I am a Forester, sometimes called “Forest Ranger”, but most of the time teased as a “Power Ranger”.
Philippines used to be a country known for the abundance and richness of its forests. Now, seeing a gigantic forest is a privilege. Very few Filipinos know the existence of our profession. We are often looked down on. And based on my experience, people ask “Why forestry?” followed by the statement “There are no more trees to cut! You won’t have future with that.” Then I just answer them with a smile.
Unfortunately, most people only see the utilization aspect of forestry and are blinded on the protection aspect. Society taught us how to survive by focusing on the monetary value of things. That very knowledge cost us our ability to appreciate other values. As a result, many efforts of the government and organizations to save the earth from climate change fail.
Our beautiful country is one of the megadiverse countries in the world but we are also one of the biodiversity hotspots. We participate in every climate negotiation and we call for action, yet our national bird that just got freed from captivity was shot dead; our trees continue to be cut for urbanization; and now even our indigenous people are being driven out of their domains for mining. Ironic isn’t it?
In my youth in landscapes application, all I was thinking about was education and awareness. HOW DO I MAKE PEOPLE AWARE? HOW DO I MAKE THEM CARE? HOW DO I MAKE THEM ACT?
Climate change is HAPPENING. The world needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and one of the ways is to engage people on greening and awareness activities. We need full cooperation with those who live and work closely with nature. Let us make people realize that in mitigation and adaptation programs , money is just a token and the real prize is our future.
We have to act now in order for nature to spare us some time to adapt in this changing environment.”We need to strengthen environment related programs, especially their implementation. With all the environmental disasters and all the lives claimed, we should have learned by now that climate change is no joke. It is now time to spend money for lives and stop wasting life for money.
Alexandra Jewel Rosas is one of the 10 young champions who will work on the “ Rights and Tenure” Landscape challenge with Youth program’s partner: CIFOR.
Learn more about the Global Landscapes Forum’s Youth program, meet our 50 youth champions and discover the 5 Landscapes challenges they will take up, in December, in Paris.