Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Twenty four years ago, on June 22, 1989; various non-government organizations in Negros met in Mambukal Resort to discuss plans on how to address the environmental problems in the island. A network was formed and plans have been made and all are in high spirits. But nobody knew what the name of the group will be. Suddenly, somebody from the participants shouted “Green Alert, Green Alert”! Then all agreed to call the network Green Alert!
Green Alert is not just an organization. It evolved into something that is more of a lifestyle. Members of Green Alert came from almost all walks of life and orientation. You don’t need to apply to be a member, if you feel like you are part of it, then you are Green Alert. This set a big difference to other organizations.
For the past 22 years, Green Alert was able to lead most Negros innovative environmental actions and activities. It pioneered educational trekking like “Panikang-tikang” and “Panagaytay” inside the Northern Negros Natural Park and coastal trekking dubbed “Palawod” which was held in different coastal and marine areas like Sagay Marine Reserve, Campomanes Bay and Guimaras. This initiative has inspired other groups to organize the same educational activities like “Pabalod” of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement Youth Association.
Green Alert also made defying actions like the “Centennial Protest Climb” which opposed the entry of PNOC-EDC in Mt. Kanlaon National Park in 1998 and bannering the slogan “Better Our Hairs than Our Forests”. The said protest climb was repeated last June 6-7, 2008 where 35 mountaineers entered Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park without any permit as a sign of condemnation to the decision of the Provincial Government to allow the entry of PNOC-EDC inside Mt. Kanlaon.
But what makes Green Alert exceptional is the fact that it is run by committed volunteers with no funding at all but with a strong position of “non-negotiable” on the entry of PNOC-EDC inside Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park. This has been the position of Green Alert ever since and it has never been swayed by any amount of influence or intimidation.
Above all, Green Alert is a “lifestyle” and not just a mere organization. Members of Green Alert live a life based on green principles and conviction. This principle and belongingness could not be taken away from the members even in the passing of time.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Campomanes Bay, Sipalay City, 6113
On May 31, Campomanes Bay Green Alert Negros, in cooperation with the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), and partner groups will be holding the Palawood—an annual coastal event that has become the venue for initiatives and discussions involving specific issues around the oceans. This event is the reason why Negros Occidental in the Philippines has the Sagay Marine Reserve. It has since catalyzed many other similar outcomes in the province.
This years edition, the Palawod will be held in Campomanes Bay and will highlight the success of the combined efforts of the Local Government Units, the local people of Campomanes Bay, Green Alert Negros, affiliated organizations, national government agencies, and the CTI-CFF.
This event will hopefully provide better understanding on the importance of coral reefs and why other ecosystems such as forests, rivers, and mangroves need to be protected too, in relation to coral reefs.