If somebody ask me if how I want to be remembered, my answer definitely is someone who loves nature and loves life. I am ●● and born and raised in a rural community in the northern part of the Philippines.
Growing up, I was exposed in different kinds of disasters such as typhoon, flood, and earthquake. It was common for me to experience of having no electricity for up to one month as an aftermath of a strong typhoon. With this kind of experience, I was a bit surprised when a Japanese colleague was worried as if it was the end of the world when the Tokyo Electric Company announced partial rotational blackouts as a consequence of the March 11, 2011 disaster. First world problem.
Idealistic as it may sound but I have always been passionate of helping to create a world with less suffering. Knowing that I cannot do it on my own, I felt the need to associate myself with an organization with mission to help improve the quality of life of the marginalized people and enable them to live a life with dignity.
Working as an NGO officer for more than 10 years, I am partial with the Environmental Conservation and Protection Program. Under this program, I felt honored to be part of the reforestation projects to rehabilitate the degraded forests in partnership with the local communities in the Philippines, as well as the Coastal Forest Restoration Project to rehabilitate the black-pines wiped out by the March 11 tsunami in Tohoku, Japan.
Now that disaster is increasing in number and intensity and is taking a terrible toll in human lives and their sources of income, I support experts` recommendations to properly and effectively managed nature (forest, mangrove, corals reefs) to mitigate the impact of disaster and improve biodiversity. When this is taken into account and with everybody`s cooperation, it can decrease the vulnerability of the people and their livelihoods.
Moreover, in the middle of corona pandemic, experts emphasize the linkage of infectious diseases to the destruction of wildlife habitats and biodiversity loss. I am happy to be part of an organization that is committing more for the protection and conservation of natural habitats for the prevention of future disease outbreaks.
Meanwhile, in my daily life, I have been cautious of my carbon footprint as influenced by friends and people around me. Prior to corona, extensive travel overseas is one of my guilty pleasures. It is unfortunate that the carbon sequestered by the trees that I have somehow helped planted are not enough to offset the carbon emitted while I was travelling.
In my own little way, I lessen the environment`s burden by gradually transitioning into being a minimalist and by the following: composting my kitchen waste, having a small garden for vegetables and herbs, carrying with me refillable water tumbler or water camelback when hiking, refrain from eating/buying process food, buying my books second-hand, refrain from using single-use plastics, and others.
May I end this speech by sharing with you the words of one of my favorite philosophers, “I make myself rich by making my wants few”- Henry David Thoreau. Hope you have a great day!