Speak It Out

Work is my commitment. Learning is my passion. Faith is my strength. Love is my life.

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Location: Manila, Philippines

The name Ardythe:good war (Anglo-saxon); flowering field (Hebrew); spiritual prosperity (Swedish); Norwegian goddess.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

After the Disaster

I have been taught by Haribon-UPLB that coral reefs and mangroves are essential for the coastlines because they minimize (with buffering effect) the impact of waves that greets our coastlines.

Yet we do not apply this in our lives. We continue to destroy the shorelines, some for reclamation purposes and what not. But still we continue to educate school children, our fellow school mates and the citizens.

The WWF supports this:

Green reconstruction vital in tsunami aftermath

10 Jan 2005

Gland, Switzerland - In the aftermath of the tsunami disaster, WWF is calling on governments to support the devastated communities by ensuring that efforts to rebuild their livelihoods are environmentally sustainable.

The call comes as a UN conference on the vulnerability of small island developing states gets underway in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean Ñ the geographical area severely impacted by the tsunami.

"Healthy ecosystems can save lives," said Isabelle Louis, Director of the WWF Asia Pacific Programme.

"Places that had healthy coral reefs and intact mangroves, which act as natural buffers, were less badly hit by the tsunami than those where the reefs had been damaged and mangroves ripped out and replaced by prawn farms and poorly planned beachfront hotels."

For example, in the Maldives, it is estimated that the damage from the tsunami could have been much worse if the government's policy of protecting the network of coral reefs that shield the islands from the open sea had not been so diligent.

As humanitarian needs for food and shelter are met, WWF calls for long-term green reconstruction efforts. They should capitalise on natural defence mechanisms, appropriate coastal zone planning, rehabilitation of habitats, and restoration of sustainable livelihoods.

"Poorly planned coastal development has compounded the impact of the tsunami,Ó said Mubariq Ahmad, Head of WWF Indonesia. "It is vital that we don't make the mistakes of the past. We need to rebuild in a sustainable and safe way."

WWF is recommending that coastal developments are in the future not built within a safety zone from the high-tide mark, and is calling for strong coastal zone management policies, planning and/or better implementation within the region.

WWF also supports steps to undertake the tsunami impact and natural disaster risk assessments. These are vital so that coastal ecosystems, such as coral reefs, mangroves, marshes, and forests that buffer the impact of tsunamis are appropriately rehabilitated and restored.

While WWF recognises the immediate need for timber for emergency housing and workplace needs, it is strongly advocating that timber for long-term reconstruction efforts should be harvested from responsibly managed forests. Indiscriminate logging could contribute towards other calamities in the future, such as landslides and flooding.

In the short term, it is also imperative that the fisheries sector is reconstructed responsibly as it is the primary source of livelihood for the thousands of communities affected by the tsunami.

WWF warns that if devastated communities are not adequately resourced to regain immediate access to fishing, there is a real risk that opportunistic fishing fleets will move into the region, and further compound their current plight.


¥ 37 island nations are attending the UN conference on Small Island Developing States from 10-14 January in Mauritius to discuss challenges from natural disasters to climate change and threats from HIV/AIDS. It will discuss as a matter of priority the need for better preparedness in small islands against natural disasters such as tsunamis and cyclones.

¥ WWF is sending an open letter to key participants at the UN conference, offering assistance and support for a green reconstruction for all nations affected by the tsunami.

¥ Coral reefs and mangroves are biologically rich ecosystems that can provide a significant source of income for local communities to rebuild their lives.

For further information:

Claire Doole, Head of Press

WWF International

Tel: +41 79 477 3564

E-Mail: cdoole@wwfint.org

Olivier van Bogaert, Senior Press Officer

WWF International

Tel: +41 79 477 3572

E-Mail: ovanbogaert@wwfint.org


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