Environmentalists hit government failure to protect fresh water resources
- Katherine Adraneda () - March 22, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Environment group Greenpeace Southeast Asia staged last Friday a dramatic protest against the government’s failure to protect the country’s fresh water sources.

Carrying water containers and banners bearing the message “Clean Water for all,” Greenpeace volunteers lined up at the steps of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and collapsed, as if dying of water deprivation. The prostrate bodies were then outlined with chalk to depict an “environmental crime scene.”

They were then carried off as “victims” of the prevailing water shortage.

Greenpeace Toxics campaigner Beau Baconguis said the DENR must install policies supporting Zero Discharge and Clean Production in the industrial sector, which threatens the remaining fresh water bodies in the country.

The group also challenged presidential candidates to include water security and safety in their platforms.

Today, the celebration of World Water Day, the United Nations will release a report emphasizing the importance of keeping forests and wetlands intact to secure clean water.

In its latest report titled “Water, Wetlands and Forests: A Review of Ecological, Economic and Policy Linkages,” the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCDB) said poor management of the ecosystem results in poor water quality, a costly problem to rectify.

“In our rapidly urbanizing world, clean water is a precious commodity whose economic value is greater than the money gained from clearing the forests and wetlands that provide it,” said UNCBD Executive Secretary Ahmed Djoghlaf in a statement.

The report was produced in partnership with the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, and other environmental organizations.

“The report provides evidence that this money is often more effectively spent by restoring the ability of the natural environment to fix the problem for us,” Djoghlaf said.

A REVIEW OF ECOLOGICAL BEAU BACONGUIS BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY CLEAN WATER DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ECONOMIC AND POLICY LINKAGES EXECUTIVE SECRETARY AHMED DJOGHLAF GREENPEACE SOUTHEAST ASIA GREENPEACE TOXICS SECRETARIAT OF THE CONVENTION WATER
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