Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The one with Greenpeace Philippines

My heart bleeds for Greenpeace.

Greenpeace found itself portrayed somewhat unfavorable in the news recently when its flagship Rainbow Warrior 2 ran through more than 1,000 feet of coral reef. While news coverage of the incident has been generally fair, it highlighted the irony of environmental org Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior 2's ramming through the coral reef and downplayed the fact that the ancient coral reef maps given them by the Philippine government were woefully inadequate.

Look at how well Greenpeace handles the accident, claiming responsibility and promising to pay almost USD7,000 in fines to the Philippine government for the damage done to the reef. Greenpeace may have been at partial fault for not seeing the reef in time, but the fact also remains: if the maps were updated, they wouldn't have run into the reef. Plain and simple. This wouldn't have happened if the Philippine government did its job and updated its maps.

My immediate concern is this: sure, Greenpeace will more than gladly pay for the damages, but who is to assure us that this money will go towards the reef's rehabilitation? This is the horrifically corrupt Philippine government we're talking about, and even the purest of intentions, when put into the hands of those proven immoral, can go awry and misdirected.

I would much rather have seen Greenpeace Philippines oversee the rehabilitation themselves.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace Philippines is now doing the rounds of malls and schools, trying to shore up its numbers and membership. I signed up at the Ayala Glorietta 4, and I hear they'll be going to Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall and other malls soon enough. Greenpeace Philippines is one organization doing its best to increase environmental awareness and I can't thank them enough for their work.

Greenpeace Philippines membership is simple: for only P150 a month for a year, you can support Greenpeace Philippines' many projects and activities to help make a difference and save the planet. There are few greater gifts from God than that of this beautiful world in which we live. Joining and supporting Greenpeace Philippines may be one of the best decisions you'll ever make. I strongly, strongly encourage y'all to do it.

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