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  • savedolphinsph 3:51 am on April 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Celebrating Earth Day: The Freedom Island coastal clean-up | Earth Island Institute – Philippines 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Save Dolphins‘s insight:

    Published in the Philippine Online Chronicles
    Tuesday, 23 April 2013 15:27 Angela Colmenares


    More than 200 people, mostly environmentalists, celebrated the Earth Day with a whole day coastal clean-up at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) last April 20, 2013.


    The coastal clean-up, led by Save Freedom Island Movement (SFIM), Earth Island Institute (EII) and partner organizations, served as a kick-off for a series of activities including photo and art contests, culinary competitions, bird lecture series, nature walk, essay writing, and other activities for the youth running up to the Ocean Month and International Fishermen’s Day in June.


    According to SFIM & EII, the campaign seeks to promote awareness and appreciation of the environment as well as a demonstration of protection and restoration activities. The campaign is aimed to inspire people to clean up their surroundings and to sound the alarm regarding worsening environmental depletion, the group said.


    The Importance of Freedom Island


    The Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), also known as Freedom Island, is a bird sanctuary in an urban setting that was recently added to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. It is said to be the last mangrove area in the National Capital Region (NCR) and has recently become controversial due to a widely-opposed P14 billion reclamation plan.


    Groups say this will endanger its biodiversity and will spell peril for the livelihood of local fisherfolks depending on its rich marine resources.

    The mangrove ecosystem serves as a feeding, nesting and nursery grounds for commercially important fish, prawns, mollusks, crabs and shellfish. High levels of organic matter found in the mangrove ecosystem means high productivity; this means more diverse range of living species can be supported.


    It also functions as a habitat area for a wide array of organisms from planktons to birds. About more than 80 species of endemic and migratory birds were documented by the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines (WBCP) and DENR-NCR in the area. The list includes the already vulnerable Philippine Duck, Chinese Egret and the Pied Avocet.


    Mangroves are said to be the Earth’s “natural filtering system,” that absorbs pollutants like heavy metals, sewage drains, and toxic substances; stabilizes coastlines by catching sediments washed downstream; and help protect coral reefs and sea grasses from being smothered by such pollutants. It also forms a natural barrier, which protects the shore from sea surges especially during typhoons, and absorbs carbon dioxide that lessens the impact of global warming.


    However, mangrove forests in Metro Manila were diminished years ago by massive reclamation projects. Threats of reclamation, relentless dumping of wastes and pollution continue to remain.


    A continuing battle for Freedom Island and children


    The inclusion of Freedom Island to the RAMSAR list is a small victory for environmental groups and concerned citizens calling for the protection of the critical animal habitat.


    “But the battle isn’t over yet. Proponents of the reclamation projects in Manila Bay are still pushing for their plan. While the government is more concerned of the profit that foreign investors would generate, thousands of families would be affected by loss of livelihood and shelter, floods, storm surges, and other environmental disasters that reclamations may cause,” says Glacy Macabale of Save Freedom Island Movement.


    To demonstrate the saying “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, but borrow it from our children,” a group of children from the Bulungan Market community of Paranaque wore “environmental head gears” and performed an Earth dance to jumpstart the program.


    “We live in very critical times. Our actions to save the environment now will have an impact on how our children will live tomorrow. We all need to act now,” Trixie Concepcion of Earth Island Institute said.


    “This action is important as choosing the next leaders in the future. Now that we are in the election period, we must choose the right leaders with good track records on protecting the environment and the people. We are doing our part, the government should also do theirs,” Concepcion added.


    Among the personalities and organizations who joined and supported the coastal clean-up event are Ms. Earth Philippines 2013 candidates, actor Raymond Bagatsing, Villar Foundation, Office of Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, Akap-Bata Partylist, Kabataan Partylist, local fisherfolks from the Unified Marketing Services Cooperative, Stewards of Creation, HBC employees, Young Nacionalistas, Smart Mountaineers, UP Minggan, and volunteers from different environmental groups.


    Photos by Angela Colmenares

    See on http://www.earthislandph.org

  • savedolphinsph 11:00 am on March 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Travel tips: How to be a responsible backpacker 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Philippine Online Chronicles is a weekly online publication which features a new kind of news. POC presents a multiplicity of perspectives in a single article.

    Save Dolphins‘s insight:

    Being a responsible traveller starts with planning ahead and having the right choices regarding where and how to go based on your objectives.

    Here are some easy tips to for responsible travel:

    See on http://www.thepoc.net

  • savedolphinsph 10:57 am on March 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Responsible tourism: The right way to travel 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Philippine Online Chronicles is a weekly online publication which features a new kind of news. POC presents a multiplicity of perspectives in a single article.

    See on http://www.thepoc.net

  • savedolphinsph 2:26 am on March 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Vote for Ric O’Barry to save more dolphins! | Earth Island Institute – Philippines 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Save Dolphins‘s insight:

    Ric O’Barry is now number 1 in the BiLLe Celebrity Charity Challenge! Thanks to you! Please keep on voting for the dolphins at http://www.celebcharitychallenge.org/. The contest prize money will support Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project. If you’re using iphone, you may download the application BiLLe C3 for easy voting everyday. Voting is until March 28 only.

    See on http://www.earthislandph.org

  • savedolphinsph 2:24 am on March 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Green Groups Pursue Contempt Charges vs RWS & Government for Re-Export of Dolphins; Resorts World Sentosa Counters With SLAPP Suit | Earth Island Institute – Philippines 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Save Dolphins‘s insight:

    In a hearing last 8 March 2013, environmental groups and animal welfare organizations pursued contempt charges against Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) as well as the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for allowing the re-export of 25 dolphins last year. One dolphin died enroute to Singapore.


    According to the Urgent Manifestation and Motion filed by Earth Island Institute (EII), Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS),CARA Welfare Philippines and concerned individuals last 20 November 2012, “..even before and while the Honorable Court was conducting a hearing on the Motion for Reconsideration on the Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO), the respondents had already flown out 11 dolphins from the country in full defiance of the administration of justice in the Philippines.  To make matters worse, we stress again that the Respondents (RWS, DA & BFAR) did not even have the decency to inform the Honorable Court that they had already taken out the eleven dolphins before the Honorable Court last November 19, 2012.”


    The motion further reads: “This makes a mockery of the proceedings in this case and is in brazen and utter contempt of this Honorable Court and the entire administration of justice in the country.”


    Indirect contempt falls under Section 4 Rule 71 of the Revised Rules on Civil Procedure for “any improper conduct, tending directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct or to degrade the administration of justice” under Section 3 of the same rule. Penalties for indirect contempt carries a fine and/or imprisonment.


    Meanwhile, in a motion dated 20 November 2012, RWS filed a compulsory counterclaim against the green groups amounting to 4 Million Pesos for moral, exemplary damages and legal fees.

    RWS claims that the activists put the company “in a very bad light, portraying it as a violator of environmental laws and oppressive to its animals” and that the law suit filed was “wrongful, baseless and malicious.”  For that reason, RWS requested the court to dismiss the petition filed by the activists and to burden the latter to pay for the damages and litigation costs.


    EII, PAWS and CARA however, believe that it is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) case that is meant to harass and silence environmental advocates seeking the implementation of environmental laws. SLAPPs is defined by the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases, promulgated by the Supreme Court in 2010 as “A legal action filed to harass, vex, exert undue pressure or stifle any legal recourse that any person, institution or the government has taken or may take in the enforcement of environmental laws, protection of the environment or assertion of environmental rights.”


    The green groups assert that their case against RWS, DA and BFAR seek the implementation of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of the Philippines or RA 9147 and international conservation laws.  Furthermore, the group believes that RWS, DA & BFAR should be held accountable for hastily transporting 25 dolphins to Singapore despite ongoing hearings in court resulting to the death of a dolphin named Wen-Wen last November 2012.


    Asked about the effect of the SLAPPs case against them Earth Island Institute Philippines Regional Director Trixie Concepcion says that the best way RWS can tarnish its reputation is to file a case against the country’s leading animal welfare groups, environmental organizations and multi-awarded environmental heroes. According to Concepcion, “SLAPPs cannot deter good people with a rightful cause, rather, it will even give us the venue to clearly present the arguments for our case. Upholding RWS’ counterclaim is a true ‘SLAPP’ in the face of justice.” ####

    See on http://www.earthislandph.org

  • savedolphinsph 10:29 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Blog: Dolphin Traffickers Support Solomon Mass Dolphin Slaughter | Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    David Phillips Solomon Islands captivity dolphin

    See on dolphinproject.org

  • savedolphinsph 10:28 am on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Blog: Dolphin Traffickers Support Solomon Mass Dolphin Slaughter | SaveJapanDolphins.org 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    David Phillips Solomon Islands captivity dolphin

    See on savejapandolphins.org

  • savedolphinsph 8:01 am on February 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    End the Slaughter End Captivity NOW PSA 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    A PSA produced by Earth Island Institute Philippines about dolphin captivity featuring messages from leaders of different environmental and animal welfare or…

    See on http://www.youtube.com

  • savedolphinsph 2:09 am on January 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    More damage on Tubbataha reef feared 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Pinangangambahang mas lumaki pa ang pinsalang idinulot ng pagsadsad ng isang US Navy ship sa Tubbataha reef, dahil naurong pa ng malalakas na alon ang barko. Nagpa-Patrol, Edinel Magtibay.

    See on http://www.abs-cbnnews.com

  • savedolphinsph 1:58 am on January 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    AnimalSpeak®: Fate of the Solomon Island Dolphins 

    See on Scoop.itEarth Island Institute Philippines

    Save Dolphins‘s insight:

    By Khrysta Imperial Rara

    Another year has begun but the issue of captive dolphins remains unresolved. There has been a paradigm shift in public opinion all over the world for the past several years but Philippine courts and government officials have yet to see the light. I wonder what it will take to make them realize that their actions – or inaction – are causing much damage to the marine environment as well as to their image among the Filipino public and the rest of the world. A judge’s misguided judgement has already caused the death of a dolphin named Wen Wen en route to Singapore. Animal welfare activists in Asia manifested their protest against this gross injustice by holding candlelight vigils and memorial services simultaneously in Manila, Jakarta, Thailand and Singapore last December 2.
    In Manila, the service was held at the Philippine Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) Animal Rehabilitation Center at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and Katipunan Avenue. The atmosphere was loaded with sadness while the flickering flames of the candles of participants illuminated their gloomy faces.

    Frustrated by the obvious indifference and ridiculous ruling of the QC Regional Trial Court (QC RTC), an activist became emotional as she spoke of the need to never forget Wen Wen and what he stood for.

    I had never seen anything like it. I had never imagined I would one day be attending a memorial service for a dolphin. PAWS even erected a memorial tile with the inscription: “Rest in Peace, Wen Wen. Swim freely across the Rainbow Bridge.”

    But then 10-year old Wen-Wen was – or is – special. He was born in the wild and lived his first six years in absolute liberty, swimming 25 miles a day, breaching, chasing fish and cavorting with other members of his pod as all dolphins are meant to. Then human greed caught up with him and he suddenly found himself  a captive in pools and tanks filled with chlorinated water.

    He was trained to play with hoops and balls, objects which he would never have encountered in the wild. He was fed dead fish and made to earn his keep by performing for boisterous children and ignorant adults. He was a prisoner though he had not committed any crime. But the shape of his face and head made people believe he was always smiling and happy.

    The “dolphin smile” is the world’s greatest deception, as environmentalist Ric O’Barry always says.

    Wen-Wen died on a plane last November 22 while being transported to Singapore where he was to be one of 25 dolphins slated to perform for the holidays at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS).

    It was a sad and unjust death for a highly intelligent being and a tragic loss for his already depleted species. DOLPHINS IN THE SOLOMON ISLANDS But let’s backtrack a little bit. You may ask why a small bunch of activists and environmentalists is making all this fuss about Wen Wen and his kind. The 25 wild-caught Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) flown to Singapore last November were taken from the Guadalcanal area in the Solomon Islands. RWS brought them to Ocean Adventure Park in Subic in three batches in 2008, 2009 and 2011. They were to be trained and prepared for their eventual fate as animal entertainers. But scientific reports from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) revealed that the dolphin population in the Solomon Islands (SI) is severely at risk and their harvest or extraction would further endanger the survival of the species. According to the IUCN "Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphin Assessment Workshop Report”, there are now less than 5,000 individuals in the Solomon Islands. The SI government banned all dolphin hunts in their territorial waters starting January 2012. In addition, the law now stipulates that only one dolphin can be captured every five years.The captures, mostly by an American company, had been done despite the international restrictions and recommendations. The 24 dolphins now in Singapore are the survivors of a long and cruel journey. They were originally 27 –- before Wen-Wen, two died in their original destination, Langkawi, Malaysia. Earth Island Institute (EII), which monitors the welfare of captive marine mammals all over the world, and local animal welfare groups tried to block the entry of the Solomon dolphins in the Philippines, citing the IUCN report and the Philippine Wildlife Act (RA 9147). But the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Department of Agriculture would have none of it. Philippine Courts and Philippine Laws
    While the SI dolphins were still in Subic, the environmental and animal welfare groups continued to ask BFAR officials not to re-export the dolphins to Singapore. If the dolphins were to go anywhere, the groups wanted it to be the Solomon Islands. When their pleas fell on deaf ears at the BFAR, they tried the courts. They had high hopes at first because Section 6 of RA 9147 states that "all activities…shall be authorized by the Secretary upon proper evaluation of best available information or scientific data showing that the activity is, or for a purpose, not detrimental to the survival of the species or subspecies involved and/or their habitat". 

    Trixie Concepcion, EII’s Regional Director for Asia, said the DA and BFAR violated RA 9147 when they allowed the dolphins to enter the Philippines despite recommendations to the contrary of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) and internationally recognized scientific bodies like Silliman University and the National Museum.

    EII, PAWS, CARA (Compassion and Responsibility for Animals) and concerned individuals then filed a petition to prevent the issuance of a re-export permit for the 25 dolphins. About an hour later, the office of the First Vice Executive Judge of the QC Regional Trial Court issued a 72-hour Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO). The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore were respondents in the case. Lawyer Mel Velasco said this case is a first in Philippine legal history. "We are charting unknown waters. We saw a loophole — the rule of using precautionary measures when there is conflict between authorities and they (the government) didn’t follow that," he said. The Precautionary Principle in Environmental Law is cited in the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) which the Philippines ratified in August 1981. CITES is an international agreement that regulates trade in wild animals and plants and protects all species. According to CITES, authorities should consider the best interest of the conservation of species in any undertaking. "BFAR violated certain rules. Precautionary measures should have been observed before they issued the permit to import the dolphins," Velasco said.  “In light of the CITES provisions, any import of sea mammals should have the green light of internationally recognized scientific bodies. In the Philippines, National Museum and Silliman University are recognized as the CITES marine mammal experts," he clarified. "BFAR ignored the recommendations of National Museum and Silliman University.”  “Dolphins Are Pets”
    But after 72 hours, Judge Evangeline Castillo- Marigomen of QC RTC Branch 101 ruled against any extension of the TEPO, saying the government agencies had not violated the law and the dolphins are like pets that belonged to RWS anyway. 

    "We were shocked and aghast when the judge likened the Solomon Island dolphins to ‘pets’. She even asked us if we have been to SeaWorld where she said the dolphins are well cared for," Concepcion said.

    In effect, this ruling allowed RWS to fly the dolphins to Singapore.

    "This is tantamount to saying that it is all right to capture, train and use wild dolphins for dolphin shows even if this will threaten their survival in the wild," Concepcion quipped.

    She added that “dolphins must never be mistaken as pets because they are wild animals”. To illustrate her point, she cited the case of two animal trainers and one intruder who died at SeaWorld after one of the resident killer whales, Tillicum, dragged them into the water and drowned them.

    EII, PAWS, CARA Welfare Philippines, and 10 environmental and animal welfare advocates filed another petition, saying the re-export of the dolphins would violate both the CITES treaty and the country’s Wildlife Act. Concepcion called on the public to closely monitor the government’s actions when it comes to environmental issues."We are doing this because if we don’t do anything, it will institutionalize the government’s failure to abide by its commitment to CITES, to protect all species and not just the dolphins," she stressed. ACRES Singapore-based ACRES launched in 2011 the campaign to ‘Save the World’s Saddest Dolphins’ to pressure both governments to return all the Solomon Islands dolphins to their natural habitat. . The campaign’s online petition has so far generated over 680,000 signatures from all over the world. Last December 7, representatives of ACRES went to see the dolphins. “We regret that the dolphins are being housed in appalling conditions; in tiny barren swimming pools,” ACRES Chief  Executive Louis Ng said in a statement. ACRES has issued a final ultimatum:  RWS must work with ACRES and Earth Island Institute for the rehabilitation and release of the dolphins back into the wild, or the group will launch a “full-fledged boycott against not just Resorts World, but all Genting properties.” ACRES urged RWS to review the facts and reconsider their decision to keep the Solomon dolphins. “We hope that we won’t need to launch a boycott, but we are ready to do so if needed and we are confident that members of the public will support this,” Ng said. 

    With the Philippine court’s failure to act on a matter of environmental conservation, the animal welfare groups are confident that the Filipino people, like the Singaporeans, will eventually be able to pressure both governments to fly the dolphins back to the Solomons.

    The ball now lies in the court of public opinion.


    See on khrystarara.blogspot.com

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