Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

1 million species threatened with extinction, study says

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

Courtesy : IPBES

Scientists warned on Monday (May 6) that species extinction rates are ‘accelerating’ as one million species are threatened with extinction because of humans.

This is according to the comprehensive global assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

Results of the assessment show that around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction including 40% amphibian species, 33% reef-forming corals, and more than 1/3 of marine animals.

“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide,” said IPBES Chair, Sir Robert Watson.

Some of the main drivers of species loss, according to IPBES, are human exploitation, pollution, and invasive alien species.

Tags: , , ,

Senators divided over PH’s possible withdrawal from UN human rights body

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, July 15th, 2019

UNHRC Hall | Courtesy: United Nations Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr.’s tweet about the Philippines’ possible withdrawal from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) earned mixed reactions from members of the Senate.

In reaction to the issue, Senator Panfilo Lacson said the Philippines may face unfavorable consequences in the future with its withdrawal from different UN bodies.

“It may be a matter of time when we will be left to our own devices. We do not know when, but being a developing country, we may need to knock on the doors of the community of nations sooner or later,” Lacson said in statement on Monday (July 15).

For his part, Senator Francis Pangilinan believes there will come a time when the Philippines will have to explain the outcome of the government’s drive against illegal drugs.

“We can run but we can’t hide. Sooner or later we will have to explain if not to the international community at the very least to ourselves and our citizens why tens of thousands have been killed,” Pangilinan said.

“Yet the drug menace has become worse while drug syndicates and customs officials behind the smuggling of tons of shabu through the BoC go unpunished,” he added.

But Senate President Vicente Sotto III expressed support to whatever the Foreign Affairs Department proposes best for the country.

“He would be in the best position to assess what is beneficial for our country as far as diplomacy with others is concerned,” Sotto said of Locsin.

Locsin posted the idea on Saturday (July 13) when a netizen inquired about how the Philippine representation in Iceland reacted to the Council’s approval of Iceland’s resolution seeking to probe into the human rights situation in the Philippines in relation to the Duterte administration’s drug war.

READ: Philippines eyes withdrawal from UN Human Rights Council

The resolution garnered 18 affirmative votes, 14 negative and 15 abstentions. – with details from Nel Maribojoc.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

DOJ, NBI ready to probe law enforcers over violations in drug operations

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are ready to probe law enforcers who may have committed violations during drug operations.

According to DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra they are prepared to investigate authorities who may have committed violations of law related to the government’s anti-drug war campaign.

“The DOJ and the NBI are ready and willing to investigate and prosecute law enforcement agents upon proper complaint by people who have personal knowledge of any wrongdoing by police officers during drug operations until witnesses come forward and testify,” he said in a statement.

This is Guevarra’s response when the Amnesty International called on the Justice department to conduct an investigation related to violations on drug operations.

“There’s no need for Amnesty International to urge us to investigate possible violations of law by  law enforcement agents in the conduct of the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign,” he said.

Guevarra reiterated that the police should respect the ‘presumption of regularity’ while performing their duties.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

Tags: , , , , ,

40 tons of plastic removed from the Pacific Ocean

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

Sausalito, CA—A non-profit organization has removed around 40 tons of plastic, including fishing nets, from the Pacific Ocean.

The Ocean Voyages Institute has completed a 25-day clean up which is one of the largest ocean clean-up mission in the world. The clean-up has covered the North Pacific Subtropical Convergence Zone, or more commonly known as the Pacific Gyre.

WATCH: Saving Seahorses: 2 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets removed from Greek seabed

Several experts said the Northern Pacific Gyre is part of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where huge amounts of waste are collected.

The organization’s prime target is recovering fishing gears since it poses more threat to marine life.

“Often weighing tons, these massive nets of nylon or polypropylene drift for decades, amassing plastic debris, ensnaring wildlife, and even entangling ships,” according to their statement.

READ: Trash found littering ocean floor in deepest-ever sub dive

Mary Crowley, founder and executive director of OV Institute said urgent action is needed to curtail the manufacture of throwaway plastics and prevent plastic trash from entering the oceans.

“It is very disturbing to be sailing through what was only decades ago a pristine ocean wilderness and find it filled with our all-too-familiar garbage,” she said.

Ocean Voyages Institute said an estimated 600,000 tons of this abandoned gear ends up in the oceans every year.

The United Nations reported some 380,000 marine mammals are killed every year by either ingesting or being caught in it.—AAC

Tags: , , , ,