Posted tagged ‘forest’


May 22, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good day from the boondocks west of Manila!

A chilling, cryptic news about the murder of a forest ranger of the University of the Philippines in Los Baňos or UPLB struck a hard cord on the public mind recently. Elpidio Malinao, forest guard for the UPLB that owns and manages the entire Mt. Makiling, was gunned down while doing his sworn duty to help protect the most valued mountain.

Mt. Makiling used to be owned by the late general Miguel Malvar, one of the revolutionary leaders in the wars versus Spain and America. Malvar then donated the highland estate to the budding university over a century ago, as the colonizing Americans built the campus as the agriculture and forestry branch of the newly established University of the Philippines (then based in Padre Faura, Manila).

Measuring thousands of hectares in all, Makiling is home to a highly diversified flora & fauna, which renders it among the world’s prized natural environs. Unfortunately, illegal settlers built domiciles within it, a phenomenon of squatting that also took place in the 555-hectare U.P. Diliman campus (the flagship campus from 1949 onwards). And so the forest guards had to keep busy monitoring the valued mountain against illegal logging and smuggling of rare biological species.

Malinao is just a tiny fraction of a long list of environmental protectors who sacrificed their lives in the act of duty. And that list is getting longer by the month. It counts among them Prof. Leonard Co of UP Diliman and two (2) co-partner professors in UPLB, who were gunned down my army troops while they were gathering specimen for the Lopez-owned energy corporation.

A radio broadcaster, doctor by profession, was gunned down by an assassin in Palawan, just couples of weeks after the Co murder. Way before Co and fellow consultants were murdered, a priest in Mindanao went through the same path to death, his death being among the most celebrated in the island down south.

Those who died for Mother Nature in the Philippines are the true conservationists and guardians of the natural ecology, just to stress the point. There are pretender or quack environmentalists in the country who are photocopies of their equivalents in the West, are paid by sponsors from the Anglo-European oligarchy, and whose blabbermouth contentions for ecological balance come with sums of fat pays.

The quack environmentalists form a part of the rising global eco-fascist movement, who profit by demonizing humanity as the cause behind the deterioration of the natural ecology. Their burnt out verbiage echoes Prince Charles’ “humans are virus” madness, which now translates to classified foreign policies in the USA and EU to see to it that human population be brought down to a manageable 2 Billion by 2050.

PH’s eco-fascist could be emboldened to arm themselves, or even to secretly harbor a ‘call to arms’ mobilization in the coming months and years. While they prepare for the next rounds of conferences and churn out more rubbish press releases, the true nature guardians will die by the ‘muzzle of the gun’, notably the Indigenous Peoples or IPs, fisherfolks, and marginal planters.

[Philippines, 15 May 2011]

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October 6, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

Forestry education is among those human development engagements that are urgently being delivered today.

A study done in Kenya, by Temu A & Kiwia A, examined how future forestry education can respond to expanding societal needs. The study is summarized below.

[04 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to Eldis database reports.]

Future forestry education. Responding to expanding societal needs

Authors: Temu,A.; Kiwia,A.
Produced by: World Agroforestry Centre (2008)

Forestry education in recent years has largely failed to adequately respond to the dynamics in forestry practice, the demands of the job market and the challenges of new global forestry paradigms.

This policy brief consolidates recommendations of the first global workshop on forestry education held in September 2007, at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Attended by 85 participants from 29 countries representing Africa, Asia, North and South America and Europe, the workshop deliberated on vital issues for guiding, coordinating and linking relevant institutions and stakeholders in the process of transforming forestry education. They agreed that:

  • increased investment in forestry capacity is imperative
  • improved coordination mechanisms are key at national, regional and global scales to reinforce the quality and content of forestry education and training
  • enhanced harmonisation of forestry with other related sectors is needed in order to achieve synergy of strategies and actions
  • regional and global mechanisms for collaboration in forestry education be established and sustained

The brief asserts that major changes in forestry education, research and practice are urgently needed to improve relevance and popularise forest science, technologies and practices. Obvious implications for neglecting forestry education are noted as:

  • schools of forestry will continue to produce inadequate graduates, lacking the required expertise to handle the emerging complex societal and environmental challenges
  • forestry professional ethics could deteriorate further, leading to indiscriminate destruction of natural resources – the backbone of human livelihood
  • due to the link between agriculture and forestry, the destruction of forests may lead to water flow challenges impacting on food security
  • our knowledge and capacity to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change will remain weak, further accelerating global warming, flash floods and droughts
  • further losses of biodiversity will deny the world of important plants and animals with the potential to solve health and other problems

Available online at: