NBA legend Derrick Alston, as a NBA envoy, plants his tree during the tree planting of the launching of the “Forest and Community Rehabilitation in Leyte,” a project of the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) based in Makati City in partnership with the Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus (PSHS-EVC) Barangay Candahug, Palo, Leyte and in cooperation with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources(DENR-8) supported by the USAID on August 14, at the MacArthur Park, Candahug. (Photo by: Restituto A. Cayubit)

CATBALOGAN CITY- Changes in our rainfall patterns will cause flooding in some regions and droughts in others. The droughts have also been the cause of increased wildfires, burning down homes and crops among other things. These are just the effects of climate change according to Grace Gravoso of the City Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) of the city government of Catbalogan. Although experts argue extreme weather such as supertyphoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) may not ultimately become more common, there is significant expectation that when it occurs, it will be more intense.

Gravoso, in a radio guesting at the Philippine Information Agency last August 14, said that there is a changing rain and snow patterns, changes in animal migration and life cycles, stronger storms, higher temperature and more heat waves, thawing permafrost, damaged corals, rising sea level, warmer oceans and changes in plant life cycles due to climate change. She believes that everyone is accountable for the phenomenon of climate change and that the public needs to understand and realize that climate change is everybody’s business.

Gravoso added that the people must take the effects of climate change seriously and do something to help at least reduce these impacts. She also stressed that the most affected are those living in coastal communities and the lower urban communities that lack awareness on proper disaster preparedness. As it is, climate change impacts have not only intensified from an imbalanced natural eco-system, but every onslaught has become unpredictable. Gravoso said that one of the causes of climate change is the greenhouse gases, and one of the major contributors to the increase of greenhouse gases is deforestation. Other human activities producing greenhouse gases are polluted oceans, not recycling, landfills, wastelands and urbanization. In line with this, Gravoso advised the public to lessen the use of gadgets with radiation and vehicles that can cause greenhouse effect. She also asked parents and teachers to teach children on how to recycle and segregate waste as this could be a big help in reducing the effects of climate change. (AVHA H.EBALDE/PIA)