Sunday, February 19, 2006

Stop logging now!

Seeing footages on TV of the landslides in Saint Bernard (Southern Leyte) sent me into panic mode - it's a town a few kilometers away from the town of my birth (Abuyog). In fact, my parents still live in Abuyog along with three siblings and a whole caboodle of nephews, nieces, aunts and relatives. Thanks to texting (yes, my parents also communicate through SMS although deciphering their text messages takes some time but at least they try to keep up with technology) I was reassured that everyone is well except for the usual laments that aging people inevitably gets into - the weather is cold, a sibling is a pain in the neck, etc., etc. Sometimes I do think that the older people get, the more the need for a sounding board for their various complaints.

What got me worried about my hometown is that just like Saint Bernard, it is a town whose forest cover is already gone, courtesy of years of wanton illegal logging by its elected leaders. When I was growing up, the main industry of the town was lumber and practically everyone who was rich in our town owned a sawmill. Eventually, the industry died simply because there were no more trees to be felled from the mountains that surrounded the town. Consequently, the town started to get flooded everytime it rained hard.

In the next few weeks, there will another round of blamestorming as our leaders try to fulminate and wash their hands in public.

The tragedy is not new actually. This is the second landslide in Southern Leyte in a just a few years (not to mention the Ormoc flood that claimed thousands of lives). The reason why these landslides happen is simple: the mountains are getting bald, the soil is getting loose because there are no more trees that bind them.

The solution is simple and it only takes political will to enforce it: total log ban.

2 comments:

jef said...

POLITICAL WILL seems so contradictory to me...as if there is such.

Ah, OK, one more thing POLITICAL CRISIS, it's a synonym right?

...well just thinking aloud harhar!

Carlos said...

The term "illegal logging" is too narrow and is simply the politically correct one.

It should be excessive logging. Legal or illegal. Full stop.

Nature doesn't discriminate between trees cut down with permission from a piece of paper and those that don't.