The Grey Chronicles


Philippine Ecological Footprint, Part III

Filed under: Anecdotes,Commentary,Croppings,Long Grey Notes,Management,Philippines,Readings — reyadel @ 23:59
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After my post entitled How Big is My Footprint?, I noticed that the Philippine Ecological Footprint from 1961 to 2005 as published by Global Footprint Network mimicked the trend of the Philippine President’s approval rating (see Social Weather Stations, 2008). This is the third and last part of the series.

Philippine Ecological Footprint 1961-2008 [adapted from Global Footprint Network]

Philippine Ecological Footprint 1961-2008 (adapted from Global Footprint Network)

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took the Presidency on 20 January 2001 with “both trepidation and a sense of awe”. Five days after, she signed the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (R.A. 9003). On 30 July 2001, GMA approved the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act (R.A. 9147) to conserve the country’s wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainability. On 07 November 2002, she vowed to eliminate illegal logging and other forms of forest destruction through the Chain Saw Act of 2002 (R.A. 9175). On 20 November 2003, the Philippines ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aimed at reducing CO2 emissions against 1988 baseline (UNFCCC, 2006). The Kyoto Protocol was established in 1997 by the third session of the Conference of Parties (COP-3) to the UNFCCC. Upon ratification, Annex I (industrialized) countries commit themselves to reducing their collective emissions of six greenhouse gases by at least 5 percent from 1990 levels during the first commitment period, which is 2008-2012. Compared to emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without emissions-control measures, the Protocol target represents a 30 percent cut. Under the Protocol, both developed and developing countries agree to limit emissions and promote adaptation to future climate change, submit information on their national climate-change program and inventories, promote technology transfer, cooperate on scientific and public research, and promote public awareness and education. The Protocol came into force on 16 February 2005, following ratification by Russia in November, 2004 (2002).

Starting 1965, at the beginning of the Marcos regime, Filipinos tend to use more and more Biocapacity. The highest of which occurred in 1977 and twenty years there after, in 1997. In 2005, for example, the total Philippine Ecological Footprint was 72.2 million global hectares (gha); with a population at 83.1 million people, the average Filipino’s Footprint was 0.8688 global hectares. But there were only 45.2 million gha of biocapacity available that year, or 0.5439 gha per person. This overshoot of almost 60 percent, greater than the world’s overshoot at 30 percent, means that in 2005 Filipinos used the equivalent of 1.6 Earths to support its consumption. It took the Earth approximately a year and seven months to regenerate the resources used by Filipinos in that year compared to a year and four months for the whole of humanity.

For a complete list of Philippine Environmental Laws, kindly refer to the online listing at Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Incredibly, the Philippines have a number of organic laws, presidential decrees, executive orders and the like, to protect its ecological biodiversity and its natural environment, but why is the biocapacity trend still going down while the Ecological Footprint fluctuated between 0.8 to 1.2 gha through the years? It may have the laws, but if these are not followed to the letter, the result is obvious: collapsing fisheries, diminishing forest cover, depletion of fresh water systems, and the build up of pollution and waste, which contributes to problems like global climate change. These are just a few of the most noticeable effects of overshoot.


Time Series graphic illustration taken from Footprint for Nations, specifically for the Philippines, and revised to indicate the Philippine President’s respective regime.

Balali, Macky (ed.) (1995), Protect and Preserve. NSC News, XX:8. Makati: Corporate Communications, National Steel Corporation, August 1995. pp. 8 – 10. back to text

Illut, Jek (1994), NSC Cited for Environmental Concern. NSC News, XIX:5, Makati: Corporate Communications, National Steel Corporation, 31 May, 1994. p. 13. back to text

Ewing B., S. Goldfinger, M. Wackernagel, M. Stechbart, S. M. Rizk, A. Reed and J. Kitzes (2008). The Ecological Footprint Atlas 2008, Oakland: Global Footprint Network, 28 October 2008, revised 16 December 2008. 87pp. back to text

Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development [PCARRD] (1999). Guidelines for Watershed Management and Development in the Philippines,. Los Baños, Laguna: PCARRD, DOST, 1999. p. 241. back to text

Social Weather Stations [SWS] (2008). Second Quarter 2008 Social Weather Survey: PGMA’s net rating falls to record-low —38. Online: Social Weather Stations, 18 July 2008. back to text

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC] (2002). Guide to the Climate Change Convention Process, Bonn: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, March, 2002. 49pp. back to text

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC] (2006). Kyoto Protocol Status of Ratification. Bonn: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2006. back to text

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi sir,

    I referenced this page in my website. Thanks a lot for this insightful post!

    Comment by angheloko — 2010.September.24 @ 01:47 | Reply

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