CFA Lets Water Advocacy Flow

AUG 21ST 2007

Clear Waters No More was the timely theme of the Coffeehouse Forum at the CFA Auditorium on July 27th. Amidst recent public controversy over the proposed development near Metro Manila’s precious watershed, Mr. Valerio B. Mendoza, Watershed Management Specialist of ABS-CBN Foundation-Bantay Kalikasan, highlighted and clarified the key issues relevant to the debate. Before a gathering of around 85 participants, Mr. Mendoza issued a challenge for everyone to respond to the growing problems of water pollution and shortage.

The fourth in the series of the CFA environmental forums this year, Clear Waters No More provided an essential checklist of pressing water-related issues like greenhouse gases emissions, watershed destruction and forest denudation. Although the forum confirmed the worsening water crisis, it also pinpointed signs of hope and the possibility of reversing the sad state of today’s water.

Concrete action plans were recommended, including continuing education, civil society advocacies and project initiatives, and government review of policies that are prejudicial to an equitable and systematic water management and distribution. As for conservation, this is ultimately the public’s responsibility, since the watersheds serve every household.

After an enriching discussion, a consensus was reached at the end of the forum to undertake positive responses to the challenges posed. Among the proposed solutions are: reforestation, strict implementation of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, tap water conservation and constant proactive instruction to the public on the use and abuse of water. One of the civil society participants, Sr. Rosalie Enriquez of the Vibrant Earth Foundation, declared that “every Filipino should undergo a lifestyle change” before the country can overcome the water crisis.