, recognition and support for developing country actions, commitment to scaled up climate finance especially for adaptation, and a new institutional and governance arrangement under the guidance of the UN.

WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Release
21 October 2009
(Reposted with permission, from http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=168)

For further information:

Martin Hiller, Head of Communications Global Climate initiative +41 79 347 2256 mhiller@wwfint.org
Phil Dickie, WWF International News Editor, +41 79 703 1952, pdickie@wwfint.org

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