Five Years Ago Today...
...I was sitting among journalists listening to Von Hernandez, (who was then Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s Campaign Director) as he calls on the Department of Environment & Natural Resources to uphold Bastes Commission recommendations on the fish kill that happened in Rapu-Rapu, Albay due to a cyanide spill from the Lafayette mine.
That was during the launch of a Greenpeace report entitled ‘Fool’s Gold’ gives strong evidence that Lafayette’s mining operations in the island proves to be no-win situation for Rapu Rapu and its coastal neighbors.
I have been working for Greenpeace for almost six years now.
Looking back I can still remember celebrating my first year with Greenpeace by asking people to sign up and join us by becoming an Ocean Defender. Which is what we used to call the global pool of cyberactivists who wanted to enlist as a dedicated online 'army' that will help us win campaigns during the our international year-long expedition to Defend Our Oceans.
I remember how Greenpeace was able to respond accordingly to the immediate threat of the Guimaras Oil Spill, as well as how Greenpeace was at the forefront of making sure that Petron would owe up to the responsibility of removing the remaining oil from the MV Solar 1.
Today, the Philippine seas is still under threat. Our reef systems are being harvested at such a large scale.
Today is a sad day for the world's oceans.
Today we remember that one of the most tragic things about corruption and injustice is that the first casualty often comes from the silent majority of the countless living things to which we share this planet with.
A staggering 80 percent of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet.
The oceans provide vital sources of energy, minerals and other products of use the world over and the rolling of the sea across the planet creates over half our oxygen, drives weather systems and natural flows of energy and nutrients around the world, transports water masses many times greater than all the rivers on land combined and keeps the Earth habitable.
It is gravely worrying, then, that we are damaging the oceans on a scale that is unimaginable to most people. Seen from space the Earth is covered in a blue mantle. It is a planet on which the continents are dwarfed by the oceans surrounding them and the immensity of the marine realm.
Given the present state of the oceans and the recent news of destruction of Philippine reefs. Today's remembrance of World Ocean's Day is a salient reminder for us to not forget that together we are an ocean and more importantly without the global oceans there would be no life on Earth.
I believe we need to reclaim this message, and that the responsibility to uphold the integrity of our oceans rests in the hands of the many who are willing to take the initiative to act in behalf of the countless creatures that we share this planet with.