PACE FOR PEACE: Bukidnon environment needs aggressive, protective action

Bukidnon environment needs aggressive, protective action
By Dr. Lourdes G. Dela Torre

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/24 August) It is always a great pride for us to join in the singing of our “Bukidnon My Home” hymn in the presence of visitors and of local residents.

In this hymn, it is nice to emphasize the lines,”where lovely mountains high, with forest old and grand, bring memories to me, the home I long to see”.

We are always reminded of the province’s topographical features.

We can visualize the presence of green pasturelands, series of mountain ranges, deep canyons and rich fertile soil.

Every town has its unique landscape to offer that is entirely different from the congested urban areas.  All these make us “long to go back soon to sweet Bukidnon home”.

Yet, there is no guarantee that this grand scenery and beautiful landscape will remain.

The threat of development and modernization always brings about pressure on the province’s environment and ecosystem and the concomitant degradation of its land resources.

Development may offer prospects of the job market, business opportunities and economic prosperity.

We do not disregard its importance.  In fact, we also acknowledge the integration of the province into the world map of eco-tourism industry due to its beautiful and nature-centered spots. Moreover, Bukidnon has been known for its yearly Kaamulan Cultural Festival.

At present, we are faced with the challenge of preserving our provincial wealth, to continuously see the lovely mountains high with forest still grand and not “gone” in the memories worth seeing back.

The recent imposition of moratoriums imposed by different LGUs in the province signals the deepening concern for the province’s natural resources.

It is protecting the remaining prime lands from soil degradation that may put many communities under water similar to those in metro Manila and other flood-prone urban centers.

A call on all environmentalist groups, individuals, and institutions to join hands in a more aggressive advocacy to protect the Bukidnon environment has become urgent.

While the LGU’s are perceived to be in the position in this advocacy, we must do our part, within our capability, in this endeavour.

(BUKIDNON VIEWS is the opinion section of Bukidnon News. Pace of Peace is Dr. Lourdes G. dela Torre’s column. She is a research consultant in Anthropology, Peace Studies, Gender and Teacher education and other related fields. She has also published books such as Peace Education and Field Study: Bridging Classroom with Field Experiences.)