Chinese ship runs into protected UNESCO reef in Philippines — while transporting 11 tons of illegal Pangolin meat
A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 22,000 pounds of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.
The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island.
Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday.
The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu could have been carrying up to 2,000 of the toothless, insect-eating animals rolled up in the boxes, with their scales already removed.
The boat’s 12 Chinese crewmen are being detained on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, said Adelina Villena, the marine park’s lawyer. She said more charges are being prepared against them, including damaging the corals and violating the country’s wildlife law for being found in possession of the pangolin meat.
EnviroPop is the first game application from WWF-Philippines. The app aims to educate people about sea creatures, and the need to address the marine pollutants that harm them.
EnviroPop is a puzzle game that allows users to clear marine threats such as PET plastic bottles, fish trawl nets, cyanide bottles, and oil drums.
The objective of the game is for players to eliminate these hazards and save the WWF marine characters like Clara the clownfish, Pattie the Green Sea Turtle, Bobby the whale shark, and Gary the grouper.
The app serves as one of WWF-Philippines’ alruist weapon to arm people with the knowledge of their marine programs and and their aim to fortify the marine biodiversity.
The full version of the app costs $0.99. For every download of the app, proceeds will go directly to WWF-Philippines’ marine conservation program.
As WWF-Philippines Individual Donor Program Officer Honey Carmona explains, Philippines is nestled at the apex of the Coral Triangle making the island the geographic point of marine life. This concludes the call to prioritize marine conservation as most Filipinos depend on the sea for sustenance and ecotourism.
I was lucky enough to work closely with the very talented Steve De Neef during my work with the whale sharks of Oslob last year. Steve is one of my favourite conservation documenters - he spends time getting to know the conservation issue at hand, speaking to all the stakeholders involved getting information from all sides, and then producing high quality articles and documentaries helping to spread awareness and inspiration.
This is a reel of some of the projects he was involved with last year and a short snippet of an interview with me.
Why aren’t you following mad-as-a-marine-biologist!!?? Samantha runs a great tumblr, and her work is incredibly important. Do check her out if you can.
BOAT-LOAD OF COFFINS HEADS FOR PHILIPPINES DISASTER ZONE
European Pressphoto Agency: Philippine Navy personnel load coffins on to the BRP Laguna, which is set to transport relief supplies to typhoon-affected areas, from a navy base in Cavite City, south of Manila, on Tuesday.The United Nations has appealed for $65 million in emergency aid for millions of victims of Typhoon Bopha in the southern Philippines, where at least 714 people were killed as muddy floodwaters washed out entire villages.
The awesome power of Typhoon Bopha was in full view of the International Space Station over the weekend, and since then the Pacific storm has strengthened to super typhoon status with sustained winds greater than 150 mph (240 kilometers per hour). The storm was headed for the Philippines, where memories of last year’s killer storm are still fresh.
School children use an inflated tire tube to cross a river to go to a public school in Rizal province east of Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 12, 2012. Access to education is a problem in the Philippines, especially in rural areas, but enrollment rates remain relatively high. According to UNICEF, 85% of Filipino children are enrolled in elementary school, though only 62 percent finish high school.
A Filipino wildlife official shows seized elephant tusks and dried sea turtles estimated to be worth more than $2m from a shipment that came from Tanzania in 2009. The Philippines has launched an investigation into the alleged involvement of Catholic priests in the illegal trade of African ivory in the country, officials said. Elephant tusks are commonly used in the manufacture of statues, figurines and image replicas of saints | image by Dennis M. Sabangan
Google has set up a user-generated Person Finder tool and a Crisis Map for the Philippine floods.
It also has resources and links to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Philippine Red Cross, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, as well as information on shelters and evacuation facilities, donation centers, weather updates, YouTube videos, and the flooding extent of the Marikina River.
Google earlier created similar tools and resource databases during the onslaught of Sendong in Mindanao last year, as well as during the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear leak disaster.
Pretty good news out of Manilla, Philippines. The national government passed a new bill that creates an adaptation fund. The fund will go towards projects to prevent disasters and respond to climate risks. Check out what the UN said about the law:
If enacted into law, the People’s Survival Fund will bankroll local governments’ adaptation activities like land and water resources management, agriculture and fisheries, and health and natural ecosystems development, the bill states.
Projects to be implemented should be in line with the government’s climate adaptation plan listed under the National Strategic Framework on Climate Change, it added.
“There is no substitute for national and local government budgets that are climate change-adaptive. The measure will allow us to pole-vault toward ensuring disaster- and climate change-resilient communities,” Ms. Legada said.
The National Treasury will funnel a billion pesos to the fund annually through the General Appropriations Act.
The bill, principally authored by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, also mandated the Budget Department to ensure “the appropriate prioritization and allocation of funds to support climate change-related programs and projects,” the statement said.
Margareta Wahlstrom, UN Secretary-General for disaster risk reduction, last month said Republic Act (RA) 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009 is one of the best climate change laws in the world, but noted its poor implementation at the local level.
The country’s climate change law was enacted as an offshoot of tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana), which ravaged the country in September 2009.
“Philippine President Benigno Aquino ordered an investigation on Tuesday into flash floods and landslides that sent mud and logs crashing down on residents, killing about 1,000 people on a southern island.
The national disaster agency said 957 were killed and 49 missing on Mindanao after Typhoon Sendong (aka Typhoon Washi) triggered the slides. Most of the casualties were in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and tens of thousands remain homeless, many sheltering in evacuation centres.
Aquino met officials in the two cities worst hit by the cascades that swept down mountainsides as residents of riverside and coastal villages slept in the early hours of Saturday.”
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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