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RP named as one of 8 countries at risk of going underwater; only 52% of Pinoys know what "climate change" means

Published on: Aug 17, 2010 - 2:16pm

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The Philippines has been named one of eight countries "that could be washed underwater with just a slight rise in sea levels...caused by climate change," by the website of eco-lifestyle television network Planet Green. The report said, "The water is already rising in the Philippines, not only threatening homes of people who live near the coast, but flooding rice fields and devastating other areas of agricultural production."

Planet Green referred to an article posted on the website of the International Labour Organization in September 2009 quoting Glicerio Monton Jr., mayor of Jabonga town in Agusan del Norte, who said, "Climate change has caused severe flooding in Jabonga, about 12 to 16 feet deep, often from December to February... Before, only 20 percent of the water from the lake and seaside overflow to the community, now it has increased to about 80 percent. It has affected farm production for rice, corn, vegetables and fruit trees."

The Maldives, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Egypt, Barbados, Kiribati, and Tuvalu are the other countries at risk of going underwater due to climate change, according to Planet Green.

Dante Dalabajan of Oxfam Philippines talks about the link between climate change and disasters after Typhoon Ondoy hit the Philippines.

Meanwhile, reports that a Pulse Asia poll showed that only 52 percent of Filipinos know what "climate change" means. The report explains, "About one in two Filipinos (52 percent) has a wide or sufficient knowledge about climate change while the rest (48 percent) have little, almost no or no knowledge at all about the matter. These figures are essentially the same as those obtained by Pulse Asia in its July 2008 Ulat ng Bayan survey (55 percent and 45 percent respectively)."

Although only about half of the respondents know what climate change is, a larger percentage of respondents understand how climate change can affect them. According to the survey, 71 percent said climate change is dangerous to the environment, and 70 percent said it is also dangerous for their families and themselves.

Filipinos are now relatively more active in helping protect the environment. Pulse Asia said, "Compared to the March 2005 figures, more Filipinos are now engaged in recycling, tree planting, waste segregation and environment education with participation levels in these activities up by 8 to 30 percentage points between March 2005 and July 2010."

The survey was conducted from July 1 to 11 among 1,200 respondents aged 18 and above.

For more on this story, log on to Planet Green and

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