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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Atienza: Global warming not population’s fault

Even as DENR Secretary, he pushes the misplaced and erroneous views on Overpopulation. Haaay. Embrace overpopulation pala ha. Simple Economics lang yun eh.. Overpopulation means MORE DEMAND, LESS SUPPLY.


First posted 06:39:53 (Mla time) November 26, 2007
Vincent Cabreza - Northern Luzon Bureau

BAGUIO CITY -- Global warming and urban decay cannot be blamed on overpopulation, Environment Secretary Lito Atienza said here Saturday.

Atienza made the assertion during a tree-planting activity at the Camp John Hay forest reservation to jump-start a counter-global warming campaign.

A former Manila mayor, Atienza re-launched the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ program called “Tree for Life,” which aimed to plant 10 million trees throughout the country.

He, however, is batting for the planting and nurturing of 50 million trees before the end of 2008.

“The country’s problem is not the number of people, but the absence of good governance. Planting trees … that’s good governance. If we reach 100 million or 200 million, as long as we all have jobs and we keep our environment healthy, we have nothing to worry about,” Atienza, a staunch pro-life advocate, said in Filipino.

He said good resource management would correct anomalies that have spawned homelessness and poverty, and should be enough to address the hole in the ozone layer.

Proper reforestation programs and complete adherence to the Kyoto Protocol are the country’s contributions to the global fight against climate change, he told reporters here.

The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 requires United Nations member-countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions following a set of guidelines that affect many industries.

The United States had raised the matter of overpopulation to justify its decision not to ratify the protocol, which was pushed by former Vice President Al Gore.

It argued that the restrictions should also cover China and India because of their big populations.

Although many equate overpopulation with climate change because of the subsequent increase in motor vehicle emissions and heightened industrial expansion, population has never been a serious condition to draw the interest of world environmentalists, Atienza said.

The Philippines need not alter its climate change policy because it does not contribute as much greenhouse gases as developed countries do, he said.

Atienza said overpopulation should be embraced and not feared by cities.

“We must never blame overpopulation … Everything [can be resolved by] organization,” he said.

Social Welfare Secretary Esperanza Cabral, who was also in the city, said her department had noted an increase in vagrancy and homelessness in cities and towns outside Metro Manila.

It is a phenomenon that is natural for urbanizing regions, but local governments must learn to address them, she said.