Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

6/23/2004

Future Wars Over Water A Possibility

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

Manila – June 28, 2004-- According to the GEO-2000, a definitive assessment of the global environment undertaken by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), two-thirds of the world's population will live without adequate water resources by 2025 if current consumption levels persist. The United Nations predicts that unless efforts are stepped up to bring water to those in need, wars over water will break out.

Though the Philippines’ water capacity far exceeds the Filipino’s demand for it, the country is by no means exempt from such dire statistics. International Food Policy Research Institute placed the Philippines in the list of countries afflicted with water shortage by the year 2025. Harmful practices such as over-logging, pollution and upland farming continue to affect the country’s 421 rivers, 59 lakes, and watersheds that make up seventy percent of the Philippines’ land area. In fact, the country is in the middle of a worsening water crisis.

Water is life. With it, people are able to carry on productive lives and engender social and economic development. Diseases such as diarrhea, intestinal worms and cholera could easily be prevented. Ensuring clean water is ensuring the Philippines’ economic growth and sustainability.

The Philippine government is already taking notice. Late last year, Department of Education Secretary Edilberto de Jesus was quoted emphasizing the need to introduce a kind of values education in schools to make the public aware of how they can conserve water and keep this natural resource free from pollution.

The Center for Environmental Education and Awareness (CEAE) aims to do precisely this. "We at CEAE believe that teachers play a critical role in nation building. In fact, I personally believe that they play an integral part in our country's progress," Jukka Holopainen expressed. Holopainen, now CEAE’s President of the Board of Directors, was formerly a director at Southwestern University. He also worked with Haribon Foundation, a Philippine NGO dedicated to the environment. "If we can teach our children "how" to think instead of "what" to think, then we will be teaching critical thinking. Our future generation will not only be a library of useful information they will immediately know how to apply this information. The effect is that they will be able to decide and act responsibly on behalf of the environment. This is the Center's driving force behind establishing the teacher's role in shaping the next generation to work for a sustainable world through using the environment as a teaching tool."

CEAE was formed in April 2000. It is at the helm of two of the most widely used and successfully implemented environmental education programs available in the Philippines. It offers training on these programs to educators, parents, socially-active individuals – indeed, anyone with a passion to give of themselves. With CEAE, environmental education is integrated with plain old Science, Math and English, to produce effective and quality education that engages the Filipino youth’s creativity and critical thinking.

CEAE is actively looking for volunteers who are willing to give their time and effort to uplift their communities. There are many venues for interested volunteers such as administrative and database management, research and development, training, finance and fund raising.

For information: http://www.ceae.org or http://www.projectwet.org.ph
Phone: 721-7360 telefax: 533-3712

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