The top stories of 2011 from POC’s What on Earth channel:
The World Meteorological Organization (WHO) and PAGASA indeed warned us about La Nina and harsher weather conditions this year. In December 2010, the tail-end of the cold front triggered heavy rains and flooding. The severe weather extended throughout the year with typhoon Sendong devastating parts of Northern Mindanao and Visayas.
This article by Miraluna Tacadao came out after the execution of three convicted Filipino drug mules in China. It is based on Amnesty International’s report Death Sentences and Executions 2010 which showed a global ternd towards the abolition of the death penalty.
This feature story by Angeli Sabillo focused on various alternative energy sources in the country and the prospects of solar energy.
The illegal hunting and trading of local gecko or ‘tuko’ became one of the biggest stories of 2011. Demand for geckos in the South East Asian market increased after claims that it can cure AIDS.
Geckos weighing at least 500 grams would fetch up to P100,000 to P300,000 in the black market and buyers are mostly foreigners. These nocturnal lizards are reportedly exported to Malaysia, China and South Korea, where they are used as aphrodisiacs and as traditional for asthma, cancer, tuberculosis and impotence.
If you want to start an organic garden in the comfort of your backyard or home, this story is a must-read. This article by Rachel Yapchiongco provided a step-by-step guide, how-to videos on how to put up an organic garden. Gil Carandang, known in the agricultural community as the “Father of Philippine Natural and Organic Farming” also gave first hand tips and advise for those who want to go the organic way.
This story highlights the importance of recycling and reuse of discarded plastic. It features MyShelter Foundation’s Plastic School Project in San Pablo, Laguna, a plastic bottle school built from materials that do not damage or deplete natural resources. A similar project in Ghana has Johannes Thomas Arthur turning plastic bottles into furniture for his room. The article also features a small Japanese company named Blest invented a machine that could effectively convert discarded plastic items into oil.
Dengue became a prevalent health problem this year. In this article, Rachel Yapchiongco gave practical tips on how to keep insects away from your kids and how to deal with bites and stings.
Last June, the United Nationsl Human Rights Council declared that the internet access is a basic human right.
Based on the article by Miraluna Tacadao, Special Rapporteur Frank La Rue underscored “the unique and transformative nature of the Internet not only to enable individuals to exercise their right to freedom of opinion and expression, but also a range of other human rights, and to promote the progress of society as a whole.”
In April, POC editor Noemi Lardizabal-Dado wrote a commentary on the illegal coral trading on Blogwatch.ph. The following month, authorities foiled an attempt to smuggle out of the country more than 21,000 pieces of black coral and 161 endangered turtles and other marine life. It was known that some local government units were involved or aided syndicates in the illegal trade of black corals.
The campaign against black coral trading led to the formation to the Save the Philippine Seas movement that started an online advocacy to raise public awareness about illegal harvesting and peddling of the country’s coral reefs.
Photo from Blogwatch. Some rights reserved.