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WWF urges business to take lead in fight vs climate change

PHILIPPINES - The catastrophic consequences of climate change are knocking on the Philippines' door. With increased temperatures, more frequent and stronger typhoons and rising seas expected to be brought about by widespread and increased emission of greenhouse gases, there is a real possibility that coastlines and fishponds will be lost.

According to Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, chief executive officer of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines, the country, being an archipelago, is "at risk" to the adverse effects of climate change.

"Increased temperatures, more extreme weather events and the flooding of coastal areas will threaten agriculture and aquaculture in the Philippines in ways currently unimagined," Tan said on Wednesday during the CSR Expo 2007 of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF).

This will mean "serious economic dislocations" to communities entirely dependent on the aquaculture. Tan called on the private sector to take the reins and steer the country toward a sustainable and profitable future. Government would play a role, he said, but business would be the driver.

"Climate change changes everything. We started it, we can stop it. WWF believes that the technology and the solutions exist today. All we have to do is look around," Tan said.

The LCF, meanwhile, is contributing to the effort toward nurturing a "greener future" with the launch on Wednesday of the LCF Green Fund, which will be used to raise environmental awareness and get all Filipinos involved in the campaign against climate change.

Tan enumerated the other catastrophic effects of climate change. Total brackish water hectarage devoted to aquaculture along coastal areas in Bulacan, Cavite, Pangasinan, Iloilo, Negros, Bohol, Cebu, Zamboanga, Surigao, South Cotabato, Davao and Sulu will likely be reduced.

"Increased salinity of ground water, salt-water intrusion, heightened saline levels of fresh water lakes may end freshwater fish production in Laguna de Bay," Tan said.

Source: Asian Journal Online