Issuu on Google+

READINGS IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT READINGS IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTt

ALAN S. CAJES


Readings in Sustainable Development

Š 2011 Alan S. Cajes All rights reserved. Published 2011. Printed in the Philippines Printing or copying information exclusively for personal and noncommercial use with proper acknowledgment of the author is allowed. Users are restricted from reselling, redistributing, or creating derivative works for commercial purposes without the express, written consent of the author. Published by: Compendume Publishing & Consultancy Services Sampaloc, Manila ISBN 978-971-94507-1-9

Alan S. Cajes

Page 2


Readings in Sustainable Development

For Alvir who, when he was a boy, always asks his dad where water comes from.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 3


Readings in Sustainable Development

CONTENTS Foreword Preface Ecosystems and Ecological Principles General State of the Philippine Ecosystems Introduction to Sustainable Development Philippine Agenda 21 Biological Capacity The Value of EIA Academe and the Environment Cleaning Up Manila Bay Introduction to Ecotourism Governance of the Electricity Sector: Selected Cases in Renewable Energy

Alan S. Cajes

5 7 11 28 38 65 72 78 88 113 123 139

Page 4


Readings in Sustainable Development

FOREWORD On July 30, 2003, I delivered a farewell message to the 9 batch of the Master in Public Management (MPM) Program of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP). I served as Acting Director of the MPM Program for about a year. On September 1, I went back to my mother unit at DAP – the Environmental Management Office under the Center for Sustainable Human Development. In my message to the students, who come from various agencies of the government, I recalled to them what we briefly discussed in the Environmental Management (EM) Course that I handled as Associate Faculty. In the EM Course, I opened the class with a story on the creative emergence of Planet Earth under the big bang theory of the science of Cosmology. Lifting a leaf from an article written by Prof. Dr. Onofre D. Corpuz, founding president of DAP, I narrated the events as if they happened in one calendar year. Under the big bang theory, the first eleven months involved the formation of galaxies after the violent big bang, beginning with the separation of the gravitational force from the Infinite Singularity; followed by the formation of lumpy clouds of hydrogen and helium; followed by the formation of the galaxies; followed by the explosion of a sun called Tiamat in the Orion arms of the Milky Way that spewed forth heavy elements such as carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, and then finally the formation of the sun, Earth and the solar system. On the 12th month, December, the first microscopic forms of life emerged. On the last day of December, the first shell appeared. At the last minute of the last day of December, life emerged from the sea. During a tiny fraction of the th

Alan S. Cajes

Page 5


Readings in Sustainable Development

last second of December 31, the first hominid ancestor of humans and apes and chimpanzees appeared. I recalled the story to emphasize that I was not taking myself seriously, as Corpuz would say. Human beings are just specks in the universe, but because of our inexplicable arrogance, we think of ourselves as the apex of creation. A good friend and a role model, Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr., a leading international expert on environmental laws, dismissed such claim as a figment of our imagination in his book, The Laws of Nature and Other Stories. The claim that we are the most intelligent of all the species, he argues, is a self-serving statement. It is inadmissible in court! Besides, biologist E. O. Wilson reminds us that if “all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.� This book is part of my attempt to capture ideas and ideals that I have learned from others and I have applied in various projects or shared to various audiences in the form of lectures. The articles are presented as I have first articulated them. The goal is to capture and document those ideas and ideals as they unfold in a particular space and time. Some of the data and information may not be updated; hence, they need to be read within the context of the period when they emerged. I am sharing this humble output with the hope that the readers would recollect, as Plato would say, the knowledge that they have learned from the past. All errors are entirely my own.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 6


Readings in Sustainable Development

PREFACE The idea of writing this book first came to me when some students from a state university called our office requesting for copies of articles that they could use as references in their school project. The students said that they visited our website, but could not download relevant materials that they could use. But it was former president Fidel V. Ramos who motivated me to document my professional experiences. In 2010, after delivering a lecture on Eco-Productivity as part of the topics of the EcoMismo Lecture Series conducted by the Ramos Peace and Development Foundation (RPDF), the former president told me that he would be glad to receive a written version of my brief presentation. This book is, in a way, a response to such prodding. It aims to provide processed information that the readers can use in their respective projects or undertakings. It covers related topics that I wrote or delivered as lectures to various audiences in the Philippines. Portions of the articles have also been shared to audiences outside the country through workshops and conferences that I have participated in. The first article, “Ecosystems and Ecological Principles,� was written in 1996 as a part of the Course Kit for the Foundation Course on Environmental Management (FCEM). The Environmental Management Programme Office (EMPO) of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), through the efforts of former DAP Vice President Josefa Rizalina M. Bautista, designed the FCEM to develop a critical mass of environmental management practitioners in the bureaucracy. The program had more than five hundred graduates, who included governors, mayors and local legislators. Feedbacks from my

Alan S. Cajes

Page 7


Readings in Sustainable Development

colleagues at EMPO and from the various participants helped in improving the write up for succeeding FCEM runs. The second article, “State of the Philippine Ecosystems,” was a result of such feedbacks. The first draft, however, was actually written about a year before the first article came to be. It is an expanded version of an article that was used as a chapter of the Sourcebook on Community Resource Management, which was developed by the DAPEMPO for the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Dr. Minerva Chaloping-March, the project manager at that time, guided me in ensuring that I gave her the best possible technical support. “Introduction to Sustainable Development” is an abridged version of the Master’s thesis that I submitted and defended at the Graduate School of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila. I am grateful to Prof. Dr. Florentino H. Hornedo for finding time to steer me in developing and writing the thesis. “Philippine Agenda 21” was first delivered as an introductory lecture on sustainable development. It was also used as a handout for the FCEM and the Course on Managing the EIA Process of DAP. “Biological Capacity” was originally titled as “Earth Day 2009: Sixto K. Roxas and Sustainable Development,” which was posted on my blog in 2009. The article is a rejoinder to the brilliant ideas that the noted Filipino economist shared to the DAP staff on the occasion of the celebration of Earth Day in 2009. I have learned a great deal from Dr. Roxas. Portions of this article have been used in other lectures that I have delivered, such as on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. “The Value of EIA” is part of the handout for the Course on Managing the EIA Process. I have developed portions of this article for the reports of the project to strengthen

Alan S. Cajes

Page 8


Readings in Sustainable Development

the system of reviewing environmental impact statements at the DENR-EMB. “Academe and the Environment” was first delivered as a lecture before selected students, parents, teachers, and non-academic personnel of De La Salle UniversityDasmariñas in Cavite on September 20, 2000. I received the invitation after facilitating the Solid Waste Management Summit of the Province of Cavite in the same year and while serving as technical expert for the Provincial Government in searching for ecological alternatives in waste management. “Cleaning Up Manila Bay” is based on the case filed by the Concerned Residents of Manila Bay against the concerned agencies of the national government for their failure to maintain the required water quality level of the bay. I was fortunate to witness Atty. Oposa argue before the Supreme Court en Banc on why the Court should require the concerned agencies to formulate and implement a plan to clean up Manila Bay. I thank Atty. Oposa for inviting us to listen to the oral arguments before the entire Supreme Court. “Introduction to Ecotourism” was used as an introductory article of the Manual for Ecotourism Planning and Development, which was prepared in 2005 by the DAP-EMPO for the DENR-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB). I led a team that piloted the Manual in the Cities of Alaminos, Davao and Tagbilaran in 2006. Funding support came from the New Zealand Aid Programme (NZAID), the international aid and development programme of the New Zealand Government managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I thank the participants of the pilot runs of the Course on Ecotourism Planning and Development for their feedbacks and suggestions. “Governance of the Electricity Sector: Selected Cases in Renewable Energy” is based on the presentation I made before selected distinguished participants from the energy

Alan S. Cajes

Page 9


Readings in Sustainable Development

sector at the Ateneo Blue Room of the Ateneo de Manila University. The paper was made possible with the support of Dean Antonio G.M. La Vina of the Ateneo School of Government and the World Resources Institute. I thank renewable energy expert Roberto Julian for the technical guidance and support. Many of the ideas that are found in this book are the products of discussions and interactions with ordinary citizens, experts and advocates of sustainable development. They are so many to mention, but I just would like to acknowledge the support and friendship of Lisa Antonio and Jo Bautista, my former bosses at DAPEMPO, and Dr. Marlito Cardenas, whose willingness to serve without counting the cost, continues to be a source of encouragement. Alan Salces Cajes Pasig City, Philippines

Alan S. Cajes

Page 10


Readings in Sustainable Development

ECOSYSTEMS AND ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES Environment, Ecology and Ecosystems The term environment commonly refers to the immediate surroundings of an individual. In its broad sense, environment includes the following: • Bio-physical environment which includes flora, fauna, land, air and water bodies. • Socio-cultural environment or everything that relates to how people interact with each other. • Politico-economic environment or those that deal with how people organize themselves and exchange goods, services and ideas. Any activity that is undertaken in the environment results in environmental impacts. The activity may be formal, as in the case of various types of development projects. It could be informal, as in the case of daily chores of households or communities like the gathering of fire wood or grazing of animals. The impacts of human activities may be positive or negative. However, many of the environmental impacts are negative due to the failure in maintaining the structures and processes of nature. Ecology is defined as the study of the interrelationships and interdependencies of organisms with their environment. It is derived from the Greek word oikos, meaning "house" or "a place to live in". Etymologically, ecology is the study of organisms "at home". The primary concerns of ecology are:

Alan S. Cajes

Page 11


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Population - a group of organisms with similar characteristics in a certain area at a given time • Community - refers to all the population occupying a given area • Ecosystem – the system of relationships of the species and their habitats. The interaction of the community and the non-living environment is an ecological system or ecosystem. This is also referred to as the life-support system. If the system is degraded, then the survival of the species is endangered. The ecosystem has the following components: • Inorganic substances (carbon, nitrogen, water) involved in material cycles • Organic compounds (proteins, carbohydrates) that link living and the non-living things • Climate regime (temperature and other physical factors) • Producers, self-nourishing organisms and green plants which can manufacture food from simple inorganic substances • Macro-consumers or eaters and heterotrophic organisms (animals) which consume other organisms or particulate organic matter • Micro-consumers, decomposers and heterotrophic organisms (chiefly bacteria and fungi) which break down the complex compounds of dead protoplasm, absorb some of the decomposition products and release inorganic nutrients that producers can use together with organic substances. The net results are energy sources or those that may inhibit or stimulate other living components of the ecosystems. The survival of the organisms in an ecosystem depends on nature's delicate balance of energy, food and other important factors. For example, without the green plants producing food through photosynthesis, there would be no oxygen to sustain human and animal life. Without the

Alan S. Cajes

Page 12


Readings in Sustainable Development

action of water-dwelling decomposers on dead plants and animals, there would be no clean water in lakes and rivers. Without the biological processes that are going on in soil, there would be no food crops, coal or oil. It is clear that what helps maintain the delicate balance of the ecosystem is the constant interaction of both living and non-living components and the interaction of the living components among themselves. Now, the dependence of living species on each other comes in various forms: sometimes cyclical, but most often multi-linear. Animals, for example, depend on plants for food; plants depend on the action of soil bacteria for their nutrients; bacteria, in turn, live on the organic wastes such as livestock excretions to fertilize the soil. It may be said, then, that the life network of this planet is based on unity and diversity, collaboration and rivalry, formation and annihilation, elaborately and accurately organized, species by species, “with evolving relationships.” Concepts and Principles Governing Ecosystems Ecosystems may vary depending on the major types of living and non-living elements existing. They may be classified along two major types: • Natural ecosystems that include the upland or forest ecosystems, coastal and marine or aquatic ecosystems, wetlands, grasslands and freshwater ecosystems • Human-made ecosystems like the urban ecosystems that are self-sustaining. The natural and the human-made ecosystems are basically characterized by the continuity of life processes brought about by the presence of life-support systems that move around in cyclical patterns. The life-support systems also refer to nature's own system of endlessly recycling materials in the environment. This is how nature maintains it own balance or homeostasis. The natural ecosystems are briefly presented below.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 13


Readings in Sustainable Development

Upland or Forest Ecosystem The Philippine forests are called tropical rainforests because of the country's tropical location and the amount of rainfall received (over 80 inches a year). Their principal characteristics are as follows: • Tall growing trees whose branches are often covered with other plants called epiphytes or plants that use other plants for support • Thick-stemmed woody vines • Large number of plant and animal species. The virgin forests or those forest areas that are still untouched by any significant woodcutting activities are characterized by the very dense tree canopy (the upper branches overlapping with each other) making the forest floor so dark and humid. The forests are considered as the "lungs of the earth". They enable the process of photosynthesis. They are also responsible for the continued supply of oxygen in the planet. The water cycle is also dependent on forests.

Coastal and marine Ecosystem The marine environment is characterized by various features like largeness, depth, continuity, temperature, waves and tides, currents, salinity, pressures and light intensity. Together with the forest ecosystem, marine ecosystems are considered as the "bowels of the earth." The seas and oceans "recycle" a certain level or volume of pollutants that are eventually brought in by rivers and bays. This is done through the same processes of decomposition and cycling of nutrients found in the forests. The seas and oceans also act as "giant regulators" that help in moderating land climates and maintaining favorable concentrations of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere. The seashores border the sea and the ocean. They are made up of smaller marine ecosystems, such as mangroves

Alan S. Cajes

Page 14


Readings in Sustainable Development

and estuaries. Thousands of adaptive species not found in the open seas and oceans live in the seashores. A key responsibility of seashores is to trap erosion and wastes before these get into the sea. Seashores prevent large-scale marine pollution; hence, referred to as "free sewers" for coastal cities. In addition, they recycle waste matter into nutrients and often serve as breeding grounds for fish and other marine life.

Freshwater Ecosystem It may be said that all forms of life are aquatic since water is both an essential and the most abundant substance in protoplasm. The freshwater ecosystem, which includes rivers, streams, lakes and bays, is the source of water for all forms of life -- as drinking water for humans and animals and as nourishment to plant life. Although it occupies a relatively small portion of the earth's surface, the freshwater ecosystems are important because they: • Are the most convenient and the cheapest source of water for domestic and industrial needs. • Are the "bottlenecks" in the hydrological cycle. • Provide the more convenient and cheapest waste disposal systems. What differentiates freshwater ecosystems from marine ecosystems is the absence of salinity or salt content. The intrusion of sea water destroys the freshwater ecosystem balance and certain freshwater species.

Grasslands Grasslands are ecosystems characterized by single vegetation: grasses. They occur in areas where the rainfall is too low to support the forest life form, but is higher than that which results in desert life forms. The tropical grasslands, such as those in the Philippines, receive up to 60 inches of concentrated rain during the wet season

Alan S. Cajes

Page 15


Readings in Sustainable Development

(deserts receive less than 10 inches (250 mm) of precipitation a year). In hot regions, prolonged dry seasons make the grasses dry and prone to fire. However, fire acts as a decomposer in the sense that it releases mineral nutrients from accumulated old litter that has become so dry. Bacteria and fungi are incapable of acting on very dry old litter. Thus, fires actually increase grassland productivity by speeding up the recycling, for as long as these do not happen for a very long period of time and exclude unnatural substances. Fires also maintain grass cover and favor grass in competition with thorny shrubs. From the human perspective, grasslands are extremely important because they provide natural pastures for grazing animals. In fact, the principal agricultural food plants have been developed by artificial selection from grasses. Many of the early civilizations are said to have evolved in grassland regions side by side with domesticated grazing animals. The human record in using grasslands as pastures is not as good. As a result, thousands of hectares of grasslands are converted into useless desert by overexploitation and the lack of concern. The human-made or domesticated ecosystems are presented below.

Agricultural Ecosystems or Agro-ecosystems Agriculture is a process of using natural resources without jeopardizing the capacity of such resources for renewal. Specifically, it means cultivating land and rearing crops and livestock. Thus, agro-ecosystems refer to croplands that are developed and maintained with human inputs like chemical fertilizers, pesticides, irrigated water, heating systems, etc. as against natural grasslands or forests where the provisions of the life-sustaining cyclical processes are based on what is inherent in nature. Human survival is directly dependent on agroecosystems. It is important that people strive to

Alan S. Cajes

Page 16


Readings in Sustainable Development

accommodate their natural processes in order to preserve the ecological balance. This means undertaking such approaches as bio-organic farming and multi-cropping to maintain species diversity and soil fertility.

Fabricated Urban Ecosystems The urban ecosystem is derived from the concept that a city or an urban area is similar to a living organism. The city is seen as providing the means of life support for all people living within it. These life-support means include housing, employment, commercial opportunity, recreational and leisure facilities, health care and transport. The analogy implies that a city develops just like an organism: the city imports materials and energy in order to grow, as well as produces wastes that must be disposed of. If a city is poorly governed, then it can become unhealthy and ultimately die. Proper waste recycling, urban forestry, the use solar and wind energy, conversion of waste to energy, as biogas production, and such other return-to-nature are important in ensuring a sustainable future, especially for cities. These earth-friendly approaches will enable the growing industrialized civilizations to thrive. Structures and Functions in the Ecosystem There are different types of interrelationships and interaction between living organisms and their immediate physical, chemical and biological environment, as well as their organizations. This is due to the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems. The main structural characteristics of an ecosystem include the food chain, food web and the food pyramid. The characteristics related to function mainly involve the biogeochemical substances.

Structural Characteristics

Alan S. Cajes

Page 17


Readings in Sustainable Development

Food Chain. The food chain is described as a structured feeding hierarchy whereby energy in the form of food is passed from an organism in a lower trophic level (or position occupied in the food chain) to one in a higher level. It occurs when plants (primary producers, first trophic level) are consumed by animals (higher trophic level), and these plant consumers (herbivores or plant eaters) are consumed by larger animals (carnivores or meat eaters). The energy is derived from the sun. The green plants convert the light energy into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis. The plants use chemical energy to make sugar and oxygen from carbon dioxide and water. Each time an organism eats another in the food chain, energy is transferred. Such transfer of energy is one directional -- usually from plants to a series of animals eating each other. A human being can be a plant eater (herbivore) or a meat eater (carnivore) placed at the final level in the food chain. Food Web. Food web refers to the arrangement of who eats whom. Essentially, it is horizontal in nature. In a food web, an organism may feed on several members of the food web. A food web shows the interrelationship and interdependency of species, as well as the natural balance of habitats. Its complexity is critical in maintaining the diversity of species and stability of the ecological system. Food Pyramid. The food pyramid or life pyramid constitutes the overall structure of dependency among the living organisms in an ecosystem. At the lowest base of the pyramid are the producers of food sources, which are generally plants. However, one may go further down and say that at the lowest level of the pyramid is organic matter that serves as fertilizer of food sources. The producers are followed by the plant eaters or herbivores which feed directly on the producers. On the third level are the meat eaters or carnivores which feed on the herbivores. In the food pyramid, there are more producers than herbivores and similarly more herbivores than carnivores.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 18


Readings in Sustainable Development

This means that a large supply of plant material is needed to feed a few insects and more insects are needed to feed a few animals. Any disruption or imbalance in any part of the food chain will result in food shortage since each part of the chain is dependent or connected to the other parts. Thus, sustainability of the food pyramid hinges on the continued availability and productivity of those at the lower levels. Food chain, food web and food pyramid are important factors to consider in monitoring the environmental impact of human activities. Any human activity external to the ecosystem would adversely affect the natural network of interactions among the organisms. Diversity. Diversity means the number of species (varieties or kinds) of plants and animals in a given community. Higher species diversity means longer food chains. Greater community implies stability. Species diversity is directly related to the stability of ecosystems. An ecosystem is stable if it has diverse species of plants and animals. A stable ecosystem has a greater capacity to withstand stresses or perturbations by human beings and nature. Conversely, an ecosystem that is already experiencing an environmental stress, or where the existence and quality of the species becomes threatened, will suffer reduction of individuals or reduced diversity. The rapid loss of forest cover, for instance, does not only mean the loss of trees, but also the loss of wildlife and life-support systems of tribal people who depend on trees for their survival. There are also losses of microorganisms that feed on decomposed leaves or fruits, as well as loss of plants that may provide medicinal value, new sources of nutrients and the like. As a result, the soil becomes directly exposed to weather elements like rain. Erosion is then more likely to occur. Distribution. The individuals of the same species in a certain area are distributed randomly, uniformly or clumply. Random distribution rarely occurs. It happens only when the environment is so uniform. In this situation, there

Alan S. Cajes

Page 19


Readings in Sustainable Development

is no use for staying together to ensure survival. Such is the case of cactus in the desert. In areas where species are uniformly distributed, a severe competition among the individuals occurs. Sometimes such antagonism produces even spacing among animals or plants. Mice and chicken tend to be evenly distributed to be able to get nutrients and water evenly. Clumping or aggregation of individuals happen due to such factors as seasonal weather changes, reproductive practices, local habitat differences or threat from other species. The herding of grazing animals such as cows is an example of clumping. Any activity introduced in the environment should consider the nature of species distribution in an ecosystem. The disruption of the species natural distribution may eventually lead to their extinction. Density. Density refers to the number of individuals per unit area or volume. Examples are 500 pounds of fish per hectare and 300 trees per hectare. The lesser the environmental disturbance, the higher is the species density and the greater the capacity of the ecosystem to sustain itself. Dominance. Not all species in an ecosystem are equally dominant in determining the nature and function of the entire ecosystem. There are more dominant species playing a critical role in the maintenance of the ecosystem balance. The dominant species define certain ecological communities. They are the most abundant species; hence they influence the ecosystem. Many organisms rely on dominant species. Removing the abundant species could mean local extinctions. This is the case of huge dipterocarp trees or trees that have two-winged fruits. The removal of such trees through logging also results in the loss of wildlife that depends on them for survival. Succession. Over a period of time, the ecosystems develop through an orderly process involving changes in species structures and community processes. This results

Alan S. Cajes

Page 20


Readings in Sustainable Development

from change of the physical environment by the community. Such process culminates in a stabilized ecosystem known as climax ecosystem in which maximum biomass or species density is maintained per unit of available energy flow. Examples are secondary forests that evolve into old growth trees in a process spanning many years. Ecological succession is directional; hence, predictable. For example, in an abandoned cropland formerly planted to corn and cotton, grassland develops. If the grass is left undisturbed for some time, the area will eventually be invaded by shrubs, and later on, by waves of trees of different species. The grasses tend to modify the physical environment, like soil and climate, and biota, making the conditions favorable for the invasion and growth of shrubs. The trees replace the shrubs until a balance or equilibrium between biotic (living factors) and abiotic (non-living factors) components in the area is reached. The last stage in the succession process is stable. It is no longer replaceable by other communities, unless disturbed by other external factors. Very few ecosystems, except those still unreached or untouched by humans, are able to undergo ecological succession due to human activities that do not promote the preservation or regeneration of species. An example is a denuded forest. Forests take many years to develop. When they are razed by fire or cleared up by logging, it will take many years to rehabilitate the damage. Efforts to replant logged over areas with monoculture species that grow fast do not necessarily restore the quality of the displaced forests. It is said that it is impossible to bring a degraded tropical forest back to its original condition.

Characteristics Related to Functions Natural, biological, geological and chemical processes occur in different ecosystems. These natural cycles facilitate the self-regulating processes of ecosystems. They provide

Alan S. Cajes

Page 21


Readings in Sustainable Development

fresh air and transform dead organic matter into a form that can be taken back into the metabolic system of plants. The circular paths that these substances follow are known as the "inorganic-organic cycles". The important cycles of materials found in ecosystems are described below. Water Cycle. Water on soil, plants and bodies of water evaporate into the atmosphere, collect into clouds and return as rain in the process called precipitation. More rains occur in areas where many plants grow, where there are lakes, rivers and oceans, and where the soil is moist. The excess precipitation may end up as ice or snow and return to the sea through streams and rivers. The cycle continues naturally unless a component is unable to perform its function. Rapid destruction of plants, as in the case of croplands turned into deserts and the denudation of large tracts of forest land disrupt the cycle in many places. Plants accumulate water from rainfall and then perspire it in the process called evapo-transpiration. The absence of plants prevents such processes from occurring and diminishes the availability of water to be recycled into the atmosphere. Consequently, even the rainfall patterns change. Carbon Cycle. Respiration and photosynthesis are the two important and basic life processes involved in this cycle. In respiration, compounds that have carbon are oxidized to from carbon dioxide. This gas is eventually released to the environment. In photosynthesis, the plants use water and the carbon dioxide from the environment. When the water molecules decompose so that hydrogen atoms can combine with carbon dioxide to form carbohydrates, oxygen is released to the atmosphere as byproduct. Another part of the carbon cycle is related to the organic compounds synthesized by plants and animals from the carbohydrates produced in photosynthesis. Plants produce protein and other protoplasm-forming substances. Planteating animals may synthesize other organic substances and

Alan S. Cajes

Page 22


Readings in Sustainable Development

meat-eating animals may, in turn, resynthesize these organic substances into other compounds to support their life processes. The carbon contained in these compounds is retained in plant or animal tissues during the duration of their lives. Carbon is released back into the environment when plants and animals die and are decomposed by organisms. This explains the need for massive tree planting in urban areas where a lot of human, vehicular and industrial activities generate carbon dioxide. Nitrogen Cycle. The atmosphere comprises almost 80% nitrogen. The gaseous nitrogen, however, cannot be used directly by most organisms. Some micro-organisms like bacteria and blue-green algae convert gaseous nitrogen into more complex compounds, which are eventually used by plants and animals. Other nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil directly use the atmospheric nitrogen by making their own proteins. When these bacteria die, the nitrogen-containing compounds become available to plants and eventually to plant-eating animals. The decomposition of dead plants and animals leads to the production of ammonia. Ammonia is also given off by the decomposition of the waste products of organisms and by industries. It may dissolve in water and can then be easily taken up by the roots of plant or go to the soil and then converted by soil bacteria into nitrites of nitrates. Nitrites are not used by most plants, but nitrates are an important source of the nitrogen required for the formation of protein. Nitrates not absorbed by plants are converted by another group of bacteria to nitrogen gas, which goes into the atmosphere. A portion of the atmospheric nitrogen is converted by soil bacteria to ammonia, thereby repeating the cycle. Atmospheric nitrogen may be converted directly into nitrates by the physical action of lightning during thunderstorms. Phosphorous Cycle. This cycle does not involve the atmosphere. Phosphorous is an important and necessary constituent of protoplasm, which refers to the living

Alan S. Cajes

Page 23


Readings in Sustainable Development

contents of a cell that is surrounded by a plasma membrane. It is produced by natural processes such as the gradual weathering and erosion of rocks or other deposits formed in the past geological ages. These natural processes release phosphates to the ecosystems, but much of the phosphates escapes into the sea, through the rivers, where marine algae eat them or where they are deposited in shallow and deep sediments. From there, the food chain in the sea passes these to marine birds and fish, and then brought to land by animals and man. Sea birds, in particular, play an important role in returning phosphorous to the cycle through the guano deposits. This transfer of phosphorous by birds from the sea to land is continuing, but no longer at the rate at which it occurred in the past. Basic Ecological Principles Nature works as a unitary whole, in an entirety of interactions that are beyond artificial divisions such as those imposed by people. Some principles drawn from environmental science underlie the meaning of sustainable development. All these principles are interrelated.

All forms of life are important The tiniest plant and the tallest of trees, the unseen microorganism and the biggest of whales -- all have their distinct roles in the ecosystems. If one of these becomes extinct, then there is a breakdown in the food chain, in the food web, in the food pyramid, in the cycle of materials and therefore in the ecosystem.

Everything is connected with everything else Both the living and non-living components of ecosystems depend on each other for survival. None of these components is superior to or controls the other. Due to

Alan S. Cajes

Page 24


Readings in Sustainable Development

interrelatedness, factors affecting one part also affect the rest. The landslide that killed thousand of people in Ormoc City, for instance, was traced to logging in the uplands. Logging led to severe erosion and eventually caused flash floods.

Nothing is for free Although the natural environment continuously recycles its nutrients, its resources are not infinite. There is a limit up to which an ecosystem can support the demands of a population on its resources. For example, the rapid increase of the country's population has exerted much pressure on the country’s fresh water resources.

Nature knows best For generations, nature has taken care of itself. Humans must abide by nature's laws or suffer the consequences of its wrath. As part of the natural environment, humans have the duty and obligation to ensure that the fundamental ecological processes are not disrupted.

Everything goes somewhere Materials in the environment are constantly reshaped or transformed, but nothing is created nor destroyed. This is among the most basic principles of nature. As nature performs its natural processes, organisms produce byproducts that become resources for others. But when humans tinker with the natural processes and misuse the natural resources, wastes and harmful materials are produced. Such by-products would, in turn, cause more degradation to ecosystems. Everything changes

Alan S. Cajes

Page 25


Readings in Sustainable Development

The interaction of living and non-living things in an ecosystem is a constant process, which results in the transfer of energy from one being to another, growth and eventual decay of all matter -- all these in an endless cycle. The operation of natural laws assures that this process of change eventually results in the health and maintenance of the environment.

Humans are the stewards of God's creation Humanity is realizing only now its true role with respect to the environment -- to manage it according to the laws which have enabled it to exist for many years. By abusing or wasting it, humans, in the end, will be the losers. As humans, however, learn to abide by the principles and processes of nature, they are able to benefit the most from it. The survival of the human race is directly proportional to the quality and productivity of the ecosystems.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 26


Readings in Sustainable Development

Reference Materials Alcala, Angel C., E. Gomez, and H. T. Yap, “Philippine Coral Reefs: Status and Human Responses to Changes” in the Coastal Zone: Man’s Responses to Change. Switzerland: Harwood Academic Publishers, GmBH, Postrasse, 1988. Cajes, Alan S., “Nature as Source of Values” (Unpublished MS, October 1995). Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), Report on Philippine Environment and Development, 1991. _____________, The Philippine Environment in the Eighties, Quezon City, 1988. Environmental Management Programme Office (EMPO)Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP, Trainer’s Manual on Ecological Waste Management, 1995. (Unpublished). _____________, Sourcebook on Community Resource Management for Sustainable Development, 1995. (Unpublished). Jones, Gareth, Alan Robertson, Jean Forbes and Graham Hollier, The Harper Collins Dictionary of Environmental Science. New York: Harper Perennial, 1992. Lerma, Norma, “Ecology and Ethics” in Nature, Science and Value Readings. Manila: Santo Tomas University Press, 1988, pp. 49-75. Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), Watershed Management. PCARRD Technical Series Bulletin No. 72, Laguna, 1991. Ravera, Oscar (Ed.), Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems Perturbation and Recovery. England: Ellis Hardwood, 1991.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 27


Readings in Sustainable Development

GENERAL STATE OF THE PHILIPPINE ECOSYSTEMS The Philippine ecosystems covered in this paper include the inland water, coastal and marine resources, forest resources, agricultural resources and the urban ecosystem. Inland Water The inland water resources of the Philippines consist of rivers, lakes, streams, ponds and underground water reservoirs. These include over 421 rivers, 58 natural lakes and approximately 100,000 hectares of freshwater swamps. Most freshwater bodies in the Philippines are silted. Saltwater intrusion has affected about 480,000 hectares of freshwater areas. Out of the country's 421 river systems, 40 rivers are now considered biologically dead. All five rivers in the country' premier urban center, Metro Manila, namely Pasig, Paranaque-Zapote, Tullahan and San Juan rivers have mean concentration of dissolved oxygen (DO) well below the criteria for Class C rivers. The DO content ranges from 0.07 to 4.5 mg/L. The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) has increased rendering the rivers fit only for navigation. Water pollution in Metro Manila and other urban areas is traced to domestic and industrial wastes. Other rivers of the country have also been polluted in varying degrees. River systems in mining areas have experienced pollution problems as early as the seventies. Siltation of the waterways appears to be the major problem. Unusually

Alan S. Cajes

Page 28


Readings in Sustainable Development

high concentrations of mercury were observed in several water bodies in Mindanao. This can be attributed to the extensive use of mercury for recovering gold from ores. Siltation of rivers due to mine tailings from small- and largescale mining activities in the Baguio-Benguet area has reduced the water transport capacity of Agno, Bued and Amburayan Rivers. The Sipalay River in Negros Occidental, Lapis River in Zambales and Taft River in Samar also show similar problems. Heavy metal pollution in these river systems have posed serious health problems. The common metals present in the rivers are copper, lead, zinc, arsenic, nickel and mercury. In addition, sugar mills and alcoholic distilleries, particularly in the Visayas, are among the causes of river pollution in these areas. These industries generate large amounts of organic wastewater. In the case of Laguna Lake, about 1,000 factories generate effluents that are polluting the lake. This problem is compounded by pollution due to fertilizers and pesticides from the agricultural lands around the lake. Siltation has made the lake shallow. Official data indicate that the water in Laguna Lake may be variously classified as Class C to Class E. Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur, which is home to one of the smallest fish in the world, has also been disturbed by the inflow of sulfuric water, domestic sewage, siltation and agricultural chemicals. Based on recent studies, the lake's dissolved oxygen content ranges from 0.88 to 2.52 mg/L. At this level, the lake barely meets the water quality criteria for Class E water. Similar problems plague several lakes in South Cotabato. Lakes Sebu, Lahit and Silutan show advanced stages of siltation. Coastal and Marine Resources

Declining Coastal Waters Fisheries

Alan S. Cajes

Page 29


Readings in Sustainable Development

The country's total coastal water area is about 266,000 square kilometers. Here is where over 2,000 species of fish thrive, of which about 65 species have commercial value. The coastal waters, however, has been under intense pressure from overfishing. Due to lesser fish catch, the fishermen employ destructive and illegal fishing methods like poisoning and dynamite fishing to the detriment of the fish nurseries. The fishermen also catch pelagic fish or those that swim near the surface of the water. This practice denies the pelagic fishes the chance to “mature and reproduce so that their stock will not be depleted.” The destructive fishing practices and the widespread deterioration of the coastal environment lead to the decline of marine and coastal waters fisheries. The nationwide decline of marine fish catch was placed at over 7,000 tons from 1982 to 1984. Specifically, decline was recorded in the Ilocos region, Southern Tagalog, Eastern Visayas and Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-tawi areas. The other regional areas registered ups and downs in production. Another related problem is the practice of commercial fishers to intrude "into the shallower waters reserved for municipal fishermen”. This has resulted in overfishing of approximately eleven of the fifty major fishing grounds in the country.

Destruction of Important Habitats Mangroves. The destruction of mangroves in the country is largely due to forest clearing to make way for fishpond, harvesting of mangroves for charcoal and fuel wood production. The rate of the conversion of mangroves into fishpond averaged about 5,000 hectares every year in the seventies. This rate slowed down to 3,500 hectares every year until late eighties. The biggest mangrove area in the country, which is found in the Visayan Islands, has been generally converted into fishponds. About 44 percent of the country's fishpond is

Alan S. Cajes

Page 30


Readings in Sustainable Development

located there. In the Western Visayas region, up to 53,000 hectares of mangroves and wetlands has been converted into prawn farms. In the Southern part of Mindanao, over half of the mangrove areas has already been destroyed. Only 41 percent of the original 17,338 hectares of productive mangroves remained in the region in 1972. The harvesting of mangroves also account for the decline of mangroves. Approximately three million cubic meters of mangrove timber were used for firewood and charcoal as of 1982. The overharvesting of mangroves is caused by the increasing demand for mangroves as fuel wood. As of 1993, the Philippines has only less than one percent of the vital mangrove areas it had 73 years ago. About 99 percent has been lost. Its estimated value is $3 billion. Coral Reefs. In 1992 the University of the Philippines Marine Center estimated that 50 per cent of the country's coral reefs is either dead or dying. This decline in the quantity and quality of coral reefs accounts for the reduced supply of coastal fisheries. The stages of degeneration of the coral reefs have been observed as early as 1977. The various causes include siltation, natural calamities, harvesting of corals for ornamental, handicraft and construction purposes, as well as industrial and agricultural pollution. Sea Grasses. Seagrasses are continually being exploited and are now in danger of extinction. The destruction of seagrass beds is due to their exploitation for fishing purposes, conversion into docks, resorts and other related activities, use as dumping sites for domestic and industrial wastes, and widespread pollution of the coastal environment. Estuaries. The main factors that tend to destroy the estuaries include sediments from the rivers and the sea, vegetation encroachment, which is the natural result of sedimentation, and human activities. The sediments are considered as the most natural enemies of estuaries. Sediments could wipe out estuaries. The effects

Alan S. Cajes

Page 31


Readings in Sustainable Development

of sedimentation are the gradual loss of the estuarine area and the decreasing mean depth of the estuarine system. Depending on the types of human activities and the levels of degradation of watersheds, flowing water of rivers may sediments, such as mine tailings, solid wastes, gravel, sand, silt, clay and colloid. Forest Resources Logging threatens the remaining areas of Philippine forests. Illegal logging estimated at about one-third of the annual legal harvest is brought about by a rapidly increasing rural population in search of sources of livelihood. Illegal occupancy, kaingin-making or shifting agriculture and the conversion of forestlands to other land uses contribute to the increased runoff, erosion and general watershed degradation. The rate of deforestation during the last 20 years averaged 100,000 hectares annually. Wanton destruction of vegetation in the upland areas has resulted in siltation and sedimentation of rivers, lakes and coastal areas. Siltation and sedimentation have decreased the productivity of arable lands and foreshore fishing grounds, which result in frequent outbreaks of pests and diseases among Philippine flora and fauna. As of 1992, the forest area covers only 19 percent of the total land area of the country. Agricultural Resources The most common form of land degradation in the country is soil erosion. This has substantially reduced the suitability, fertility and productivity of land in many areas. It is brought about by a combination of improper land uses, such as intensive and shifting cultivation practices, extensive deforestation of sloping areas due to indiscriminate logging and firewood gathering, as well as overgrazing in hilly and upland areas.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 32


Readings in Sustainable Development

Approximately 13.6 million hectares or 45.4% of the country's total land areas is moderately to severely eroded. About one billion cubic meters of soil is being washed off annually. What is left are physically damaged agricultural areas, which are sources of large amounts of plant nutrients, organic matter and fine soil particles. Problem soils are prevalent in about 23 million hectares in the country. This has caused the dormant productivity of potential agricultural lands. Due to heavy and improper use of agricultural chemical inputs, soil quality has been severely degraded and water bodies polluted. These have on-site and off-site adverse effects on plants, animals and human beings. Fertilizer residues carried by surface run-off have significantly contributed to the eutrophication of lakes. This means that lakes receive excess nutrients, which stimulate excessive plant growth. Loss of biodiversity is another major problem in agriculture. There is now an increased genetic uniformity through the planting of a limited number of high-yield varieties. This has threatened the country's genetic diversity and increased the likelihood of crop vulnerability to pests and disease. Urban Ecosystem Metro Manila and the other major cities in the country are presently experiencing environmental problems as a result of rapid urbanization. Most common among these problems are squatter and slum proliferation, solid wastes generation, pollution by toxic and hazardous wastes, flooding, as well as air and noise pollution. These problems seriously threaten the long-term sustainability of the urban ecosystem and pose a major health risk to the residents. Morbidity rates of environmentally-related diseases, such as gastro-intestinal and upper respiratory diseases are increasing in alarming proportion. In 1987, the morbidity

Alan S. Cajes

Page 33


Readings in Sustainable Development

rate of gastro-intestinal diseases rose to 1,058 per 100,000 population from 502 in 1982. The upper respiratory tract diseases increased from 761 in 1982 to 1,439 in 1987. In a period of five years, the prevalence of environmentally related diseases doubled.

Increasing demand for Energy and Raw Materials In the Philippines, one of the major environmental issues related to industry is the build up of industrial infrastructure. This implies increases in energy and raw materials requirements from the natural resource base. The widening of the industrial base requires the establishment of industrial plants for the production of iron and steel, paper, chemicals, building materials and other needs of an increasing population. These create considerable increases in energy and raw materials use, as well as pose industrial and solid waste hazards.

Solid Waste Generation In Metropolitan Manila, solid waste generation rate is estimated at 1.31 kilograms per person daily. This is equivalent to 11,135 tons daily. The rate of waste generation is increasing every year due to the increase in population and the level of economic development. About 55 percent of the organic load, which is thrown into the rivers, come from domestic sewage and garbage. The sources of these wastes include households, public markets and slaughterhouses. Oil and gasoline spills from more than 400 gasoline stations, oil depots, tankers and boats add to the load. Agriculture in the outlying areas also contributes pesticide and fertilizers.

Air Pollution

Alan S. Cajes

Page 34


Readings in Sustainable Development

Air pollution in Metro Manila is about 300 percent above the tolerable levels set by both the government and the World Health Organization. Pollution comes from industries (40 percent) and motor vehicles (60 percent). Carbon monoxide levels increased from 4.2 parts per million (PPM) in 1980 to 8.6 PPM in 1993. This is attributed to the increasing number of vehicles (especially the old ones) plying the streets. About half a million vehicles are Metro Manila.

Water Supply and Sanitation The rapid population growth and industrialization have strained the country's inland water resources. Water pollution has become a very serious problem. All of Metro Manila's major rivers are considered poisonous and biologically dead. There is a high rate of contamination of ground water. More and more private wells, from which one-third of the residents in Metro Manila get their water supply, have tested high to unacceptable levels of contamination.

Housing and Health Problems The rapid growth of urban centers has resulted in the proliferation of slums and squatters. In 1987, there were 2.4 million slum dwellers in Metro Manila (30 percent of the total population), compared to only 857,000 in 1980. Other urban centers also have a large portion of squatters among its urban population. The occurrence of environmentally-related diseases, such as gastro-intestinal and upper tract diseases, are observed to be increasing in alarming proportions. In 1982, only 502 cases of gastro-intestinal diseases and 761 cases of upper respiratory tract diseases were reported per 100,000 individuals. In 1987, this rose to 1,058 and 1,439 cases,

Alan S. Cajes

Page 35


Readings in Sustainable Development

respectively, showing a doubling of environmentallyrelated diseases within only five years. Actions Required The following actions are required to deal with the degradation of the country’s natural resources: 1. There is an opportunity for government to be more aggressive and strict in terms of implementing the environmental laws, rules and regulations in the country. 2. There is an opportunity to rationalize or consolidate existing environmental laws in order to facilitate their implementation. 3. Government needs to put its money where its mouth is. Environmental policies, laws and regulations should be provided with enough funding to ensure their successful implementation. 4. There is an opportunity to rationalize, consolidate and streamline existing government agencies, bureaus, offices that have environmental protection and management functions. 5. Government needs to professionalize the agencies, bureaus, offices that have environmental protection and management functions by hiring competent officials and staff and by getting rid of officials and staff whose performance, based on their respective key result areas, is mediocre or below average. 6. There is an opportunity for government to provide relevant and continuing professional education to personnel and staff of agencies, bureaus, offices that have environmental protection and management functions to raise the quality of their performance. 7. There is an opportunity for government to adopt market-based instruments for environmental and management to operationalize the generally-accepted principles, such as the polluter pays principle, best-

Alan S. Cajes

Page 36


Readings in Sustainable Development

available technique principle, and the precautionary principle. Such instruments should be complemented with community-oriented approaches that take into consideration both the scientific and indigenous practices of environmental management.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 37


Readings in Sustainable Development

Reference Materials Alcala, Angel C., E. Gomez, and H. T. Yap, “Philippine Coral Reefs: Status and Human Responses to Changes” in the Coastal Zone: Man’s Responses to Change. Switzerland: Harwood Academic Publishers, GmBH, Postrasse, 1988. Cajes, Alan S., “Nature as Source of Values” (Unpublished MS, October 1995). Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR), Report on Philippine Environment and Development, 1991. _____________, The Philippine Environment in the Eighties, Quezon City, 1988. Environmental Management Programme Office (EMPO)Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP, Trainer’s Manual on Ecological Waste Management, 1995. (Unpublished). _____________, Sourcebook on Community Resource Management for Sustainable Development, 1995. (Unpublished). _____________, Sourcebook on Environmental and Pollution Management, 1996. Jones, Gareth, Alan Robertson, Jean Forbes and Graham Hollier, The Harper Collins Dictionary of Environmental Science. New York: Harper Perennial, 1992. Lerma, Norma, “Ecology and Ethics” in Nature, Science and Value Readings. Manila: Santo Tomas University Press, 1988, pp. 49-75. Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD), Watershed Management. PCARRD Technical Series Bulletin No. 72, Laguna, 1991. Ravera, Oscar (Ed.), Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems Perturbation and Recovery. England: Ellis Hardwood, 1991.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 38


Readings in Sustainable Development

INTRODUCTION TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Idea of Progress The idea of progress, which is the nineteenth century term for development, basically means that the present is superior to the past and that the future will be, or can be, better still. Adam Smith (1723-1790) said that the main goal of man is to better his condition. In his view, man is a dissatisfied animal -- always desiring improvement. A “necessary constituent” of progress is the notion of a perfect social order, which is the ultimate goal of progress itself. An ancient description of a perfect social order is the Garden of Eden described in the Book of Genesis. A series of utopias followed, such as the City of God of St. Augustine (354-430), Utopia of St. Thomas More (1516) and the class-less society of Karl Marx (1818-1883), who was considered as the greatest of the modern socialist utopians. The idea that “Nature is Eden” is common in western civilization via the Judeo-Christian tradition. Humanity, to a great extent, has always been searching for ways to bring back the Garden of Eden, particularly during the Enlightenment period. However, the postmodernist attitude does not agree with the Enlightenment assumptions of a recovery narrative. The cultural feminists and environmentalists, for instance, consider the reverse as apt – the world is gradually descending towards the exact opposite of a new garden. The slow decline is revealed by a continuing environmental degradation, which is a

Alan S. Cajes

Page 39


Readings in Sustainable Development

central theme in the literature of modern environmentalism, such as Paul Ehrlich’s Eco-Catastrophe (1969), the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972), and Bill Mckibfen’s The End of Nature (1989). Environmental Movement The modern environmental movement began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962, which argued about the risks to human and ecological health of agricultural chemicals like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT. Carson’s book inspired others to write about other threats to the quality and integrity of the environment. Some of these writings included Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Boom (1968), Barry Commoner’s The Closing Circle (1971), and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth (1972), which was written by a research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These writings stirred awareness among the westerners on the urgent need to protect the resources of the planet from overexploitation and degradation. In the United States, increased awareness was notable in college campuses, which intertwined the environmental issues with the Vietnam War. The first Earth Day, which was held on April 22, 1970, is considered as the birth of the modern environmental movement. It had participants and celebrants from thousands of schools, colleges and universities in the United States. Soon, environmental organizations from the North and South were formed and established networks and alliances. In 1972, the United Nations (UN) held a Conference on Human Development in Stockholm. The discussions “placed economic justice at par with the concern of many industrialized nations for environmental protection (Engel and Engel, 1990).” In 1980, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) published the World Conservation Strategy: Living

Alan S. Cajes

Page 40


Readings in Sustainable Development

Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development, which states, in part, that “A new ethic, embracing plants and animals as well as people, is required for human societies to live in harmony with the natural world on which they depend for survival and well-being. The long-term task of environmental education is to foster or reinforce attitudes and behavior compatible with this new ethic (IUCN, 1980).”

In 1982, the UN adopted the World Charter for Nature which recognizes that “every form of life is unique, warranting respect regardless of its worth to man.” But the term sustainable development acquired fame with the publication of WCED’s Our Common Future in 1986. In this report, sustainable development is described as “development that meets the needs of the present without comprising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The term was also one of the central themes at the Rio Earth Summit or the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janiero in June 1992. UNCED brought forth Agenda 21 to operationalize the sustainable development concept. Since then, other countries have developed their own Agenda 21. In the Philippines, the Philippine Agenda 21 was formally adopted in 1996. It serves as the comprehensive blueprint program for national development. Meaning of Sustainable Development The central message of sustainable development is satisfaction of fundamental human needs for a long period of time. Manfred Max-Neef identified ten fundamental human needs, namely, subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, idleness, creation, identity, freedom, and transcendence. These needs, in contrast to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “are interacting in

Alan S. Cajes

Page 41


Readings in Sustainable Development

a systematic way...with the exception of the need for subsistence which...has priority over the others (Reid, 1995).” The idea that sustainable development aims to satisfy fundamental human needs rather than basic or essential needs, such as what the Brundtland Report suggests, is a departure from the conventional view of development “with its assumption that there is a simple relationship between the production of material goods and the fulfilling of human need (Reid, 1995).” As Max-Neef argues, people-centered development must not only increase the material standards of people, but also improve the quality of their lives. The fulfillment of fundamental human needs can only happen through a synergic satisfaction of such needs. A synergic satisfier is one which can “satisfy a given need and also contribute to the fulfillment of other needs (Reid, 1995).” A good example of this is a mother feeding her baby. In the process of feeding, she does not only meet her baby’s need for subsistence, but also the need for protection, affection and identity. Fundamental human needs are inherent in human beings. As long as a person is a person, he is not devoid of natural wants or needs. The intrinsicality of needs means that all human beings both in the present and future generations have needs. In fact, needs “are the same in all cultures and have been virtually the same throughout history, changing only at the pace of the evolution of the human species (Reid, 1995).” What this implies is that sustainable development is a commitment to satisfy the fundamental human needs of the present and future generations. Thus, sustainable development involves inter- and intra-generational equity. Inter-generational equity means meeting the needs of the present and future generations. Intra-generational equity means the just and fair distribution of, and access to, resources among the existing people of the world.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 42


Readings in Sustainable Development

The concept of equity is best understood in the context of justice, which is the foundation of any social order. Justice is giving what is due to a person, said Plato. That which is due is naturally necessary to satisfy a fundamental human need. If justice is the minimum of love -- within the context that what is due is defined by law, and love is the highest law -- then love is the maximum justice. Thus, love and justice lie at the very core of the concept of sustainable development. Put differently, sustainable development only becomes meaningful if it meets the demands of love and justice. The commitment of sustainable development to the fundamental option to love is not divorced from the idea of fundamental option for the poor because “the concept of needs refers, in particular to the essential needs of the world’s poor (WCED).” Justice and love suggest a bias to the “least disadvantaged in society; hence, the first function of sustainable development is the satisfaction of the fundamental human needs of the helpless. There is no arguing that human beings use the material resources of the planet for their subsistence. Human beings, however, do not only use the material resources in order to live. Human life, itself, is sustained by the fundamental ecological processes of nature, such as the natural capacities and services. Natural capital is essential for the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, but the long-term fulfillment of fundamental human needs depends on the ability of people to sustainably use and manage natural capital. The sustainable use of natural capital observes at least four (4) principles: • Principle of replenishment - renewable resources should be consumed below their capacity to regenerate. • Principle of stability - renewable resources should be consumed in a manner that will not damage the biodiversity of the ecosystem.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 43


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Principle of limit - nonrenewable resources should be consumed only at a minimal level or within minimum strategic levels. • Principle of innovation - nonrenewable resources should be used to create renewable substitutes. The sustainable management of natural capital also observes at least three (3) principles: • Principle of care - the assimilative and regenerative capacities of the environment should not be degraded, such as by not using the natural capacities for the dispersal of stock wastes or nonbiodegradable substances. • Principle of productivity - the natural life-support systems must not be destabilized. • Principle of quality - the environmental quality must not be degraded. In other words, sustainable development implies that the environment “should be protected in such a condition and to such a degree that environmental capacities (the ability of the environment to perform its various functions) are maintained over time: at least at levels sufficient to avoid future catastrophe, and at most at levels which give future generations the opportunity to enjoy an equal measure of environmental consumption (Jacobs, 1991).”

Environmental protection is indispensable to sustainable development. In fact, the idea of sustainability emerged “out of the need to define what is meant by environmental protection (Jacobs, 1991).” Economic Foundation Development

of

Sustainable

Economics is the “study of how humans make use of available productive resources (including their own labors

Alan S. Cajes

Page 44


Readings in Sustainable Development

and skills) to produce goods and services for human use (Gordon, 1992).” The production of goods and services implies the utilization of the material resources of the planet. Its goal is to meet fundamental human needs. Thus, the aim of economics is growth or development, which is the “process by which the members of a society increase their personal and industrial capacities to utilize and manage resources to produce sustainable and justly distributed improvements in quality of life consistent with their own aspirations (Korton, 1990).” The idea behind economic growth or development is the view that humans are dissatisfied animals, constantly seeking improvement. Adam Smith said that the main goal of man is the betterment of his condition. This, he said, is due to a “desire which, though generally calm and dispassionate, comes with us from the womb, and never leaves us until we go into the grave. In the whole interval which separates those two moments, there is scarce perhaps a single instant in which any man is completely satisfied with his situation, as to be without any wish of alteration or improvement of any kind (Gordon, 1992).”

Such human desire for progress is not limited to the self alone, but also implies the placement of “value on improvement in the condition of others.” The economic system operates inside the ecological space. As a subset of the ecological system, it is not isolated but is confined “within the boundaries of a global ecosystem with finite capacities to produce fresh water, form new top soil, and absorb pollution. As a subset of the biosphere, the economy cannot outgrow its physical limits and remain intact (Brown, 1992).” Thus, economic growth should not be pursued at the expense of the quality and integrity of the natural capital. If economic activities go beyond ecological limits, then there will be an

Alan S. Cajes

Page 45


Readings in Sustainable Development

environmental crisis or a “reduction in the abundance of the natural environment (Jacobs, 1991).” Environmental crisis, therefore, is also an economic crisis. It is a product of economic activities and “undermines the very functions on which the economy depends (Ibid.).” To address the environmental crisis, there should be a reduction in the economy’s consumption of natural capital.

Growth Versus Low or No Growth From the economic standpoint, there are two broad groups that promote sustainable development. The first group proposes continuing economic growth that takes into consideration environmental concerns in order to improve living standards and break the cycle of poverty and environmental degradation. The second group proposes a low or zero economic growth. Based on this distinction, the WCED belongs to the first group, “even equating sustainable development with more rapid economic growth in both industrial and developing countries (Reid, 1995).” According to the UN, “sustainable development does not imply cessation of economic growth. Rather, it requires recognition that the problems of poverty and underdevelopment and related environmental problems cannot be solved without vigorous economic growth. Sustainable development will require changes in the current patterns of growth, to make them less resource and energy intensive and more equitable (UN, 1990).”

Low or zero growth comes from the Green movement. The argument is that “it is economic growth which is the primary cause of environmental degradation; therefore, the objective of policy should be ‘no growth’ (Jacobs, 1991).” Such a cessation of economic growth shall be accompanied by a “change of lifestyles and an equitable redistribution of income (Carley and Christie, 1992).”

Alan S. Cajes

Page 46


Readings in Sustainable Development

The low or no growth approach to sustainable development “can only be a very long term strategy, politically inconceivable under any circumstances,” but the “business as usual” mentality is not an acceptable option (Carley and Christie, 1992). What is required in order for sustainable development to progress are “sustainable growth to improve human development and environmental protection in the poor world” and “radical policy change,” and a “movement towards steady-state or steady-flow economic development in many aspects of the industrial world consumption and production patterns (Carley and Christie, 1992).”

Steady-State Economy A steady-state economy is one which “keeps within limits of population throughputs of industrial goods and inequality (Carley and Christie, 1992).” Being ecological in orientation, it is a dynamic strategy “for forcing qualitative improvement and sustainability.” William Alexander calls it “steady flow.” He explains: “Steady flow...means movement and process. Steady flow is like a dependable river or stream. Flowing merrily along many interesting things happen in unexpected and exciting ways. The size of the stream flow, the quantitative aspects change little. Qualitative limitation on the use of the earth’s resources allow the regenerative capacity of Gaia to remain constant or increase (Alexander, 1991).”

Herman Daly links the idea of a steady-state economy to John Stuart Mill’s concept of stationary state in “Principles of Political Economy” published in 1848. Daly also points out that except for the past two centuries, “for most of the history of mankind, nearly steady-state conditions held (Carley and Christie, 1992).”

Alan S. Cajes

Page 47


Readings in Sustainable Development

Sustainable Production and Consumption Sustainable production and consumption involves the enhancement of “environmental quality through the efficient production and use of natural resources, the minimization of wastes, and the optimization of products and services (Falkman, n.d.).” Based on the criteria developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), sustainable production and consumption (1) stimulates market forces, (2) promotes more efficient use of materials and energy, (3) establishes pricing systems that internalize environmental cost, (4) supports recycling and reuse (considering overall life-cycle effects), (5) provides flexibility to choose effective solutions, (6) supports a process of continuous improvement, (7) stimulates economic growth, (8) promotes innovation, (9) minimizes trade barriers, and (10) encourages technology and systems sharing. In line with this, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) encourages business to integrate environmental criteria into its purchasing policies, design more efficient products and processes, increase the life spans for durable goods, improve after-sales service, reuse and recycle, and promote sustainable consumption through advertising, marketing and product information. The initiatives of WBCSD and UNCSD find support from the Oslo Ministerial Roundtable in February 1995 which defines sustainable production and consumption as “production and use of goods and services that respond to basic human needs and bring a better quality of life, while minimizing the use of material resources, toxic materials and emissions of waste and pollutants over the life cycle, so as not to jeopardize the needs of future generations (Falkman, n.d.).”

The WBCSD and UNCSD initiatives also led to the development of industrial ecology, which involves the

Alan S. Cajes

Page 48


Readings in Sustainable Development

efficient use of resources, extension of the life cycle of products, pollution prevention, recycling and reuse and the establishment of eco-industrial parks. Industrial ecology promotes the (1) efficient and sustainable use of material resources and energy, (2) extension of the useful life of products, (3) prevention of pollution at any point in the product cycle through operational, technical or behavioral changes as well as process substitution, product reformulations or housekeeping improvement, (4) reduction in the “consumption of virgin materials” and diversion of “waste from final disposals in landfills,” and (5) the attraction of “business that we can feed off one another (Falkman, n.d.).”

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Economic Growth Several environmental principles have been developed and generally accepted during the past years. Of these principles, the principle of sustainable development is the most comprehensive and is treated as the umbrella principle for all the other principles. Ecocyle society principle. An ecocycle society is “a society in which the flows of various materials within society have been reduced and closed to such an extent that the flows from society to the environment do not exceed the limits of sustainability (SEAC, 1994).” It applies the principles of “cyclic materials management” in order to reduce and close the flows of materials to the extent that (1) the materials that society produce can be incorporated to the natural cycle without impairing the natural capacities and services, (2) there is a reduction in the use and extraction of nonrenewable resources, and (3) the natural capital meets fundamental human needs “without extraction exceeding growth in inflow.” Critical loads. Critical load refers to the “highest load at which no harm is caused to the environment, even after long-term exposure (Jacobs, 1991).” This implies that any

Alan S. Cajes

Page 49


Readings in Sustainable Development

economic activity should ensure that its negative impacts to the environment remain at a level which is not significant. Thus, the carrying capacity of the environment is taken into due consideration in economic planning and project implementation. Precautionary principle. This principle is a “philosophical expression of the self-preservation instinct that we all tend to apply in all our actions (SEAC, 1994).” In practice, it means to “modify the manufacture, marketing or use of products or services to the conduct of activities, consistent with scientific and technical understanding to prevent serious or irreversible environmental degradation (Welfor and Gouldson, 1993).” In essence, the principle means that prevention is always better than cure; hence, the exploitation of natural capital “which causes significant damage to the ecological balance must be avoided (Welfor and Gouldson, 1993).” In the Rio Declaration, the precautionary principle finds its way under Principle 15, which states: “In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

In the words of John Pezzey, the “precautionary principle aims to achieve maximal reductions in pollution using the ‘best available technology’. Substitution principle. The basis of the substitution principle is the idea “that substances and products which present a danger to health and the environment are to be substituted by less dangerous ones (SEAC, 1994).” This principle is a feature of current Swedish law, particularly in Act (1985:426) on Chemical Products, which states that:

Alan S. Cajes

Page 50


Readings in Sustainable Development “Anyone handling or importing a chemical product shall take such steps and otherwise observe such precautions as are necessary to prevent or minimize harm to human beings or to the environment. This includes avoiding chemical products for which less hazardous substitutes are available (SEAC, 1994).”

Best available technology (BAT) principle. The BAT principle “represents a formalization of common sense (SEAC, 1994).” The European Commission’s proposed new Directive on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control dated September 1993 explained this principle: The term ‘Best Available Techniques’ signifies the latest stage of development (state of the art) of activities, processes and their methods of operation which indicate the practical suitability of a particular technique for preventing, or where that is not practicable, minimizing emissions to the environment as a whole.”

The term “techniques” includes the technology used, how it is designed and whether it is industrially feasible. “Available” in BAT refers to “existing technologies or procedures that can be applied at a reasonable cost.” The term “best” refers to the technology which has the ‘greatest purification effect or the lowest emissions and which is in commercial application somewhere in the world (SEAC, 1994).” Polluter pays principle (PPP). The PPP means that the polluter pays for the cost of pollution. It has five implications: (1) it covers the cost of environmental protection, (2) it covers pollution and control measures to promote the efficient use of limited material resources, (3) it covers the cost of pollution control and cleanup, and compensation to victims or to those who suffer damage from pollution, (4) it ensures the “effective distribution of the responsibility for cost and that it neither imposes demands nor excludes the possibility of reducing pollution

Alan S. Cajes

Page 51


Readings in Sustainable Development

to an optimum level,” and (5) it includes the “internationalization of environmental costs and the use of economic instruments (SEAC, 1994).” Extended product responsibility (EDR) principle. The EDR is an “emerging principle that uses...life-cycle approach to identify strategic opportunities for pollution prevention and resource conservation (SEAC, 1994).” Based on this principle, the manufacturers, suppliers, users, and disposers of products have the collective responsibility for the “environmental effects of products and wastes streams (SEAC, 1994).” Social and Political Foundations A human person, who is an embodied subjectivity, is a consciousness who is conscious of something other than consciousness itself. The intentionality of human consciousness affirms the social and political nature of human beings. In the philosophy of Aristotle, the rationality of man signifies his political nature. Every person desires what is good, not only the good for himself, but also the good of others. The search for the good, which ultimately translates to the search for happiness, can be realized under a civil community or state. Aristotle explains: “The State is the highest form of community and aims at the highest good.” In the philosophy of John Locke (1632-1704), the establishment of the state aims to preserve the citizen’s property through a social contract. He says: “The great and chief end of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government is the preservation of their property; to which in the state of nature there are many things wanting.”

Nation and Nature

Alan S. Cajes

Page 52


Readings in Sustainable Development

The term “nature” comes from the Latin word natura meaning birth. The word “nation” is also derived from the same root word. Just as giving birth requires physical love, the nation is understood in the context of nature born not only of physical love, "but the love that binds the nation together (Olwig in Cronon, 1996).” The idea of love “generates the inborn character, or nature of its environment.” This way of explaining the common origin of the terms “nature” and “nation” is related to the mythic idea that Gaia, the Goddess of the Earth, gave birth to Themis, the Goddess of Law or Justice. Under this analogy, Gaia represents nature while Themis represents the state because a state operates within the framework of law or justice. In like manner that Gaia “nourishes and cares for all creatures as her own children,” that state has the duty to fulfill what Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) calls the “achievement of civilizations” which is said to be sustainable development (see Carley and Christie).

Political Dimension of Sustainable Development In the philosophy of Hobbes, the “consent of the governed is the pre-condition for the ‘achievement of civilizations’.” In Jeanne-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), the “consent of the governed” is embodied in what he calls the “general will” while the “achievement of civilizations” approximates what he calls the “common good.” Here the “idea of self-government is posited as an end, in itself, and a political order is proposed in which the affairs of the state are integrated into the affairs of the citizens.” Following the ideas of John Stuart Mill, the “role of participation in democracy, particularly concern about the nature of pluralism, became a focus of political philosophy.” It is proper to say then that sustainable development, with its commitment to equity and environmental protection, is primarily a political process. According to

Alan S. Cajes

Page 53


Readings in Sustainable Development

the WCED, equity “would be aided by political systems that secure effective citizen participation in decisionmaking and by greater democracy in international decision-making.” In addition, environmental protection is “primarily a matter of public policy, decided (at least in broad terms) in the political arena.” That is why one of the proposed legal principles for environmental protection and sustainable development included in the WCED report states that: “States shall conserve and use the environment and natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.”

Public Participation in Sustainable Development Sustainable development as a continuing and cumulative process is “based on millions of right decisions at all levels of management from the global to the local (Carley and Christie, 1992).” In the action-centered network approach to environmental management as proposed by Carley and Christie, the process of discussion and debate is essential; hence, it should gradually broaden and deepen “into practical action on issues of sustainable development.” Such a process should promote • Active participation in conditions of equality, based on teamwork. • Mutual, non-hierarchical learning-by-doing (action learning) intended to develop new perceptions, skills and confidence. • Horizontal integration between various sectors like agriculture, health, transport, housing, etc., and vertical integration between policy making groups, including big business and community levels. • Collective self-development and self-management. Since it is through the “collective political choices” that sustainability will realized, sustainable development requires democratization or “equality of power among

Alan S. Cajes

Page 54


Readings in Sustainable Development

environmental stakeholders” to facilitate people’s “taking control of their own environments; hence, ‘owning’ both problem and solution.” In other words, people should not only bear the cost of environmental problems in their communities. They should be afforded the authority to solve such problems. The conventional “top-down” approach to development should be complemented, if not replaced, by “place-based” and “bottom-up” approaches to make sustainable development hit the ground (Parnwell and Bryant, 1996). In the words of Max-Neef: “Development geared to the satisfaction of fundamental human needs cannot, by definition, be structured from the top downwards. It cannot be imposed whether by law or by decree. It can only emanate directly from the actions, expectations, and creative and critical awareness of the protagonist themselves. Instead of being the traditional objects of development, people must take a leading role in development (Reid, 1995).”

This can only happen, however, when people are conscientisized to the level that they become aware of their civic duty to the state in contrast to the belief that the state through all its instrumentalities has the sole responsibility of securing the well-being of its citizens. This approximates what Paul Ricoeur calls the promotion of the rationality of the state, that is to say to bring about a “planetary consciousness” or the awareness that humans belong to a “single human experience” and that they are each other’s keeper. Moral Foundation of Sustainable Development Ethics or moral philosophy as the science of the rightness or wrongness of human conduct rests on the nature of a person being an incarnate subjectivity or being a

Alan S. Cajes

Page 55


Readings in Sustainable Development

“structural Being, based upon interiority, spiritually determined and creative (Dy Jr., 1986).” As a self-realizing consciousness, the human person temporalizes and realizes himself in the world with which he is in constant interaction. Human actions therefore “always presuppose an interpretation of what is going on and of what may be expected as its consequence (see Johann in Dy Jr., 1986) .” In Aristotelian philosophy, all men ultimately aim for happiness, which is the supreme good, in all their actions. What defines a moral action, therefore, is the greatest good “for that action is moral precisely which helps us realize the supreme good or summum bonum (Castillo, 1988).” Sustainable development, as a “new holistic ethic in which economic growth and environmental protection go hand-in-hand around the world," requires a "shift in types of moral reasoning (Engel and Engel, 1990).” Thus, the issues of sustainability embrace “ethical norms pertaining to the survival of living matter, to the rights of future generations and to institutions responsible for ensuring that such rights are fully taken into account in policies and actions (Turner, 1988).” In addition, sustainable development is tied to the concept of “progress” which is prominent in the modern intellectual tradition. Now, the concept of “progress” is an “evaluative one, involving judgment as to what is good and bad, or better or worse (Gordon, 1991).”

Concepts of Need and Right Need could be understood in two ways: as a lack or deprivation, and as a potential. In the former view, need is something to be satisfied. In the latter view, need implies a capacity for creative realization (Reid, 1995). The demand for the satisfaction of a need is premised on the idea that it is inherent in the structure of the human personality. It has to be satisfied to enable the person to

Alan S. Cajes

Page 56


Readings in Sustainable Development

perform the task of human becoming. As such, a need cannot be divorced from right -- what is due to a person and the object of justice (Dy Jr., 1994). For instance, of the ten fundamental human needs identified above, the need for subsistence precedes the rest. The need to be alive, however, is not merely a deprivation or a potential to be fulfilled; it is also a moral claim to be respected. Put differently, a person does not only need to live; he has the right to live. Fundamental human needs, particularly subsistence, are inseparable from the person’s right to own material goods. Manuel Dy Jr. explains, “The human person is an embodied spirit. In becoming oneself, the human person has to interact with outer nature in order to survive and care for his corporeal existence. The person’s bodily existence depends on his having access to the goods of the earth, to calling materials his own. Property simply refers to man’s relationship to earthly goods in a very general way. “Because ownership is based on the very nature of man as embodied and contributes to his being a person, it is an inherent right. Everyone has the right to having a share of earthly goods sufficient for oneself and one’s family (Dy Jr., 1994).”

Sustainable development, which is the satisfaction of fundamental human needs over time, is conditioned by the people’s access to the material resources of the planet to sustain their being. Thus, social justice is indispensable to sustainable development.

Social Justice A theory of justice, says John Rawls, depends upon a theory of society. To understand the nature of justice one has to have a kind of an understanding of the nature of the collectivity in which one belongs and participates.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 57


Readings in Sustainable Development

Collective self-realization. As has been shown above, the person’s process of becoming takes place in the world. The non-human world satisfies the fundamental need of sustaining his/her being while the human world enhances the meaning of his/her being. Human existence, in this context, only becomes meaningful when a person lives with a being or someone somewhere. But living with, says Hornedo, is “to live with someone equally alive and in good health (Castillo, 1988).” Thus, living in and with the world means sustaining and enhancing not only the quality of the lives of people, but also the integrity and quality of the physical world. As Manuel Dy Jr. said, citing Gabriel Marcel, “I love you means you shall not die.” The task of human becoming, viewed as an individual and collective project, demands the institutionalization of structures in society, the ultimate meaning of which “is the service they render to persons (Ricoeur, 1965).” Although the structuralization of society often leads to inequalities, particularly in the distribution of goods and resources, such inequality should not be disadvantageous to anyone. Thus, if inequality is inevitable, it must be benign (Logan and Molotch, 1987). Nature of justice. It is not proper to identify justice with law, demands and equity. Laws are not always just while demands, no matter how reasonable, can “arise from a host of assorted interests and from needs that are more or less acute (Marcel, 1967).” In some instances, it is hard to know “whether a distinctly just demand and an apparent justice might not eventually lead to real injustice (Marcel, 1967).” As for equity, it is an ambiguous term and is susceptible to different interpretations. Justice is not synonymous to equity. Although equity may result in distributive justice, for instance through the equitable distribution of resources, “distributive justice is not all of justice (Dy Jr., 1994).” Justice “is rooted in the dignity of man, the inviolability or sacredness of his person (Dy Jr., 1994).” To paraphrase Marcel, the sacred element in the

Alan S. Cajes

Page 58


Readings in Sustainable Development

person’s nature is the spirit of justice. The moment life is degraded, the value of justice is eroded. Social justice -- the “overriding value of the social order”-- governs the interaction between and among human beings (Dy Jr., 1994). It is animated by the sacredness of the human person, guided by love and complemented by the value of truth. The value of love promotes the sacred character of persons. This means, in concrete terms, the establishment of, or effecting changes in, social institutions to enhance the well being of people. Finally, social justice implies a fidelity to truth because no social order can last if it is built on deception and lies. The relationship of justice and truth is a “‘creative testimony’ that amounts to the fundamental vocation of man (Dy Jr., 1994).” As a vocation, human historicality becomes the “very process in which we are personally called upon to give our testimony (Dy Jr., 1994).” Conclusion Sustainable development may then be defined as the continuing process of increasing both the current and future capabilities and options to meet fundamental human needs by fulfilling human rights and improving the quality of the environment. It is a continuing process for the obvious reason that the generations of people in the planet need to pursue the sustainability struggle in their respective times. It involves a multiplicity of "both current and future potentials and options to meet fundamental human needs" because the idea is not only to ensure that people can meet such human needs, but also to give them an opportunity to make choices as to how they can best satisfy such needs. Since no generation can possibly claim sufficient knowledge of the human story, no generation is in a position to make decisions as to the type of sustainable

Alan S. Cajes

Page 59


Readings in Sustainable Development

development that future generations should pursue. As to the approach, this paper suggests that the basic criterion to determine the sustainability of any undertaking is whether it promotes social justice and enhances human rights. It follows then that any form of human rights violation is an impediment to sustainable development. Finally, the need to improve the quantity or the quality of the natural stock capital cannot be understated for reasons cited earlier in this paper.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 60


Readings in Sustainable Development

Reference Materials Andelson, Robert V. Commons Without Tragedy: Protecting the Environment from Overpopulation--A New Approach. London: Shepherd Walwyn and Savage, and Maryland: Burnes and Noble, 1991. Angell, D.J.R., Comer, J.D., and Wilkinson, M.L.N., eds. Sustaining Earth: Response to the Environmental Threat. Hampshire and London: Macmillan Academic and Professional Ltd., 1990. Barde, Jean-Philippe, and Pearce, David W. Valuing the Environment: Six Case Studies. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1991. Baumol. William J. and Oates, Wallace E. The Theory of Environmental Policy. 2nd ed. Cambridge, New York, Port Chester, Melbourne and Sydney: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Biswas, Asit K., Khoshoo, T.N., and Koska, Ashok. Environmental Modeling for Developing Countries. London and New York: Tycolly Publishing, 1990. Boland, R.G.A. General Environmental Management. Geneva: International Labour Office, 1986. Boormann, F. Herbert and Keller, Stephen B., eds. Ecology, Economics, Ethics: The Broken Cycle. New haven and London: Yale University Press, 1991. Brown, Jennifer, ed. Environmental Threats: Perception, Analysis and Management. Great Britain: Belhaven Press, 1989. Brown, Lester R., Flavin, Christopher, and Poste, Sandra. Saving the Planet: How to Shape an Environmentally Sustainable Global Economy. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Carley, Michael and Christie, Ian. Managing Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Castillo, Norberto, ed. Nature, Science and Values Readings. Manila: Santo Tomas University Press, 1988. Chiras, Daniel D. Environmental Science: Action for a Sustainable Future (4th Edition). California: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Inc., 1994. Cooper, David. E., and Palmer, Joy A. The Environment in Question: Ethics and Global Issues. London and New York: Routledge, 1992. Crombie, A. C. Scientific Change Historical Studies in the Intellectual, Social, and Technical Conditions for Scientific Discovery and Technical Invention, from Antiquity to the Present. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 61


Readings in Sustainable Development Cronon, William. ed., Uncommon Ground. Rethinking the Human Place in Nature. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996. Dy, Manuel B. Jr. Contemporary Social Philosophy. Quezon City: JMC Press, Inc., 1994. _______________ ed. Philosophy of Man Selected Readings. Manila: Goodwill Trading Co., Inc., 1986. Ehrlich, Paul R., and Ehrlich, Anne H. Population, Resources, Environment: Issues in Human Ecology. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1970. Engel, J. Ronald and Engel, J. Gibb, eds. Ethics of Environment and Development: Global Challenge and International Response. London: Belhaven Press, 1990. Falkman, Edwin. Sustainable Production and Consumption: A Business Perspective. Word Business Council for Sustainable Development, n.d. Gordon, Scott. The History and Philosophy of Social Science. London and New York: Routledge, 1991. Hemming, Daniel H. and Mangun, William R. Managing the Environmental Crisis: Incorporating Competing Values in Natural Resource Administration. Durhane and London: Duke University Press, 1989. Hoffman, W. Michael, Frederick, Robert, and Petry, Edward S. Jr., eds. Business, Ethics, and the Environment: The Public Policy Debate. New York, Westport, Connecticut, and London: Qurorum Books, 1990. Hopson, Janet L. and Potlethwait, John H. The Nature of Life. United States of America: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1989. IUCN. The World Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for Sustainable Development. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 1980. Jacobs, Michael. The Green Economy: Environment, Sustainable Development, and the Politics of the Future. London: Pluto Press, 1991. Kakonen, Jyrki, ed. Perspectives on Environmental Conflict and International Relations. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Korton, Robert. Getting to the 21st Century: Voluntary Action and the Global Agenda. West Hatford, CT.: Kumarian Press, 1990. Kula, Erhun. Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment. London, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne and Texas: Chapman and Hall, 1992.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 62


Readings in Sustainable Development Kumar, Ranjit and Murck, Barbara. On Common Grounds: Managing Human-Planet relationships. Toronto: John Wiley and Sons, 1992. Logan, John R. and Molotch, Harvey L. Urban Fortunes. The Political Economy of Space. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1987. Macneill, Jim, Winsemius, Dieter and Yakushiji, Taizo. Beyond Independence: The Meaning of the World’s Economy and the Earth’s Ecology. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Matthews, Freya. The Ecological Self. London: Routledge, 1991. Meadows, Donella H., Meadows, Dennis L., and Randers, Jorgen. Beyond the Limits: Global Collapse or a Sustainable Future. London: Earthscan Publications Ltd., 1992. Odum, Eugene P. Ecology and Our Endangered Life-Support System. Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc. Publishers, 1989. Parnwell, Michael J.G. and Bryant, Raymond L. eds., Environmental Change in South-East Asia. People Politics and Sustainable Development. London and New York, Routledge, 1996. Porter, Gareth and Brown, Janet Welsh. Global Environmental Politics. Boulder, San Francisco and Oxford: Westview Press, 1991. Reid, David. Sustainable Development An Introductory Guide. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1995. Repetto, Robert. World Enough and Time. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1986. Slater, Frances. Societies, Choices, and Environments: Issues and Enquiries. London: Collins educational, 1991. Schmiheiny, Stephan with the Business Council for Sustainable Development. Changing Course. London: The MIT Press, 1992. Shraeder-Frechette, K. S. Science Policy, Ethics and Economic Methodology: Some Problems of Technology Assessment and Environment-Impact Analysis. (Dordrecht, Boston and Lancaster: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1985. Swedish Environmental Advisory Council (SEAC). On the General Principles of Environmental Protection: Swedish Government Official Reports 1994:69. Stockholm, 1994. Turner, Kerry R., ed. Sustainable Environmental Management Principles and Practice. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1988.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 63


Readings in Sustainable Development World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED). Our Common Future. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. World Resources Institute. The 1993 Information Please Environmental Almanac. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1993.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 64


Readings in Sustainable Development

PHILIPPINE AGENDA 21 Introduction On 22 December 1989, the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) adopted a resolution calling for a UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The call was sounded based on the widely accepted need to take a "balanced and integrated approach to environment and development questions." The historic Earth Summit, as the UNCED came to be known, resulted in the adoption of the Global Program of Action for Sustainable Development (Agenda 21), which contains certain principles of sustainable development. Agenda 21 "reflects a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation (Agenda 21)." The Philippine Government is a signatory to Agenda 21. In 1995, then President Fidel V. Ramos issued Memorandum Order No. 288 entitled "Directing the Formulation of the Philippine's Agenda 21 and Activating its Formulation Process." The said Memorandum Order declared as "the avowed policy of the State, in pursuit of its key objectives of global competitiveness and poverty alleviation, to bring about sustainable development, for the benefit of present and future generations of Filipinos." The following year, Ramos signed Memorandum Order No. 399, which directed the operationalization of the Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21) and monitoring its implementation. In this Memorandum Order, the government adopted PA 21 as the national action agenda for sustainable development. Meaning of Sustainable Development in PA 21

Alan S. Cajes

Page 65


Readings in Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is derived from "an image of society and a shared vision of the development path of that society." It takes off from an understanding of the "state" of Philippine society and proceeds towards an agreed upon development objective. Three key actors define the goal of development, namely, government, business and civil society. To promote sustainable development, "there must be an interplay of market forces, state intervention, and civil society participation." The recognition of the three key actors points to three essential dimensions of Philippine society -- economy, polity and culture. These dimensions are the "realms where the key actors are active and from which the actors derive the substance for their dialogue interaction with each other." The figure below illustrates the relationship HUMAN BEING

S O C I E T Y

CULTURE

POLITY

ECONOMY

NATURE

S U S T A I N A B L E D E V E L O P M E N T

Source: Philippine Agenda 21

between the key actors, dimensions and vision of Philippine society.1 1

Following the tradition of Prof. Dr. Arnold Joseph Toynbee, this writer is in the opinion that culture is the core of civilization, thus, the social, economic, and political structures and systems are mere manifestations of culture. Under this framework, nature serves as the foremost background, followed by culture, which is humanity's "cultivation of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 66


Readings in Sustainable Development

Within the context of this illustration, a "harmonious integration of a sound and viable economy, responsible governance, social cohesion/harmony, and ecological integrity" is essential to promote sustainable development. Thus, the "ultimate aim of development is human development now and through future generations 1." Short of this, development becomes economically 'jobless' and 'ruthless,' culturally 'rootless,' politically 'voiceless,' and ecologically 'futureless.' Principles of Sustainable Development PA 21 adheres to the following principles of sustainable development: 1. Primacy of developing the full potential of the human being. People are at the core of development initiatives. 2. Holistic science and appropriate technology. The search for solutions to the complex milieu of development problems has to be undertaken with the perspective that situates specific problems in the larger social and ecological context. This approach facilitates the development and use of appropriate technology. 3. Cultural, moral and spiritual sensitivity. Nurturing the inherent strengths of local and indigenous knowledge, practices and beliefs while respecting nature," and then by the social, political and economic dimensions. Hence, the social, economic, and political systems are subsumed under a larger cultural system, which, in turn, is a sub-set of the ecological system. As Thomas Berry puts it: "Here there is need to state quite clearly that the universe is the only self-referent mode of being in the phenomenal world. The universe is the only text without a context. Every other being is universe- referent. Every other being is a text within the universe context. The universe, it might be said, is integral with itself throughout its vast extent in space and its long sequence of transformations in time. In a proportionate manner the Earth is the basic referent for every being on the Earth. Every mode of being on the Earth must be understood within the Earth context (underscoring supplied)." See Thomas Berry, The Universe: Its Response to the Ecological Crisis. A paper delivered before the Divinity School and the University Committee on Environment at Harvard University, April 11, 1996.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 67


Readings in Sustainable Development

the cultural diversity, moral norms and spiritual essence of Filipino society. 4. Self-determination. Respecting the right and relying on the inherent capacity of the country and its people to decide on the course of their own development. 5. National sovereignty. Self-determination at the national level where the norm of society and the specifics of the local ecology inform national governance. Includes human and environmental security as well as achieving and ensuring security and self-reliance in basic staple foods. Recognizing the crucial role of farmers and fisherfolk in providing the nutritional needs of the nation. 6. Gender sensitivity. Recognizing the important and complementary roles and the empowerment of both men and women in development. 7. Peace, order and national unity. Securing the right of all to a peaceful and secure existence. 8. Social justice, inter-, intra-generational and spatial equity. Ensuring social cohesion and harmony through equitable distribution of resources and providing the various sectors of society with equal access to development opportunities and benefits today and in the future. 9. Participatory democracy. Ensuring the participation and empowerment of all sectors of society in development decision-making and processes and to operationalize intersectoral and multisectoral consensus. 10.Institutional viability. Recognizing that sustainable development is a shared, collective and indivisible responsibility which calls for institutional structures that are built around the spirit of solidarity, convergence and partnership between and among different stakeholders.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 68


Readings in Sustainable Development

11. Viable, sound and broad-based economic development. Development founded on s table economy where the benefits of economic progress are equitably shared across ages, communities, gender, social classes, ethnicities, geographical units and across generations. 12.Sustainable population. Achieving a sustainable population level, structure and distribution while taking cognizance of the limited carrying capacity of nature and the interweaving forces of population, culture, resources, environment and development. 13.Ecological soundness. Recognizing nature as our common heritage and thus respecting the limited carrying capacity and integrity of nature in the development process to ensure the right of present and future generations to this heritage. 14.Biogeographical equity and community-based resource management. Recognizing that since communities residing within or most proximate to an ecosystem of a bio-geographic region will be the ones to most directly and immediately feel the positive and negative impacts on that ecosystem, they should be given prior claim to the development decisions affecting that ecosystem, including management of the resources. To ensure biogeographic equity, other affected communities should be involved in such decisions. 15.Global cooperation. Building upon and contributing to the diverse capacities of individual nations. In summary, the human person has cultural, moral and spiritual dimensions that need to be enhanced by fulfilling his/her right to determine his/her course of development. The inherent value of the human person cuts across gender, age and time. Thus, every human person, both in the present and future generations, share the same value, which must be enhanced and fulfilled. As a person is

Alan S. Cajes

Page 69


Readings in Sustainable Development

sovereign in his/her "pursuit of happiness," every State, to which a person belongs, is sovereign in charting the course of its own development destiny. And the exercise of such national "self-determination" is only possible if done in an atmosphere of justice, peace and unity, not only within a State but also in its cooperative dealings with other Sovereign States. At the national level, every State needs to analyze development-related problems using the best available science and knowledge to ensure that economic growth and human population do not threaten both the country's and the planet's ecological security. But this is only possible if the State institutions and systems have the capacity to manage the process of development, especially at the local level, where there is a need to harness the people's potentials promote their own type of development. Parameters and Strategies PA 21 "contains 67 cross-sectoral strategies to attain an ecologically- and socially-rational economic growth path for the country."2 The table below shows the inventory of the cross-sectoral strategies. Sector Economic Political Cultural Science & Technology Ecological Social Institutional Total

No. of Strategies 13 14 5 4 7 14 10 67

2

See Ben S. Malayang III, Sustainable Development: Philosophy, Principles and Philippine Agenda 21. A paper presented to the International Environmental Management Training held on 22 March to 2 April 1999 in the Philippines.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 70


Readings in Sustainable Development Source: PA 21 and Malayang, 1999.

Malayang, 1999 summarizes the 67 strategies in the table below. Summary of the 67 SD strategies in PA21 The Philippines shall... Be sensitive to 1. To peoples’ needs and aspirations 2. Local cultures and traditions And use 3. The best science 4. The most appropriate technologies and 5. The best local knowledge To improve its 6. Products and productivity 7. Infrastructure 8. Markets and marketing systems 9. Governance 10. Institutions To achieve 11. Higher incomes for all 12. Quality ecological and social systems that will support more incomes to be had in the future

Alan S. Cajes

Page 71


Readings in Sustainable Development

BIOLOGICAL CAPACITY In partnership with my colleagues at the Center for Sustainable Human Development of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), we invited Sixto K. Roxas to speak before the DAP officers and staff on the current challenges in relation to the pursuit of sustainable development in the Philippines. The occasion was the Earth Day celebration in 2009. A reading of the biographical entry of Roxas provides a good way of knowing the man and his milieu: Educated as a development economist, Dr. Roxas has been at different points in his life a labor leader, a journalist, a lecturer in Economics in New York at Fordham University, and in the Philippines at the Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines; an economist at the Central Bank of the Philippines and the Philippine National Bank, chief financial officer of a petroleum company, chief economic planner of the government and a member of the cabinet, the first Filipino president of the Asian Institute of Management, CEO of the Bancom Group in the Philippines and in Asia, Vice-Chairman of the American Express Bank in New York, Chairman of Amex Bank, a merchant bank in London; co-founder/ chairperson/ vice chairperson of some of the largest not-for-profit foundations in the Philippines, namely, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, Green Forum, Foundation for the Philippine Environment and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, respectively. He is considered a pioneer in investment banking in the Philippines and Asia and is credited with the early development of the commercial paper market in the Philippines and the design and launching of the Philippine government's Treasury Bill market in the late 1960's and 1970's, and was an awardee of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for economics in the

Alan S. Cajes

Page 72


Readings in Sustainable Development late 50's. He retired from investment banking in 1982 and has since been engaged in developing a system of local community-centered ecosystems-based management and accounting that affords stakeholders the primary role in their own development process. Since passage of the Local Government Act of 1991, he has pioneered the development of the market municipal bonds. During the term of former President Joseph Estrada, he was Undersecretary for International and Economic Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs.” “At present, he is Chairperson of the Maximo T. Kalaw Institute for Sustainable Development and the Foundation for Community Organization and Management Technology, and an on-call faculty member of the Southeast Asian Interdisciplinary Institute and the Asian Social Institute (http://www.sixtok-roxas.org/sixto_k_roxas_biography.htm).”

I opened the forum with an overview of some of the important events that led to the formulation of the concept sustainable development, such as the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, the rise of the environmental movement in the campuses of the United States, and the adoption of the Agenda 21, among others. Fourteen years after the Philippine Government adopted the Philippine Agenda 21, which is the country’s blue-print for national development, the challenge to mainstream sustainable development in the country remains difficult. This problem is compounded by the clear and present danger posed by climate change. Roxas opened his presentation with a theological grounding by quoting the Holy Scriptures: "Jesus spoke to the multitude. 'When you see a cloud appearing in the west, immediately you say, A shower is coming. And it's just like you say. In addition, when you see the south winds blow, you say It'll be warm. And it will be. O hypocrites, even though you know

Alan S. Cajes

Page 73


Readings in Sustainable Development how to recognize patterns in the sky and the earth as you do, why don't you know how to recognize the current hour?,'" (Luke 12:54-56).

Roxas said that the Philippine government, apparently behaving like a hypocrite, assured the public that the threats of the global financial crisis in 2009 will not have serious negative impacts to the country and its people. Roxas then asked: “How can one say that s/he fell from the bed if s/he has been sleeping on the floor for a very long time?” This is, indeed, a very sad description of the economic condition of the country. A paper prepared by Karin Schelzig, Social Development Specialist, Southeast Asia Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in January 2005 stated that the GNP per capita of the country stayed at USD1,000 for the past 20 years. In 2008, the country’s GNP per capita stood at USD2,069 according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. To understand further what Roxas is describing, a review of some economic data of the country is in order. Proportion of population below USD2 (PPP) a Day (percent) • 1994: 52.7 • 2006: 45.2 Human Development Index (rank) • 2005: 90 (Thailand is 78) Gross Domestic Product at PPP Current international dollars, Million • 2000: 178191 • 2006: 271985 • Average: 218041.7

Alan S. Cajes

Page 74


Readings in Sustainable Development

GDP per capita at PPP (current international dollars) • 2000: 2316 (Thailand: 4952) • 2006: 3127 (Thailand: 7403) GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US dollars) • 1990: 740 • 1995: 1040 • 2000: 1050 • 2005: 1270 • 2006: 1390 • Average: 1104.615 Note: Thailand’s performance is 1550 in 1990 to 3050 in 2006 or an average of 2375.385! The dismal economic performance of the country can be better appreciated when compared to the country’s biological capacity or biocapacity, which is measured in global hectares, and defined as the area required to produce a global standard volume of mixed biomass, such as food, fiber, wood, carbon dioxide absorption, etc., as well as the ecological footprint that measures the demand and usage of that capacity. Roxas explained that on October 6, 2007, Planet Earth incurred an Ecological Debt because on that day the people of the planet consumed all of the sustainable production of nature for the entire year. According to the Global Footprint Network (GFN), September 23, 2008 is Earth Overshoot Day or the day the most intelligent of all the creatures of the planet used up all the resources that nature regenerated in 2008. As a result, human beings are living beyond the ecological means; hence, now moving into the “ecological equivalent of deficit spending, utilizing resources at a rate faster than what the planet can

Alan S. Cajes

Page 75


Readings in Sustainable Development

regenerate in a calendar year. According to GFN, “we now require the equivalent of 1.4 planets to support our lifestyles (www.footprintnework.org).” Roxas pointed out that the country’s unsustainable path since 1961 could be understood by way of the concepts of ecological footprint and biocapacity. According to GFN, the ecological footprint of the Philippines in 1961 was a little less than 1.2 Global hectares per person while the biocapacity was a little over 1.2 Global hectares per person. But in 2005, the total ecological footprint of the Philippines was 72.2 million of Global hectares while the biocapacity was only 45.2 million of global hectares. Thus, the biocapacity deficit was 27 million of Global hectares. The year 1965 marked the event that the country’s ecological footprint was equal to the country’s biocapacity. Although the ecological footprint varied significantly from 1965 to 2005, the biocapacity was sustainably reduced on the average. The result is a disaster: the Philippines is now using sixty percent biocapacity of another Philippines. This insight led me to recall the case of my grandparents who have about five (5) hectares of agricultural land. They have nine (9) children. Assuming that the average family size of their children is five (5), it is unimaginable how the farm could support the ecological footprint of our clan. There are many reasons for this. Let me venture some. The first reason is natural resources degradation. When I very young to go to grade school in mid 70s, an overnight rain would make the two streams near my grandparent’s house rumble with the sound of flowing water for two weeks. Today, an overnight rain would make the streams rumble with flowing water for only two days or less. Deforestation has severely reduced the capacity of soil to hold water. The ill effects of this are now well known: siltation or sedimentation, loss of soil

Alan S. Cajes

Page 76


Readings in Sustainable Development

fertility, low farm productivity, low fish catch and poverty. The second reason is related to what Onofre Corpuz attributed as causes for the rice production shortage: feudal system, cash crops being favored over rice for exports and primitive technology. The third reason is explained by my grandfather. When they were young, he says, the rain would come on a regular a predictable pattern. Now, the season is unpredictable. Nature is confused, he says. And so are we. In other words, the biocapacity of my grandparents’ farm land has been reduced by climate change and primitive technology. If Roxas and Corpuz are right, the government can be blamed for reducing the forest cover of the country and decimating its resources, as well as for its utter failure to invest in improved technologies for agricultural production. By effectively and systematically destroying our life support systems or ecological systems, I now seriously doubt that we are liable for generational homicide. We should be charged in the Court of Reason with generational murder. Let me now end this reflection with a quote from the Holy Scriptures: ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit...‘I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. (Leviticus 26:3-6).

Alan S. Cajes

Page 77


Readings in Sustainable Development

THE VALUE OF EIA

In my experience as manager of various environment training programs, I have met and interacted with a considerable number of people – project proponents, project managers and technical staff of government agencies, corporations and non-governmental organizations – who hold strong opinions against the practice of environmental impact assessment (EIA) in the country. Some of reasons, which surfaced in the course of my discussions with them, on why the practice of EIA still needs a lot of improvement include the following: 1. Lack of appreciation about the nature and purpose of EIA. EIA is treated merely as a legal requirement that proponents must satisfy before pursuing a project or undertaking that falls under the environmental impact statement (EIS) system. It is not treated as an element of the project planning process; hence, it has no added value to project proponents. 2. Lack of capability on the part of government to implement the EIS system uniformly and well. As a result, there are environmentally critical projects that are operating either without an environment compliance certificate (ECC) or violating the ECC conditionalities. 3. Lack of capability to do EIA. In the case of the Philippines, the problem is not merely a technical one, that is to say relating to the appropriateness of methods and tools, credibility in the analysis of systemic impacts, and linking of stakeholders to the technical assessment process. It is also a problem of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 78


Readings in Sustainable Development

lack of appreciation and expertise in the areas of environmental conflict management and management of the public participation process. These problems, for sure, cannot be addressed overnight. There have been various initiatives to address these problems, but we are still in the journey of improving our performance in implementing the EIS system. We still need to be systematic in our decisionmaking processes, for instance, in order to sustain and institutionalize certain initiatives aimed to strengthen the EIS system. Another possible area for improvement is enhancement of the government’s credibility to implement the EIS system. This is important because in the Filipino psyche, there is a direct correlation between the credibility of a system and the credibility of the institution that implements such system. This paper is a contribution to current initiatives to improve the EIS system. Its central objective is to answer the question: What is EIA and why is it important? Much of the ideas contained in this paper are taken from personal experience in implementing environmental projects and training courses of the Development Academy of the Philippines, discussions with EIA experts, and from recent literature on EIA. Meaning of EIA Environmental impact assessment or EIA may be defined as a process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and preventing or mitigating the negative biological, physical, social and health impacts of a proposed project before deciding to pursue project implementation. As a process, it begins with the conception and ends with the termination of a project. As an activity, EIA involves multidisciplinary experts and stakeholders. In relation to environmental management, EIA is used, basically, as a planning tool ,

Alan S. Cajes

Page 79


Readings in Sustainable Development

but can also become a monitoring tool through the EIS and a regulatory tool through the ECC conditions. A good EIA promotes good planning. Good planning implies good management. And good management is good business. The reasons why a good EIA promotes sound business practice include the following: 1) The assessment of the project and its alternatives through EIA leads to a more effective and efficient project. An effective project is one that attains the maximum benefits, while an efficient project is that which operates with the least cost. 2) The process saves time and money in the long run. By integrating environmental factors in decision-making at the planning stage, the proponent avoids expensive and sometimes controversial remedial action later on. 3) The process facilitates investment. Conducting an EIA and securing an ECC first before implementing the project are now required by financial and other institutions that loan money or make investment decisions for major development projects. The EIA can also help long-term investments by determining how resources can best be managed over the long term. 4) EIA keeps business, government and the community in touch. Inputs generated through public participation can improve community relations and ensure that funds are well invested. As a good management practice, EIA can support future prosperity. Through decisions based on recommendations from the process, there can be more prudent use of resources and a reduction of environmental threats to human health and ecosystems. 5) EIA leads to responsible decisions. Responsible decisions in turn are good for investment, good for the health of the proponent’s organization, its employees and the community where it operates.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 80


Readings in Sustainable Development

Goals of EIA EIA aims to facilitate sound and integrated decisionmaking by incorporating environmental considerations in the over-all project balance sheet. Before implementing a project or undertaking, the decision-makers must explore the widest possible environmental impacts of the proposed project and determine, through extended costbenefit analysis, whether the project is viable or not. This is done through an analysis of the value of the positive and negative impacts, as well as the corresponding prevention, mitigation and enhancement measures. A substantive objective of EIA is to achieve or support the goals of environmental protection and sustainable development. EIA, therefore, should be undertaken within the framework of generally accepted principles of environmental protection as presented below

Ecocycle Society Principle This principle seeks to prevent, as much as possible and practicable, the production of stock wastes that cannot be assimilated by the environment or those which goes beyond the limits of sustainability. It applies the principle of “cyclic materials management” in order to reduce and close the flows of materials to the extent that: (1) The materials that society produce can be incorporated in the natural cycle without impairing the natural capacities and services. (2)There is a reduction in the use and extraction of nonrenewable resources. (3)The natural capital meets fundamental human needs “without extraction exceeding growth in inflow.”

Critical Load

Alan S. Cajes

Page 81


Readings in Sustainable Development

Critical load refers to the “highest load at which no harm is caused to the environment, even after long-term exposure.” This implies that any economic activity should ensure that its negative impacts to the environment remain at a level that is not significant. Thus, the carrying capacity of the environment is taken into due consideration in economic planning and project implementation.

Precautionary Principle This principle is the philosophical expression of the selfpreservation instinct. In practice, it means using the best available science and technology to change the way products of services are produced, sold, delivered and used. The objective is to prevent serious or irreversible environmental damage. In essence, the principle means that prevention is always better than cure, thus, the exploitation of natural capital that causes significant damage to the ecological balance must be avoided. It can also be described as a principle that aims to achieve maximal reductions in pollution using the ‘best available technology.’

Substitution Principle This principle states that substances and products that present a danger or threat to health and the environment are to be substituted by less or non-dangerous ones.

Best Available Technology (BAT) Principle The BAT principle refers to the use of state of the art technologies that prevent or minimize the emission of pollution to the environment. The term “technology” includes the technology used, how it is designed, and its industrial feasibility, while the term “available” refers to

Alan S. Cajes

Page 82


Readings in Sustainable Development

existing technologies or procedures that can be applied at a reasonable cost.

Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) The polluter pays principle, as the term implies, means that the polluter pays for the cost of pollution. The principle: (1) Covers the cost of environmental protection. (2)Covers pollution and control measures to promote the efficient use of limited material resources. (3)Covers the cost of pollution control and cleanup, and compensation to victims or to those who suffer damage from pollution.

Extended Product Responsibility (EPR) Principle The extended product responsibility uses the life-cycle approach to identify strategic opportunities for pollution prevention and resource conservation. Based on this principle, the manufacturers, suppliers, users and disposers of products have the collective responsibility for the “environmental effects of products and wastes streams.� As an environmental management tool, EIA aims to lend support to efforts that promote the sustainable use and management of the natural resources. Specifically, EIA can help ensure that: (1) The consumption of renewable resources is within their capacity to regenerate. (2)The consumption of renewable resources does not damage the quality and integrity of the ecosystem. (3)The consumption of nonrenewable resources is within minimum strategic levels. (4)The assimilative and regenerative capacities of the environment are not degraded.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 83


Readings in Sustainable Development

Guiding and Operating Principles of EIA The practice of EIA in the Philippines and throughout the world has distilled some values, guiding and operating principles for the successful conduct of EIA. A study made by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) identifies the core values, guiding and operating principles of EIA, which can serve as a guide to reviewers of EIS. These are presented below.

Core Values (1) Sustainability - the EIA process will result in international safeguards. (2)Integrity - the EIA process will conform to agreed standards. (3)Utility - the EIA process will provide balanced and credible information for decision-making.

Guiding Principles (1) Participation - appropriate and timely access to the process for all interested parties. (2)Transparency - all assessment decisions, and their bases, should be open and accessible. (3)Certainty - the process and timing of assessment should be agreed in advance and observed by all participants. (4)Accountability - decision-makers are responsible to all parties for their actions and decisions under the assessment process. (5)Credibility - assessments are undertaken with professionalism and objectivity. (6)Cost-effectiveness - the assessment process and its outcomes will ensure environmental protection at the least cost to society.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 84


Readings in Sustainable Development

(7)Flexibility - the assessment process should be able to adapt to deal efficiently and effectively with any proposal or decision-making situation. (8)Practicality - the information and outputs provided by the assessment process are readily usable in decision-making.

Operating Principles EIA should be applied: (1) To all development project activities likely to cause potentially significant adverse impacts or add to actual or potentially foreseeable cumulative effects. (2)As a primary instrument for environmental management to ensure that impacts of development are minimized, avoided or rehabilitated. (3)So that the scope of review is consistent with the nature of the project or activity and commensurate with the likely issues and impacts. (4)On the basis of well-defined roles, rules and responsibilities for key actors. Maximizing the use of EIA? To make the most of the EIA, it should be undertaken: (1) Throughout the project cycle, beginning as early as possible in the concept design phase. (2)With clear reference to the requirements for project authorization and follow-up, including impact management. (3)Consistent with the application of “best practicable� science and mitigation technology. (4)In accordance with established procedures and project-specific terms of reference, including agreed timelines. (5)To provide meaningful public consultation with communities, groups and parties directly affected by,

Alan S. Cajes

Page 85


Readings in Sustainable Development

or with an interest in, the project and/or its environmental impacts. EIA should address, whenever necessary or appropriate, the following: (1) All related and relevant factors, including social and health risks and impacts. (2)Cumulative and long-term, large-scale effects. (3)Design, location and technological alternatives to the proposal being assessed. (4)Sustainability considerations including resource productivity, assimilative capacity and biological diversity. When properly done, EIA should result in the following benefits: (1) Accurate and appropriate information as to the nature, likely magnitude and significance of potential effects, risks and consequences of a proposed undertaking and alternatives to it. (2)The preparation of an EIS that presents information in a clear, understandable and relevant form for decision-making, including reference to qualifications and confidence limits in the predictions made. (3)Ongoing problem solving and conflict resolution to the extent possible during the application of the process. In view of the importance of EIA as a planning, monitoring and regulatory tool, as well as its use in determining the ecological and social acceptability of a project, EIA should provide the basis for the following: (1) Environmentally sound decision-making in which terms and conditions are clearly specified and enforced.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 86


Readings in Sustainable Development

(2)The design, planning and construction of acceptable development projects that meet environmental standards and resource management objectives. (3)An appropriate follow-up process with requirements for monitoring, management, audit and evaluation that are based on the significance of potential effects, the uncertainty associated with prediction and mitigation, and the opportunity for making future improvements in project design or process application. Conclusion In closing, it should be borne in mind that the EIS system consists of three major components: Conduct of EIA, implementation of the environmental management plan (EMP), and compliance monitoring. These three activities have equal importance. Thus, there is a failure of the EIS system when there is a failure in any of the three activities. For what good is the EIS if it is not translated into actual practice through the EMP? And how would project managers know if they are implementing the EMP properly when there is no monitoring or measurement of compliance and performance?

Alan S. Cajes

Page 87


Readings in Sustainable Development

ACADEME AND THE ENVIRONMENT World and World-view Reality exists either in two places, Florentino Hornedo used to say, inside or outside our skin. The reality that exists inside our skin includes our beliefs, feelings, aspirations, ideas, pains, fears, hopes, joys, among others. These fragments of an 'inner' reality constitute our personality, that is to say who we are and what we will be. The outer reality consists of other people, other forms of life, nature, social structures and systems, including economic activities and political institutions. These particles of the world 'out there' shape and form our spatio-temporal condition. Although we can make a distinction between a world 'in here' and a world 'out there', we find that these two worlds are not juxtaposed aliens to one another, but are rather interpenetrating each other. The inner world shapes and forms the outer world, and the outer world mirrors the inner world. Whatever we keep in the inner world, to paraphrase Chief Seattle, ultimately finds its expression in the outer world. This relationship ever rises to a higher level of complexity and turbulence, such as when there are many competing 'inner worlds' that seek realization in the outer world. Look at a watershed. Some people see it as an ideal site for a housing project. Others perceive it in terms of the money they could get by selling timber. There are also people who look at it as a place for eking a living. Still others, who recognize the inherent value of the watershed, fight for its protection and development.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 88


Readings in Sustainable Development

The idea is that the inner worlds that we carry inside our heads seek to be manifested in the world out there. And it is the dominant worldview - usually shared by those who hold political and economic power and authority - which usually fashion the outer world where we all live at the expense of the minority worldviews. A minority worldview becomes dominant when it is sustained by State power. And by State power I mean the authority vested by people in their elected officials in government. The people's representatives are supposed to carry the worldview of the represented. But that is more fiction than fact in the country's political system. It is very rare that the people elect their true representatives in government. The general condition is that we elect those who do not necessarily share our world view -- people who have a worldview of their own. When these people hold the mantle of power and authority, which constitutionally emanate from the sovereign or the citizens, it is likely that they would institutionalize their own worldview at the people's expense. Thus, a worldview held by a powerful few could become a dominant worldview with the "consent of the governed." Nature or what we normally call the environment forms our thoughts, and therefore our ideas. This is clearly manifested in the Visayan term kalibutan. This term has two meanings: consciousness and world. Thus, the statement Walay kalibutan kung walay kalibutan means "There is no consciousness if there is no world". Or simply, "no world, no consciousness." The world or reality, transformed into images or ideas, is the content of our thought. This basic human experience enabled St. Thomas Aquinas to formulate his theory of knowledge: "Nothing is in the intellect which does not pass through the senses." The same experience led John Locke to believe that the mind is a tabula rasa, a blank sheet into which is written the various human experiences. In other words, we are conscious because of the world.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 89


Readings in Sustainable Development

The environment to a large extent makes us who and what we are. When the early people saw a world, an environment or nature that is both mysterious and powerful, their natural recourse was not to conquer the forces of nature but to live in harmony with its ways. The early Greeks, for instance, revered nature. Kosmos is the Greek word for the order of things. The term later evolved into the meaning “world” or “universe,” which is associated with the notion of a “perfect order.”1 Deisidaimonia, on the other hand, is the Greek word for “young humanity’s inborn habit of seeing the hand of God in every aspect of nature and reading spiritual or mystical significance into every fact of life.” 2 It literally means the fear of demons, fear being identifiable with the English word “dread” that connotes reverence and awe. This aboriginal worldview did not aim at mastering nature, but at harmonizing human activities with the rhythm and harmony of nature. A letter from Chief Seattle, chief of the Squarmish Indians, to the American Government in 1854 in response to the offer by “The Great White Chief” in Washington to buy Indian lands expresses this worldview. How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them? Every part of the Earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clear and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people. The sap which courses through the trees carries the memory and experience of my people. 1

Ludwid Edelstein, “Motives and Incentives for Science in Antiquity” in Scientific Change. Historical Studies of the Intellectual, Social and Technical Conditions for Scientific Discovery and Technical Invention from Antiquity to the Present (New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963), 15-41. 2 Ibid.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 90


Readings in Sustainable Development … The white man's dead forgets the country of their birth when they go to walk among the stars. Our dead never forget this beautiful Earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the Earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters, the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and the man, all belong to the same family. … The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. … The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. … Teach your children what we have taught our children, that the Earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know - the Earth does not belong to man man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth - befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.3

The early Filipinos, like the American Indians, harmonized their ways with the natural forces. Florentino Hornedo says: “The traditional Filipino lived with nature. The forests and rivers were his ‘brothers.’ Their preservation and conservation was his life. Their destruction, his destruction. When he told his children that divine beings prohibited the 3

Web Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia in the Southern Spring of 1995.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 91


Readings in Sustainable Development desecration of the forest, he was speaking with the authority of life and in the name of life‌4

Thomas Berry, in his address to the Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values at Harvard University on April 9, 1996, explained why the indigenous peoples are capable of such an "environmental language" in contrast to contemporary peoples. He said: "Indigenous peoples are capable of such statements because they live in a functioning universe, in a cosmos. We no longer live in a universe, we live in cities or nations or civilizations or cultural traditions. We do not live in a significant manner with the wind or the rain or the stars in the sky. We recognize the dawn and sunset and the seasons of the years, yet these are only incidental to the major concerns of life. Our laws are the laws of human or of divine origin, they are not laws primarily of cosmological origin."

Hornedo explains this aboriginal outlook in terms of the generalist and synthetic mind of the earlier peoples, which is in stark contrast to the specialist and reductionist attitude of the scientific mind. The aboriginal mind considered nature as mysterious; hence, he was at the mercy of the forces of nature. With this condition, his natural recourse was to live with nature rather than subjugate it. In contrast, the scientific mind claims to have uncovered the cause and effect of the world, i.e., the secrets of natural phenomena. As a result, nature is no longer a mystery to him. Thus, nature is now at his mercy. But the aboriginal mind, Hornedo observes: ‌ transcended the mere level of cause and effect to the human quest for meaning, which involves a fascination with purpose and final causes. His science 4

Florentino H. Hornedo, Pagmamahal and Pagmumura Essays (Quezon City: ADMUOffice of Research and Pub., c. 1997), 37.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 92


Readings in Sustainable Development therefore was concerned not with the control of nature, but with the making sense of phenomena and protecting his consciousness from the threat of absurdity. Thus, the aboriginal or traditional consciousness is not concerned with the conquest of natural forces, but with harmonizing his ways with it. Nature, he tells himself, is sovereign, and it is from the bounty of this sovereign reality that he feeds himself and his children. The noblest relation he can have with nature is expressed in terms of the familial—‘brother’ or ‘mother’, and such other effective symbols of a fruitful relationship.5

In his study of ancient science, Ludwig Edelstein observes that the ancients did attempt “to give a consistently rational picture of nature, to classify phenomena systemically and to explain them, to establish a limited number of principles and to deduce their consequences.”6 He said that the science which developed during the pre-Socratic period “undoubtedly aimed at understanding, at contemplation of the truth, of the essence of things.”7 In fact, “explanation, classification and systematization are not foreign to Homeric or Hesiodic mythology. The epic knows well that what is truly seducing in the song of the Sirens is ‘their professions of knowledge.”8 However, ancient science “was not a mere knowledge nor was it a mere technique; it preserved an awareness of the meaning of the universe and retained a place for values within the world of facts.”9 Reverence to nature is not alien in the Christian tradition. It is said that the “utterance of God is the world, thus the world is His message.” In the Book of Genesis, God created the world through words. He commanded, “Let there be light” and then came light. In the Gospel of St. John, it is written: “In the beginning was the Word, 5

Ibid., 4. Ludwid Edelstein, “Motives and Incentives for Science in Antiquity,” 15. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid., 16. 9 Ibid., 22. 6

Alan S. Cajes

Page 93


Readings in Sustainable Development

and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Thus, God or the Word created the world through words. This makes the world a kind of message from the Word. It is a gospel in the sense that it enlightens our finite minds about something higher than ourselves, about somebody higher than our being. Because the world is a message, it has to be shared with all our fellow human beings. The world is God’s gift to His people. Again in the Book of Genesis, God told His people to go to the world and multiply and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves upon the earth. This biblical passage, however, has to be understood as a commandment of stewardship rather than as an authority to subdue the earth. For nowhere in the Holy Book did God say “go to the world and overpopulate it” or “go to the world and pollute it” or “go to the world and extinguish the animals of the land, the birds of the air and fish of the sea.” Because the world is a gift, humans have the duty to take good care of it. Humans cannot destroy Planet Earth without insulting Him who bestowed it. Being a gift, the world has a value. Such value is ultimately grounded in God’s meaningful act of giving it as gift to human beings. This same world-view has a way of explaining biological diversity. Saint Thomas Aquinas explains in his Summa Theologica that the "whole universe together participates in and manifests the divine more than any single being whatsoever."10 This is so "because the divine could not express itself in any single being," thus, "the divine created the great multiplicity of beings so that the perfection lacking to one would be supplied by the others". 11 In his other book Summa Contra Gentiles, St. Thomas Aquinas refers to "the order of the universe" as "the ultimate and 10

See Summa Theological I, Q47, Art 1. Thomas Berry, The University: Its Response to the Ecological Crisis. A paper delivered before the Divinity School and the University Committee on Environment at Harvard University, April 11, 1996. 11

Alan S. Cajes

Page 94


Readings in Sustainable Development

noblest perfection in things."12 Hence, human beings do not exist independently of nature but are merely strands in the web of life. But the human perception of the world changed with the rise and consequent dominance of the empirical and reductionist science. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) initiated the tradition of experimental empiricism in Britain. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) propounded dualism, the theory of reality that separates res cogitans or mind from res extensa or matter. Galileo (1564-1642) combined the experimental empiricism of Bacon with the rationalism of Descartes resulting in a material and mathematical theory of reality or the scientific method. Isaac Newton (16421727) went further and claimed that science should separate the human observer from nature being observed. This approach made nature a “realm of impersonal objects, to be studied, then conquered or exploited by man.�13 As Thomas Berry puts it: This mechanistic view of the world encouraged the growth of technological invention and industrial plundering, culminating in the 1880's when the electronic and chemical research centers were established, scientific technologies were advanced, and the modem commercial corporations were formed. The objective was to make human societies as independent as possible from the natural world and to make the natural world as subservient as possible to human decisions. Nothing was to be left in its natural state.14

The Newtonian approach is compounded by "disciplinary reductionism" in which branches of science, isolated from each other, seek to “explain the whole through the 12

See Summa Contra Gentiles Bk 2, Ch 45. Michael Carley and Ian Christie, Managing Sustainable Development (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992), 63. 13

14

Thomas Berry, Ethics and Ecology. A paper delivered to the Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values, Harvard University, April 9, 1996

Alan S. Cajes

Page 95


Readings in Sustainable Development

construction of theories specific to their respective perspectives.� This is what Jones calls the searchlight effect in which "an intense beam of light gives detailed knowledge of a part of reality, leaving the rest obscure."15 In 1926, Jan Smuts, who asserted that "reality is aggregative, emergent and holistic," 16 published hid book Holism and Evolution. The term holism means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and embraces a hierarchy of explanation, the lowest rung of which is Newtonian mechanism.17 According to Van Steenbergen, the holistic paradigm emphasizes "totality, the replacement of the observer by the participant, thinking in terms of processes, an affinity with systems theory" and ecologism.18 It aims to advance a holistic universal science "with truth having many levels and at the same time grounded in a consciousness prior to the intellectual mind."19 The 20th century environmental movement began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962. It culminated with the publication of report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) Our Common Future in 1987. In this document, WCED recommends the adoption of the sustainable development paradigm to ensure the continued co-existence between humans and nature. It describes sustainable development as one that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Thus our relationship with nature changes over time depending on the way we perceive nature. Our perception of nature forms our thoughts about nature. By seeing nature as the handiwork of a powerful being, the 15

Carley and Christie, 71. Michael Barbour, "Ecological Fragmentation in the Fifties," in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature ed. William Cronon (New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996, 223-255. 17 Carley and Christie, 77. 18 Ibid. 19 Ibid. 16

Alan S. Cajes

Page 96


Readings in Sustainable Development

aborigines revered nature. The scientific mind, with its proud mastery of the forces of nature, conquered and dominated nature. But when contemporary society felt the pangs of environmental disaster brought about by the wanton disregard of the integrity of the environment, our worldview tends to go back to aboriginal outlook. This is manifested in postmodern statements like this one from by the Women's Environment and Development Program: “We recognize that humankind has not woven the web of life; we are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. Whatever befalls the earth befalls also the family of earth‌"

This statement is a restatement of Chief Seattle's! Role of the Academic Sector Our discussion on world and world-view is relevant because the academic sector operates in two locations of reality: inside and outside our skin. The intellectual establishment has two main functions: to clarify the meaning of the world inside our heads, and to understand the world out there so that we can live in it properly and well. How can the academic sector fulfill these two main functions? There are at least three ways: One, by clarifying the nature of nature; two, by promoting proper governance of ecology, and three, by continuing education, public awareness and training.

Clarifying the nature of nature Thomas Berry, in his paper "The University: Its Response to the Ecological Crisis" that he read at Harvard University has this to say: The university can be considered as one of the four basic establishments that determine human life in its more significant functioning. These four are the

Alan S. Cajes

Page 97


Readings in Sustainable Development government, the church, the university and the commercial-industrial corporation - the political, religious, intellectual and economic establishments. All four are failing in their basic purposes for the same reason. They all presume a radical discontinuity between the non-human and the human with all the rights given to the human to exploit the non-human. The non-human is not recognized as having any rights. All basic realities and values are identified with the human. The non-human attains its reality and value only through its use by the human. This has brought about a devastating assault on the non-human by the human.20

Thus, the first role of the academic sector or the intellectual establishment in relation to the environment is to clarify the nature of nature itself. The aim is to answer a basic question: What kind of environment are we talking about? Is it the cosmos of the early Greek civilization? Is it the environment which God formally turned over to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden? Is it the machine of Newtonian physics? Is it the commodity of the commercial-industrial corporations? The answer to this question is important because we cannot speak of a role towards something we do not understand. This role is particularly relevant at this time when our "culture has generally tended to solve its problems without experiencing its questions."21 We are providing solutions to various ecological problems like solid waste disposal, flooding, depletion of food supply, environmental degradation, etc. which do not work in the long run because we fail to take into account the fundamental question behind these problems. As Jacob Needleman said:

20

See Thomas Berry's paper Jacob Needleman, The Heart of Philosophy (San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1982), p. 7 21

Alan S. Cajes

Page 98


Readings in Sustainable Development "Behind the problem of ecology lies the question of man's relationship to nature. The question of man's relationships to nature is identical to the question of man's relationship to reality itself. Nature is reality."22

The primary challenge to academic institutions is to form a world-view that is based on the best that have been thought, said and done. And this requires the integration of knowledge coming from the human, social and natural sciences. As Herman Daly argues: "Why increase the separation of people by filling separate heads with separate fragments of knowledge? ‌ Ecology is whole. It brings together the broken, analyzed, alienated, fragmented pieces of man's image of the world‌Unless the physical, the social, and the moral dimensions of our knowledge are integrated in a unified paradigm offering a vision of wholeness, no solutions to our problems are likely."23

Promoting proper governance of ecology The fundamental problem that the world faces today is how to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs or what we call inter- and intragenerational justice. This fundamental problem involves two components: (1) the ecological problem, which covers the degradation of the ecological systems and reduction in the natural capital stock and (2) the political problem, which includes ineffective governance. The juxtaposition of the terms "ecology" and "governance" is, therefore, both meaningful and relevant considering that among "the most urgent tasks of our time is to understand 22

Ibid., p. 155 See Herman Daly, "The Steady-State Economy: Towards a Political Economy of Biophysical Equilibrium and Moral Growth" in Toward a Steady-State Economy (San Franscico: W.H. Freeman and Co., c. 1973), pp. 149-174 23

Alan S. Cajes

Page 99


Readings in Sustainable Development

the implications of ecology for social and political thought."24 Here, governance is being summoned to address the ecological problem. On the other hand, ecology, both as a science and a paradigm, is seen as a philosophy that can enhance the art and science of governance. It is clear that the basic problem has something to do with governance, which may be defined as "the capacity of the institutional environment" to manage the interaction among and between individuals and social groups, as well as the public agencies.25 Robert N. Stavins explains the relevance of governance to ecological issues: "The fundamental question that needs to be addressed by public policy in the area of environmental protection as we move into the next century is 'What is the appropriate role of government?' This question emerges along three fundamental dimensions in relation to environmental protection... (1) What is the appropriate degree of government activity; (2) what form should government activity take, and (3) what level of government should be delegated responsibility?"26

The fundamental problem is a serious challenge for all of us in view of studies saying that "contemporary societies are unprepared for global transformations, and present forms of governance are in varying degrees obsolete and not equipped to cope with the needs and opportunities now emerging." Thus, we need creative approaches to address the problem and the recent manifestations of traditional problems like "what 24

See Tim Hayward, Ecological Thought, An Introduction (UK: Polity Press, c. 1994) See Joachim Ahrens, Prospects of Institutional and Policy Reform in India: Toward a Model of the Development State? in Asian Development Review, vol. 15, no. 1, 1997, pp. 111-146 26 See Robert N. Stavins, Environmental Protection: Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, July 23, 1998. 25

Alan S. Cajes

Page 100


Readings in Sustainable Development

constitutes 'the good life' and how governance should promote it." 27 For this discussion, two general approaches to governance may be distinguished: (1) the reformist approach and (2) the radical approach. The reformist approach generally holds that the ecological problem "can be appropriately and adequately be taken up within prevailing modes of thought and action." The radical approach proposes that a "whole new trajectory of development must be sought: one where economy and technology are ecologically sensitive, one whose values and attitudes are 'ecocentric,' one whose politics are 'ecologistic' and whose view of ecology is deep rather than shallow. These approaches are at the center of the intellectual debate on how to best manage our remaining natural resources to meet the needs of our generation and the generations yet to come. Discussions that point towards a rethinking about the role of governments are prevalent in recent literature in economics, politics and sociology. Ahrens, for instance, says that we cannot simply prescribe an effective form or approach to governance because "present knowledge about how to create efficient political institutions is limited." For Yehezkol Dror: "Many governance issues require fundamental reconsideration as a result of global transformations, for example, notions of human rights and responsibilities, cultural pluralism and solidarity. How and to what extent should governance promote moral education? How should advancement of democracy be combined with recognition of the right to prefer alternative regimes? Imaginative political thinking is needed on a wide range of topics to assist governance as it faces unprecedented problems and tasks." 27

See Yehezkel Dror, The Capacity to Govern, Report to the Club of Rome (Executive Summary). Ciculo de Lectores, July 1994.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 101


Readings in Sustainable Development

A re-evaluation about the nature and role of governance is in order, especially that it "impacts directly on the lives of poor people who are less able to avoid the adverse consequences of poor governance and therefore bear a disproportionate share of the ill effects of systems and structures of governance that do not reflect their interest."28 Such need to rethink the meaning of governance is brought about by the emergence of the ecological paradigm, which locates the State within the sphere of a larger system - ecology. And perhaps, it is only through ecological governance -- one that considers the findings of ecology as a science and as a paradigm -that our society can make sense out of the present condition and do something to address the challenges and problems of a new world order. In the area of local ecological governance, the academic sector can generally help by building the capability of people and institutions whose exercise of power and authority has direct impact on the integrity of the environment. Specifically, the academic sector can play the role of a 'gown' in 'town', that is to say a provider of capability building services to local government units (LGUs) in areas like environmental management, solid waste management, effective local governance, etc. With this arrangement, LGUs need not rely on the expertise of outsiders, who may not have a good understanding about the problems of a community. The academe, being a stakeholder in a community where it operates, should exercise its corporate or institutional citizenship not only by providing relevant knowledge, skills and attitudes to its graduates, or by serving as a vanguard of the community interest against the selfish and vested interests of those who are in power. The academe also needs to respond to 28

See Andres Gouldie, Is a Good Government Agenda Practical? An Approach to Governance. Talk given at Overseas Development Institute, March 25, 19998.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 102


Readings in Sustainable Development

the capability building requirements of LGUs, especially in the area of ecological governance. For a quite a long a time, LGUs have been at the receiving end of development with the national government exercising a top-down approach to governance. But there is now a consensus among people from various disciplines that the top-down approach to governance no longer works, especially under a liberal democratic political environment. Thus, the need to shift to area-based and bottom-top approaches to governance. This shift in governance approach is explained by the Max-Neef: “Development…cannot, by definition, be structured from the top downwards. It cannot be imposed whether by law or by decree. It can only emanate directly from the actions, expectations, and creative and critical awareness of the protagonist themselves. Instead of being the traditional objects of development, people must take a leading role in development.”29

Under this approach to governance, the intellectual establishment has the responsibility to improve the quality of governance at the local level, especially on matters related to the integrity of the environment. We know from our previous topic that the quality of ideas inside the heads of people has a direct bearing on the quality of our environment. If we allow wrong ideas to flourish in the minds of those who govern us, then we become accomplices in the continuing degradation of nature's integrity.

Continuing education and training

29

See David Reid, Sustainable Development An Introductory Guide (London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1995

Alan S. Cajes

Page 103


Readings in Sustainable Development

The Philippine Government is a signatory to the Global Program of Action for Sustainable Development (Agenda 21). Agenda 21 recognizes the importance of educational institutions in the continuing struggle to mainstream the philosophy of sustainable development. Its 36 th Chapter is entitled: Promoting Education, Public Awareness and Training. The three program areas of this chapter, including their respective basis for action and proposed activities relevant to the academic sectors are presented below. Program Area 1: Reorienting education towards sustainable development Basis for action : "Education, including formal education, public awareness and training should be recognized as a process by which human beings and societies can reach their fullest potential. Education is critical for promoting sustainable development and improving the capacity of the people to address environment and development issues. While basic education provides the underpinning for any environmental and development education, the latter needs to be incorporated as an essential part of learning. Both formal and non-formal education are indispensable to changing people's attitudes so that they have the capacity to assess and address their sustainable development concerns. It is also critical for achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills and behaviour consistent with sustainable development and for effective public participation in decision-making. To be effective, environment and development education should deal with the dynamics of both the physical/biological and socio-economic environment and human (which may include spiritual) development, should be integrated in all

Alan S. Cajes

Page 104


Readings in Sustainable Development

disciplines, and should employ formal and nonformal methods and effective means of communication." Proposed Activities (Academe-related) : • Educational authorities, with the appropriate assistance from community groups or nongovernmental organizations, are recommended to assist or set up pre-service and in-service training programmes for all teachers, administrators, and educational planners, as well as non-formal educators in all sectors, addressing the nature and methods of environmental and development education and making use of relevant experience of non-governmental organizations; • Relevant authorities should ensure that every school is assisted in designing environmental activity work plans, with the participation of students and staff. Schools should involve schoolchildren in local and regional studies on environmental health, including safe drinking water, sanitation and food and ecosystems and in relevant activities, linking these studies with services and research in national parks, wildlife reserves, ecological heritage sites etc.; • Educational authorities should promote proven educational methods and the development of innovative teaching methods for educational settings. They should also recognize appropriate traditional education systems in local communities;

Alan S. Cajes

Page 105


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Countries, assisted by international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other sectors, could strengthen or establish national or regional centres of excellence in interdisciplinary research and education in environmental and developmental sciences, law and the management of specific environmental problems. Such centres could be universities or existing networks in each country or region, promoting cooperative research and information sharing and dissemination; • Educational authorities, with appropriate assistance of non-governmental organizations, including women's and indigenous peoples' organizations, should promote all kinds of adult education programmes for continuing education in environment and development, basing activities around elementary/secondary schools and local problems. These authorities and industry should encourage business, industrial and agricultural schools to include such topics in their curricula. The corporate sector could include sustainable development in their education and training programmes. Programmes at a postgraduate level should include specific courses aiming at the further training of decision makers; • Governments and educational authorities should foster opportunities for women in nontraditional fields and eliminate gender stereotyping in curricula. This could be done by improving enrolment opportunities, including females in advanced programmes as students and instructors, reforming entrance and teacher staffing policies and providing incentives for establishing child-care facilities, as appropriate.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 106


Readings in Sustainable Development

Priority should be given to education of young females and to programmes promoting literacy among women; • Encouraging twinning of universities developed and developing countries.

in

Program Area 2: Increasing public awareness Basis for action : "There is still a considerable lack of awareness of the interrelated nature of all human activities and the environment, due to inaccurate or insufficient information. Developing countries in particular lack relevant technologies and expertise. There is a need to increase public sensitivity to environment and development problems and involvement in their solutions and foster a sense of personal environmental responsibility and greater motivation and commitment towards sustainable development." Proposed Activities (Academe-related) • Countries and regional organizations should be encouraged, as appropriate, to provide public environmental and development information services for raising the awareness of all groups, the private sector and particularly decision makers; • Countries should stimulate educational establishments in all sectors, especially the tertiary sector, to contribute more to awareness building. Educational materials of all kinds and for all audiences should be based on the best available scientific information, including the natural,

Alan S. Cajes

Page 107


Readings in Sustainable Development

behavioural and social sciences, and taking into account aesthetic and ethical dimensions; • Countries, in cooperation with the scientific community, should establish ways of employing modern communication technologies for effective public outreach. National and local educational authorities and relevant United Nations agencies should expand, as appropriate, the use of audiovisual methods, especially in rural areas in mobile units, by producing television and radio programmes for developing countries, involving local participation, employing interactive multimedia methods and integrating advanced methods with folk media; • Public awareness should be heightened regarding the impacts of violence in society. Program Area 3: Promoting Training Basis for action: "Training is one of the most important tools to develop human resources and facilitate the transition to a more sustainable world. It should have a job-specific focus, aimed at filling gaps in knowledge and skill that would help individuals find employment and be involved in environmental and development work. At the same time, training programmes should promote a greater awareness of environment and development issues as a two-way learning process." Proposed Activities (Academe-related) : • Countries and educational institutions should integrate environmental and developmental issues into existing training curricula and promote

Alan S. Cajes

Page 108


Readings in Sustainable Development

the exchange evaluations.

of

their

methodologies

and

• Countries should encourage all sectors of society, such as industry, universities, government officials and employees, non-governmental organizations and community organizations, to include an environmental management component in all relevant training activities, with emphasis on meeting immediate skill requirements through short-term formal and in-plant vocational and management training. Environmental management training capacities should be strengthened, and specialized "training of trainers" programmes should be established to support training at the national and enterprise levels. New training approaches for existing environmentally sound practices should be developed that create employment opportunities and make maximum use of local resource-based methods. • Countries should strengthen or establish practical training programmes for graduates from vocational schools, high schools and universities, in all countries, to enable them to meet labour market requirements and to achieve sustainable livelihoods. Training and retraining programmes should be established to meet structural adjustments which have an impact on employment and skill qualifications. What the Agenda 21 is telling us is that all sectors of society, particularly the academic sector, have various roles to play in relation to efforts aim at promoting sustainable development -- which will hopefully translate into actual improvements in the integrity of our

Alan S. Cajes

Page 109


Readings in Sustainable Development

environment. The challenge is how to creatively choose the roles that will best respond to the actual needs of the community where we operate. A proposed process by which we can determine our role in enhancing the integrity of the environment is briefly presented below. 1. Let us count our blessings by assessing our capacities in terms of strengths and opportunities for improvement. 2. Let us know our stakeholders and other interested parties or those who will be our partners or beneficiaries in our undertaking. 3. Let us learn from our stakeholders by securing their inputs about our program or project areas that are relevant to their needs. 4. Let us involve your stakeholders by recognizing and tapping their capacities. In the process of determining the kind of role you will play, you will realize that the first battlefield in the struggle to protect and enhance the integrity of the environment is right within our respective campuses. But let us not despair because there is no greater victory than to triumph over one's limitations or wickedness. As mentioned in the beginning of this presentation, “Reality exists either in two places: inside or outside one’s skin�. To enhance the integrity of the 'world out there' to a large extent depends on the integrity of the 'world within us'.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 110


Readings in Sustainable Development

Reference Materials Ahrens, Joachim. Prospects of Institutional and Policy Reform in India: Toward a Model of the Development State? in Asian Development Review, vol. 15, no. 1, 1997, pp. 111-146 Barbour, Michael. "Ecological Fragmentation in the Fifties" in Uncommon Ground Rethinking the Human Place in Nature ed. William Cronon. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, c. 1996. Berry, Thomas, “The University: Its Response to the Ecological Crisis”. A paper delivered before the Divinity School and the University Committee on Environment at Harvard University, April 11, 1996. Berry, Thomas. “Ethics and Ecology”. A paper delivered to the Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values, Harvard University, April 9, 1996 Carley, Michael and Ian Christie. Managing Sustainable Development. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1992. Daly, Herman. "The Steady-State Economy: Towards a Political Economy of Biophysical Equilibrium and Moral Growth" in Toward a Steady-State Economy. San Franscico: W.H. Freeman and Co., c. 1973. Dror, Yehezkel. The Capacity to Govern, Report to the Club of Rome, Executive Summary. Ciculo de Lectores, July 1994. Edelstein, Ludwid. “Motives and Incentives for Science in Antiquity” in Scientific Change. Historical Studies of the Intellectual, Social and Technical Conditions for Scientific Discovery and Technical Invention from Antiquity to the Present. New York: Basic Books, Inc., 1963. Engerl, J. Ronald. “Introduction: The Ethics if Sustainable Development” in Ethics of Environment and Development. Global Challenge and International Response eds. J. Ronald Engel and J. Gibb Engel. London: Bellhaven Press, 1990. Gouldie, Andres. “Is a Good Government Agenda Practical? An Approach to Governance”. Talk given at Overseas Development Institute, March 25, 19998. Haymward, Tim. Ecological Thought, An Introduction. UK: Polity Press, c. 1994. Hornedo, Florentino H. Pagmamahal and Pagmumura Essays. Quezon City: ADMU-Office of Research and Pub., c. 1997. International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The World Conservation Strategy: Living Resource Conservation for

Alan S. Cajes

Page 111


Readings in Sustainable Development Sustainable Development. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, 1980. Needleman, Jacob. The Heart of Philosophy. San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1982. Reid, David. Sustainable Development An Introductory Guide. London: Earthscan Publications, Ltd., 1995. Stavins, Robert N. Environmental Protection: Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, July 23, 1998.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 112


Readings in Sustainable Development

CLEANING UP MANILA BAY On August 12, 2008, I had the opportunity to witness the Supreme Court of the Philippines in action while all of the Justices listened to the oral arguments of the parties involved in the case, which I shall call the “Cleaning Up the Manila Bay Case”. The opportunity came when a week before the oral arguments, Atty. Antonio A. Oposa Jr, an esteemed friend and primus inter pares environment advocate, sent a message inviting us to the Supreme Court. The oral arguments were about the “Cleaning Up the Manila Bay Case”, which was decided by the Regional Trial Court (Imus, Cavite) last September 13, 2002. In this civil case, the Concerned Residents of Manila Bay sought to “compel defendants to submit a concerted, coordinated, and concrete plan of action to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay and its waterways, to restore its waters to Class SB classification and to revitalize its marine life.” The defendants are the following: • Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) • Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) • Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) • Department of Health (DOH) • Department of Agriculture/Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA/BFAR) • Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)

Alan S. Cajes

Page 113


Readings in Sustainable Development

• • • •

Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) • All Concerned Local Government Units • Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) • Septic and sludge companies • All polluting corporations The LWUA filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it is not responsible in providing wastewater disposal facilities. The PPA also moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the State is immune from suit and that the plaintiffs are not the real parties-ininterest. The Regional Trial Court denied these two motions on August 26, 1999. The Court said that LWUA, under its charter (PD No. 198), is tasked to see to it that the utilities “provide, construct and operate wastewater treatment and disposal facilities” and is authorized to “enforce rules and regulations with respect to wastewater disposal system”. As regards the claim of PPA, the Court cited the trust doctrine and the concept of intergenerational responsibility and ruled that the “concerned citizens and consumers of shellfish in the bay, have a right to a balanced and healthful ecology as guaranteed by Sec. 16, Article II of the 1987 Constitution. The Court also cited the case of Oposa vs. Factoran (224 SCRA 792) and declared that the “expansion of the concept of ‘locus standi’ allows concerned citizens to institute cases involving environmental degradation and pollution in behalf of the generation they represent and of generations yet unborn.” During the pre-trial conference of the case, the parties delineated the following issues:

Alan S. Cajes

Page 114


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Whether or not the water quality of Manila Bay is within the standards set by law. • Whether or not Sections 17 and 20 of PD No. 1152 or the Environment Code relate only to the cleaning up of specific pollution incidents or cover the cleaning, in general. • Assuming that Section 20 of the Environment Code applies to all cases of clean up, whether or not it is within the province of the judiciary to order the executive department, through defendants, by way of mandamus to do such thing. The Complaint On January 29, 1999, the concerned citizens of Manila Bay filed before the Regional Trial Court in Imus, Cavite Civil Case No. B1851-99 demanding that the Philippine Government cleans up, rehabilitates and protects Manila Bay. There are several reasons offered by the plaintiffs in filing the complaint. These are described below.

Reasons for Filing the Complaint Reason No. 1. A body of water near a major city is a blessing. It is a source of food to the city and nearby residents. It also serves as a major artery for transporting people and commodities. For nature lovers, such body of water is a city’s “center of attraction”. According to the plaintiffs, it can be “an eternal object of wonder, mystery, beauty and serenity.” Reason No. 2. The Philippines is gifted with 18,000 kilometers of shoreline and a territorial sea of 220 million hectares. The country is a mega biodiversity paradise. According to the plaintiffs, the Philippines has 488 of the “500 known kinds of corals in the world.” Reason No. 3. Metropolitan Manila is a mega city and Manila Bay and its tributaries are its key natural resources.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 115


Readings in Sustainable Development

Manila Bay is “world famous for its magnificent sunset” and its waters were “once gifted with a stupendous abundance of marine resources.” This natural resource, however, is not “protected and preserved for its resource and aesthetic values.” Manila Bay “has been turned into a cesspit of sewage and the dumpsite of solid and toxic wastes by the Filipino people and their government.” Reason No. 4. The deterioration of Manila Bay is due to the insufficiency of the actions done to protect and preserve it as a resource inspite of the country’s “complete” and “sophisticated set of Environmental Laws in Asia.” The laws are not implemented by those who are mandated to implement them. The plaintiffs demand the enforcement of a “simple legal provision” that “has long been existing in the statute books but has atrophied in the sickbed of non-compliance.” They are referring to Section 20 of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 1152 or the Philippine Environment Code. This provision states that: “It shall be the responsibility of the polluter to contain, remove and clean up water pollution incidents at his own expense. In case of his failure to do so, the government agencies concerned shall undertake containment, removal and clean up operations and expenses incurred in said operations shall be charged against the persons and/or entities responsible for such pollution.”

Reason No. 5. With the deterioration of Manila Bay, there is a need to “fashion the relief and remedy appropriate to the monumental problem”. Given the failure of the executive branch to implement the law satisfactorily, the Court can issue a judgment “that will have the credibility and the force of law to ensure its proper compliance and full enforcement.” Besides, where there is a right, there is a remedy. The Plaintiffs

Alan S. Cajes

Page 116


Readings in Sustainable Development

The Concerned Citizens of Manila Bay represented the marine life under the “Trust Doctrine, the general principles of guardianship, and the inter-species responsibility in the Kingdom of Life.” This means that the plaintiffs filed the complaint because the Manila Bay was entrusted to them by the past generations, because it is their responsibility to protect Manila Bay from degradation, and because they are acting in behalf of the Manila Bay species that cannot represent themselves in the tribunal of human beings. They sue as a class under Rule 3, Section 12 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. The principal defendant is the Government of the Republic of the Philippines through its various agencies.

Manila Bay According to the Plaintiffs Manila Bay is an enclosed body of water with an area of 1,8000 square kilometers. It is ringed by a coastline of about 190 kilometers. It stretches 48 kilometers from north to south. Its width is 35.2 kilometers at the middle at lean low tidewater. Its entrance on its southwest side is 19 kilometers across. This is dotted by the Islands of Corregidor, Caraballo and Fraile. Manila Bay and Corregidor are historical sites of the country, notably during the first and second world wars. Manila Bay was “once endowed with incredible abundance of fish and other aquatic life. As a consequence, however, of the defendants’ “accumulated acts of omission and commission,” it has “become so polluted” that “its aquatic life” is “so seriously depleted to the brink of decimation.” It has “become a genuine public nuisance” and “poses serious public health hazards.” About five million gallons of raw sewage and 1,000 to 2,000 tons of garbage are dumped by Metro Manila into Manila Bay and its waterways every day. On an annual basis, about 6.5 million tons of toxic and hazardous

Alan S. Cajes

Page 117


Readings in Sustainable Development

wastes are “discharged to the environment, much of this in the waterways of Manila Bay.” As a result, fish catch in certain areas “has been reduced by as much as 90-95 percent while “shellfish caught in Manila Bay’s waters are beginning to exhibit indicative signs of toxicity harmful to human health.” Manila Bay is a sensitive and fragile ecosystem. Given its narrow mouth, the “free ingress and egress of seawater to and from Manila Bay is severely restricted.” Its topographic watershed area covers its surrounding land mass, which is approximately 17,000 square kilometers. This practically includes Laguna de Bay, which is the second largest freshwater body in Southeast Asia. A total of 26 principal rivers, including Pasig and Imus Rivers, drain into Manila Bay. According to the plaintiffs, the “accumulated neglect and outright abuse against Manila Bay” is an “evidence res ipsa loquitor of Man’s reckless imprudence against, if not outright rape, of Mother Nature.” The “Filipino people and their Government have used Manila Bay and its waterways as a toilet bowl, septic tank and the dumpsite of toxic wastes, all rolled into one.” In terms of water quality, Manila Bay “is no longer fit for swimming, skin-diving and other forms of contact recreation.” Its waters have “been found to contain 1.3 MILLION MPM/ml of fecal coliform.” This is way above the standard for such forms of contact recreation which is only 200 MPM per 100 milliliters. Causes for Action The degradation of Manila Bay is accordingly “incapable of pecuniary estimation”. Thus, the “law decrees that when a body of water is polluted, the polluter should not only pay a fine and suffer imprisonment of from 2-4 years, the water pollution itself

Alan S. Cajes

Page 118


Readings in Sustainable Development

must be cleaned up” and the resource be “restored, rehabilitated and ‘made whole’ once again.” It was argued that the “continued and ongoing pollution of Manila Bay constitutes a violation of the following: • The plaintiffs’ constitutional right to life, to health, and to a balanced and healthful ecology as enshrined in the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines • The Philippine Environmental Policy (PD No. 1151) • The Philippine Environmental Code (PD No. 1152) • The Pollution Control Law (PD No. 984) • The Water Code (PD No. 1067) • The Illegal Disposal of Wastes (PD No. 825) • The Marine Pollution Law (PD No. 979) • The DENR’s Mandated and Enabling Law (EO 192) • The Toxic and Hazardous Wastes Law (RA No. 6969) • Civil Code provisions on nuisance, torts and damages and human relations • The Trust Doctrine and the Principles of Guardianship • The plaintiffs’ natural right and instinct of selfpreservation and self-perpetuation • The theory of inter-species responsibility • International law The plaintiffs therefore demand that all defendants, in view of their “reckless, wholesale, accumulated and ongoing acts of omission or commission resulting in the clear and present danger to public health and in the depletion and contamination of the marine life of Manila Bay,” must be “held jointly and/or solidarily liable and be collectively ordered to clean up Manila Bay and to restore its water quality to class B waters .” In addition, the defendants “must also be ordered to revitalize marine life.”

Alan S. Cajes

Page 119


Readings in Sustainable Development

The plaintiffs identified specific government agencies as representatives of the Philippine government. In their action, they also identified as unknown defendants the commercial and industrial establishments that improperly discharge wastes, and the local government units that fail to implement the provisions of the laws cited, including the mandated functions as defined by the Local Government Code. In addition, the plaintiffs included as unknown defendants the residents of the towns and cities of Manila Bay’s 1.7 million hectares of watershed for indiscriminately disposing of “their solid and liquid wastes into the waterways and waterbodies” and for “using destructive fishing methods...” All of the defendants are asked to be “ordered principally and solidarily liable for the clean-up” and to “be made to pay, directly or indirectly, the costs of the clean up operations.” And in view of the destruction of Manila Bay, the plaintiffs asked that the “principal defendants be ordered to pay damages in the symbolic amount of One Peso (P1.00).” Decision of the Regional Trial Court The Court found merit in the complaint. It ordered the “defendant-government agencies, jointly and solidarily, to clean up and rehabilitate Manila Bay and restore its waters to SB classification to make it fit for swimming, skin diving and other forms of contact recreation ( Regional Trial Court).” The Court also gave the defendants six months “to act and perform their respective duties by devising a consolidated, coordinated and concerted scheme of action for the rehabilitation and restoration of the Bay ( Regional Trial Court).” The Court likewise gave specific orders to the government agencies. The orders basically required them to perform their mandates. For example, the MWSS was directed to “install, operate and maintain adequate sewerage treatment facilities in strategic places under its

Alan S. Cajes

Page 120


Readings in Sustainable Development

jurisdiction and increase their capacities ( Regional Trial Court).” Bases of the Decision The Court recognized the programs, projects and activities done by the government agencies to perform their respective mandates. The Court, however, found the efforts to clean up Manila Bay as “either on the design or planning stage (Regional Trial Court).” It said that the “failure or neglect on their part to do so constitutes nonfeasance (Regional Trial Court).” The Court construed a cleaning up operation as “not only limited to spilled pollutants, but also to pollutants discharged in the water like those which emanate from the feces of warm-bloodied animals (Regional Trial Court).” It also ruled that the Courts can direct government officials “by mandamus to act, but not to act one way or the other (Regional Trial Court).” The Court took note of the trend in involving the Courts to protect and preserve the environment. It cited a paper written by Mr. M.C. Metha of India and delivered at the Symposium on the Judiciary and the Law of Sustainable Development. The paper states that “courts should break away from the traditional straightjacket judicial procedures and practices of administering justice.” It asks the courts to creatively dispense justice and to “give effect to affirmative judicial relief system.” The decision of the lower court was eventually elevated to the Court of Appeals. The upper court found the appeal as bereft of merit. It dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the lower court in toto last September 28, 2005. Case Before the Supreme Court

Alan S. Cajes

Page 121


Readings in Sustainable Development

The aggrieved parties are not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeals. They assailed the decision of the upper court. They are now asking the Supreme Court to render a judgment. During the Oral arguments last August 12, it was clear that the aggrieved parties question the issuance of mandamus and the order to restore the waters of Manila Bay to SB classification. The agencies admitted that what they have done to clean up Manila Bay is not enough. However, they claim, this does not warrant the issuance of a writ of mandamus. They also clarified that the waters of Manila Bay have not been classified; hence, the Court can not order a classification because such mandate and authority belong to the executive branch, particularly to the DENR. I shall not speculate on the possible decision of the Supreme Court given the types of questions asked and the answers given. What is clear is that the Manila Bay remains polluted and degraded. All Filipinos, especially the residents in Metropolitan Manila, must recognize their moral and legal obligations and pool their efforts to bring back the grandeur of Manila Bay.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 122


Readings in Sustainable Development

INTRODUCTION TO ECOTOURISM Conceptual Definitions of Ecotourism Ecotourism has gained enormous popularity in recent years, yet there has not been a universally accepted definition of the term. The variety of definitions reflect a range of paradigms and perspectives that range from passive to active stances incorporating three common concepts, namely, nature-based, education and sustainability (Diamantis, 1999). The term emerged in the early 1980s as a result of emerging popularity of the paradigm on sustainable development and as a response to environmental destruction happening the world over. It has been observed that the tourism market has become greener in response to the trend in society of heightened environmental awareness and environmental concern (Burns and Holden 1995: 209; Wright, 1993). The term, which came out in 1983, is often credited to Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, who defined ecotourism as: ‌tourism that consists in traveling to relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated natural areas with the specific objective of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural manifestation (both past and present) found in the areas. In these terms, nature-oriented tourism implies a scientific, aesthetic, or philosophical approach to travel, although the ecological tourism need not be a scientist, artist or philosopher. It emphasizes that the person who practices ecotourism has the opportunity of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 123


Readings in Sustainable Development

immersing himself/herself in nature in a manner generally not available in the urban environment. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a respected and influential conservation organization at a worldwide level, officially adopted Ceballos-Lascurain’s definition during its First World Conservation Congress held in Montreal in October 1996 (Resolution CGR 1.67 'Ecotourism and Protected Area Conservation'). It has been argued, however that the definition of Ceballos-Lascurain does not say anything on avoiding resource degradation, having positive impacts on the flora and fauna, optimizing economic impacts and benefits, and/or enhancing the visitors’ experience or levels of satisfaction (Boyd and Butler, 1996). The Ecotourism Society, based in the United States has defined ecotourism as responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the welfare of local people. The Australian National Ecotourism Strategy defines ecotourism as nature-based tourism that involves education and interpretation of the natural environment and is managed to be ecologically sustainable (FAO 1997). The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), an international non-government organization founded in 1990, defines ecotourism as "responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people." According to FAO (1997), most conceptual definitions of ecotourism can be reduced to the following: "ecotourism is tourism and recreation that is both naturebased and sustainable," According to FAO, the definition clarifies the descriptive and the prescriptive components of the ecotourism concept. The nature component is descriptive or positive in the sense that it simply describes the activity location and associated consumer motivations. The sustainable component is prescriptive or normative in

Alan S. Cajes

Page 124


Readings in Sustainable Development

the sense that it reflects what people want the activity to be. An important point is that, as used here, sustainability incorporates environmental, experiential, socio-cultural, and economic dimensions (FAO 1997). A variety of terms have been associated with the term including small-scale tourism, alternative tourism, nature travel, nature-oriented tourism, nature tourism, naturebased tourism, sustainable tourism, alternative tourism and special interest tourism forms of tourism (Weaver and Oppermann 2000; Diamantis, 1999; Weaver and Opperman, 2000). Others have contrasted two major types of tourism based on the type of destination and tourist characteristics. Mass tourist prefers to areas where there are large numbers of tourists, requiring a large infrastructures (such as hotels, resorts, etc) to accommodate them, while in contrast, alternative tourism or special interest travel (including ecotourism), advocates an approach opposite to mass tourism (USDA, APHIS, VS, CEAH, Center for Emerging Issues, 2001: 5). Others have defined ecotourism as follows: Respects local culture, optimizes benefits to local people, minimizes environmental impacts, and maximizes visitor satisfaction. - W. Hetzer, 1965 Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people - International Ecotourism Society, 1990 Purposeful travel to natural areas to understand the culture and natural history of the environment; taking care not to alter the integrity of the ecosystem; producing economic opportunities that makes the conservation of natural resources beneficial to local people.� - The Ecotourism Society, 1991 Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy,

Alan S. Cajes

Page 125


Readings in Sustainable Development study and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features - both past and present), that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations. - World Conservation Union, 1996 Traveling to and visiting natural areas, places where nature still exists in a relatively unaltered state. Drumm and Moore, 2005 Travel for the purpose of learning about the natural and cultural environments, while contributing to local community development, and the conservation and restoration of resources, while using only those operators and suppliers that are making a significant effort to practice sustainable tourism and green management. - ecoplan:net ltd. Any project that is organized and designed to promote the observation and appreciation of nature through the provision of facilities and opportunities for visitor education in a manner that, where appropriate, fosters community involvement and seeks to ensure and sustain the integrity of the resources around which the tourism activity is based. - Ramon Benedicto Alampay and Carlos M. Libosada Jr., 2003

Weaver and Opperman has identified ecotourism as one form of sustainable tourism if done on a small scale. They argue that this is on the assumption that such tourism is more likely to have positive environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts within the destination and that there are many examples of sustainable tourism that are small scale. They caution, however, that it should never be automatically assumed that the outcomes are always positive. Ceballos-Lascurain contends that ecotourism has to adapt to different environmental, socioeconomic and cultural circumstances and it is this reason why different people and institutions in diverse countries have different

Alan S. Cajes

Page 126


Readings in Sustainable Development

definitions (cited in Mader 2006). He, however, makes a case for the adoption of a common definition because the multiplicity of definitions is causing a good deal of confusion. The National Ecotourism Strategy (NES) of the Philippines (2002) defines ecotourism as a “form of sustainable tourism within a natural and cultural heritage area where community participation, protection and management of natural resources, culture and indigenous knowledge and practices, environmental education and ethics, as well as economic benefits are fostered and pursued for the enrichment of host communities and the satisfaction of visitors.” The NES looks at ecotourism not as an imported concept but as a direct response to the situation of the country. It identified the following pillars to guide ecotourism development: • The management of natural and cultural resources in a sustainable manner. • Environmental education and conservation awareness. • Empowerment of local communities. • Development of tourism products that will satisfy tourist and position the country as a globally competitive ecotourism destination. The definitions cited above point to the following subconcepts that define ecotourism: • Travel to a natural area • Respect to local culture • Benefit to local people • Community participation • Visitor satisfaction • Protection and management of natural resources • Environmental education Travel to a natural area means that an ecotourism site is a component of an ecosystem or a combination of ecosystems. An example of an ecotourism site, which is a

Alan S. Cajes

Page 127


Readings in Sustainable Development

component of an ecological system, is the particular area for whale and dolphin watching off Pamilacan Island in Bohol or the Underground River in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Both sites are respectively part of the marine and forest ecosystems. An example of an ecotourism site, which is a combination of ecological systems, is the Banaue Rice Terraces trekking site, which covers an agroecosystem and an upland or forest ecosystem. Respect to local culture implies that either an ecotourism site is within or near a local or indigenous community or, if there is no community nearby, part of the ecotourism services is provided by a local or indigenous community. Respect, in this sense, could mean taking proactive effort on the part of the visitors not to offend the sensibilities of the residents or the service providers by, for example, ensuring that sacred sites are not desecrated, and taking precautions so that important common resources, for example the community’s source of potable water, are not vandalized or polluted. Benefit to the local people means that the revenue generated from the ecotourism program accrues wholly or partly to the community that promotes, manages, protects or owns the ecotourism site. This is connected to community participation because ecotourism is community-based; hence, adheres to the principle of subsidiarity, which states that those who are nearest to a natural resource are in the best position to protect and manage it. Although the community may partner with the business sector in promoting and managing the ecotourism program, part of the proceeds should go to the community as incentive for the community members to sustain the protection and management of the natural resource. Visitor satisfaction enables one to fully experience and enjoy a natural endowment or phenomenon. That is why it is important to diversify the opportunities to satisfy the visitor. This can be done by showcasing a local culture in

Alan S. Cajes

Page 128


Readings in Sustainable Development

relation to the natural resources and ensuring that tourist guides can perform nature interpretation properly, among other tasks. In the case of the Olango Birds and Seascapes Tour, the visitor does not only enjoy and experience bird watching with the help of an experienced tour guide but also becomes part of the community’s way of life by learning the fishing practices of the fisher folks, tasting the local delicacies, and watching a brief cultural presentation. Visitor satisfaction, therefore, is the ultimate reason for the development and design of an ecotourism product. Protection and management of natural resources means that the ecosystem or ecosystems of which the ecotourism destination forms part is/are protected and managed in such a way that the ecological health is maintained and/or improved over time. It should be stressed that environmental protection is the heart of sustainable development. In the absence of a healthful and balanced ecology, access to clean air, clean water and nutritious food will be jeopardized. Rajah Sikatuna National Park in Bohol is a case in point. If the Park is not protected, sooner of later it will be inundated and result in decreased supply of underground water because rainwater can no longer percolate into aquifers. An inundated watershed also means reduction in the productivity of the coastal environment because rivers and estuarine areas will be silted. Farm productivity will also suffer because flooding and soil erosion will be the normal occurrences during rainy seasons. Through ecotourism, however, communities within and near the Park will have an alternative way of generating income, thereby discouraging them from over-extracting or destroying the natural resources and encouraging instead them to protect the natural endowments. Environmental education refers to the education of the visitors about the value of the ecotourism site and the interrelatedness of the ecosystems of which the site forms part. This sub-concept of ecotourism feeds on the sense of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 129


Readings in Sustainable Development

wonder, curiosity or the natural desire of human beings to know. Ecotourists, to a large extent, visit an ecotourism site to satisfy a natural desire to understand something that stimulates interest in the mind, in addition to simply experiencing something in its natural form. While it feels good (affective) to see undomesticated whales and dolphins in an open sea, it is equally important to satisfy the visitor’s cognitive dimension by explaining how whales and dolphins behave, what they eat, what is their value to the marine ecosystem, how can one help to protect them, etc. Towards an Ecotourism

Operational

Definition

of

The multiplicity in conceptual definitions of the term ecotourism is further complicated by the difficulty of moving from a conceptual definition to an operational definition (FAO 1997). A case in point given by FAO is--a conceptual definition may involve sustainability, but when one tries to measure whether someone is an ecotourist or some tourism activity is ecotourism, a more precise definition of sustainability is needed. As an example, in determining whether the activity is sustainable and thus qualifies as ecotourism, there is a need to identify criteria that will be used for the purpose (FAO 1997). WTO and UNEP have come out with general characteristics that can prove useful in operationalizing the concept of ecotourism. These are as follows: • All forms of tourism that are nature-based in which the main motivation of the tourists is the observation and appreciation of nature as well as the traditional cultures prevailing in natural areas. • With educational and interpretation features: Providing interpretation is one of the distinguishing characteristic of ecotourism, which is the use of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 130


Readings in Sustainable Development

preferably local guides who impart their knowledge of local natural and cultural resources to the tourist. • Generally organized for small groups by specialized and small, locally owned businesses. Foreign operators of varying sizes also organize, operate and/or market ecotourism tours, generally for small groups. • Minimizes negative impacts upon the natural and socio-cultural environment. • Supports the protection of natural areas by: o Generating economic benefits for host communities, organizations and authorities managing natural areas with conservation purposes. In fact, it has been argued that local community participation or community-based ecotourism is the essence of ecotourism sustainability. o Providing alternative employment and income opportunities for local communities. o Increasing awareness towards the conservation of natural and cultural assets, both among locals and tourists. The importance of finding an operational definition can not be overemphasized. Some, however, view ecotourism as a dynamic concept, which can change depending on the setting in which it occurs ((Boyd and Butler, 1996: 385). They go on to say that a flexible approach is required where it is understood that no one definition is suitable for all settings, and that certain elements will have greater value than others depending on the environment in which ecotourism is promoted (Boyd and Butler, 1996: 385). While ecotourism has generally been regarded as fostering environmentally responsible principles, it has been shown that in many areas, it has resulted in significant negative impacts upon the human and physical environments (Boo, 1990; Dearden and Harron, 1992;

Alan S. Cajes

Page 131


Readings in Sustainable Development

Kenchington, 1989 in Boyd and Butler, 1996: 383). These impacts have been found to be similar to those found in areas that have experienced conventional tourism. According to Boyd and Butler (1996), areas where ecotourism has been introduced have been quite often devoid of the effects of tourism and, in some cases, extremely sensitive and vulnerable environments (Boyd and Butler 1994 in Boyd and Butler 1996: 383-384). Based on the sub-concepts identified above, a working operational definition of ecotourism may be formulated: Ecotourism is visit to an ecosystem or its component to experience, enjoy and learn about a natural phenomenon, as well as contribute to environmental protection and enhancement of the way of life of the communities that manage and promote the ecotourism site. This working operational definition is at best tentative, but stated to capture and establish a connection among the sub-concepts. Following Megan Epler Wood 2002, this paper views ecotourism as a sub-component of sustainable tourism. As nature-based sustainable tourism, ecotourism is in the same category as beach tourism, adventure tourism and outdoor recreations, which are sub-components of sustainable tourism. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) explains sustainable tourism in this way: “It must be clear that the term ‘sustainable tourism’—meaning ‘tourism that is based on the principles of sustainable development’—refers to a fundamental objective: to make all tourism more sustainable. The term should be used to refer to a condition of tourism, not a type of tourism.” Elements of Ecotourism The Ecological Tourism in Europe (ETE), which views ecotourism as a component of sustainable tourism identifies the following elements:

Alan S. Cajes

Page 132


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Money remains in the region. • Direct financial support for nature conservation (e.g. entrance fees). • Raise public awareness. • Educate tourists and locals in the field of tourism and environment. • Minimize the negative impacts (social, ecological and economic). Seen in this context, the UN and ETE perspectives imply the following for ecotourism: • It generates economic benefits for host communities, organizations and authorities. • It provides alternative employment and income opportunities for local communities. • It contributes actively to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. • It directs revenues to the conservation and management of natural and protected areas. • It stresses the importance of responsible business, which works co-operatively with local authorities and people to meet local needs and deliver conservation benefits. • It includes local and indigenous communities in its planning, development and operation. • It increases awareness towards the conservation of natural and cultural assets, both among locals and tourists. • It educates the traveler on the importance of conservation. • It interprets the natural and cultural heritage of the destination to visitors. • Is generally, but not exclusively organized for independent travelers and small groups by specialized and small, locally owned businesses. • Involves responsible action on the part of tourists and the tourist industry.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 133


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Requires lowest possible consumption of nonrenewable resources. • Seeks to ensure that tourism development does not exceed the social and environmental limits of acceptable change as determined by researchers in co-operation with local residents. • Emphasizes use of environmental and social baseline studies, as well as long- term monitoring programs, to assess and minimize impacts. • Emphasizes the need for regional tourism zoning and for visitor management plans designed for either regions or natural areas that are slated to become eco-destinations. In summary, and following Wood 2002, the elements of ecotourism are as follows: • Contributes to the conservation of biodiversity. • Sustains the well being of the local people. • Includes and interpretation/learning experience. • Involves responsible action on the part of the tourists and the tourism industry. • Delivered primarily to small groups by small-scale businesses. • Requires the lowest possible consumption of nonrenewable resources. • Stresses local participation, ownership and business opportunities, particularly for rural people. Principles of Ecotourism The Québec Declaration on Ecotourism recognizes “that ecotourism embraces the principles of sustainable tourism, concerning the economic, social and environmental impacts of tourism. It also embraces the following specific principles that distinguish it from the wider concept of sustainable tourism:

Alan S. Cajes

Page 134


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Contributes actively to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage. • Includes local and indigenous communities in its planning, development and operation, and contributing to their well-being. • Interprets the natural and cultural heritage of the destination to visitors. • Lends itself better to independent travelers, as well as to organized tours for small size groups. A more comprehensive set of ecotourism principles has been identified and advocated by The International Ecotourism Society (TIES). These principles are as follows: • Minimize the negative impacts on nature and culture that can damage a destination. • Educate the traveler on the importance of conservation. • Stress the importance of responsible business, which works cooperatively with local authorities and people to meet local needs and deliver conservation benefits. • Direct revenues to the conservation and management of natural and protected areas. • Emphasize the need for regional tourism zoning and for visitor management plans designed for either regions or natural areas that are slated to become eco-destinations. • Emphasize use of environmental and social base-line studies, as well as long-term monitoring programs, to assess and minimize impacts. • Strive to maximize economic benefit for the host country, local business and communities, particularly peoples living in and adjacent to natural and protected areas. • Seek to ensure that tourism development does not exceed the social and environmental limits of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 135


Readings in Sustainable Development

acceptable change as determined by researchers in cooperation with local residents. • Rely on infrastructure that has been developed in harmony with the environment, minimizing use of fossil fuels, conserving local plants and wildlife, and blending with the natural and cultural environment. The TIES principles serve as guideposts to ensure that the development and implementation of ecotourism projects are in accordance with the generally accepted standards that are implemented in other parts of the world. These principles, however, are broadly stated and do not prescribe the specific approaches that need to be undertaken. Trends in Ecotourism Although there is recognition of the rapid growth of ecotourism worldwide, it appears that many countries do not have accurate data on the magnitude of ecotourism. Generally, it is recognized that ecotourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry worldwide and the sector is expected to expand at a faster rate than other tourism products. However, it appears that the lack of a common definition of the term prevents the establishment of international trends and that many countries have done their projections based on their own definitions. General estimates have been given so far. Filion et al (1994) estimates that tourism in the natural and wildlife settings accounted for a total of 20%-40% of international tourism receipts, and estimates that it will increase by 20-50% per year (cited in Diamantis, 1999). Similarly, TIES acknowledges ecotourism as the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry, and estimates an annual growth rate between 10% and 30%. It further estimates ecotourism as comprising 20% of the world travel market (TIES: Ecotourism Statistical Fact Sheet).

Alan S. Cajes

Page 136


Readings in Sustainable Development

Tourist activities that are included in this estimate include both land and water based activities such as hiking/trekking, wildlife viewing, and visiting parks and protected areas (TIES: North American Ecotourism Markets: Motivation, Preferences, and Destinations cited in USDA, et al, 2001: 5). Studies undertaken by the World Tourism Organization and George Washington University have shown that adventure travel including ecotourism is the fastest growing segment of tourism in the world. Australia, for one, reflects this global situation; having no concise definition of the term, found it difficult to accurately measure the scale of ecotourism (Weaver and Opperman 2000). Other countries such as Canada have estimated that “235 million travelers who went abroad in 1990 engaged in some kind of ecotourism, spending on the average about $1000 or well over $200 billion in total, on ecotourism activities� (Canadian Wildlife Service). Although no international trends exist, there is recognition on its global importance. The United Nations designated the year 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism (IYE), and its Commission on Sustainable Development requested international agencies, governments and the private sector to undertake supportive activities. The UN designated 2002 as the IYE to review and discuss ecotourism experiences with stakeholders worldwide, and to talk about ways to maximize its economic, environmental and social benefits from ecotourism, while avoiding its past shortcomings and negative impacts. IYE trips showcased incredible examples of ecotourism in action.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 137


Readings in Sustainable Development

Reference Materials Megan Epler Wood. Ecotourism Principles, Practices and Policies for Sustainability. UNEP and TIES, copyright UNEP 2002 United Nations Program and World Tourism Organization. Making Tourism Sustainable. A guide to Policy makers. Copyright UNEP and WTO, 2005 Alampay and Libosada Jr. Development of a Classification Framework on Ecotourism initiatives in the Philippines. PASCN Discussion Paper No. 2003-04, May 2003 Ecological Tourism in Europe. “What is Ecotourism?� January 2003 http://www.Ecotourism.org/index2.php?what-is-ecotourism

Alan S. Cajes

Page 138


Readings in Sustainable Development

GOVERNANCE OF THE ELECTRICITY SECTOR: SELECTED CASES IN RENEWABLE ENERGY Introduction The Electricity Governance Initiative (EGI), a collaborative undertaking of the World Resources Institute (WRI) in partnership with the Prayas Energy Group (PEG) in Pune and the National Institute for Public Finance and Policy, developed The Electricity Governance Toolkit: Benchmarking Best Practice and Promoting Accountability in the Electricity Sector and published the pilot version in February 2005. The toolkit was used in conducting a pilot assessment of governance of the electricity sector in the Philippines. The key objectives were to gather primary and secondary data and identify the strengths and areas for improvement. I was involved in the pilot assessment and focuses on the Environmental and Social Aspects (ESA). The findings of the assessment team are summarized in the table shown below. For ESA, the sector is rated medium for transparency and access to information but rated lowest for accountability and redress mechanisms. Overall ESA rating is lowest . This paper focuses on the Environmental and Social Aspects (ESA) and uses selected cases of renewable energy projects to expound the governance principles. The objectives are to show concrete examples whether the environmental and social aspects are considered in the

Alan S. Cajes

Page 139


Readings in Sustainable Development

Table 1. Overall ESA Rating for the Philippines Governance Principle

Policy Process es 1.7

Regulato ry Processes 2.7

Environment al and Social Aspects 3.3

Total Averag e Score 2.3

Transparency and access to information Participation 1.0 2.3 2.8 2.3 Accountability and 2.0 4.0 1.6 2.7 redress mechanisms Capacity 2.5 2.9 3.0 2.8 Total Average 1.8 3.1 2.7 2.5 Score Note: A rating of ‘not assessed’ yields a score of ‘0’, lowest = 1, low-middle = 2, medium = 3, medium-high = 4, highest = 5.

governance of the electricity sector and to pinpoint opportunities to enhance the governance of the said sector. The table below shows the 21 ESA indicators, together with the corresponding governance principles and rating. Table 2. ESA Principles, Indicators and Ratings Governance Principle Access to Information and Transparency

Access to Information and Transparency Access to Information and Transparency Capacity Capacity Capacity

Alan S. Cajes

Indicator 1 - Clarity of authority and jurisdiction to grant environmental clearances/approvals for power sector projects 2 - Clarity and transparency of the executive’s environmental and social mandates 3 - Scope and transparency of the environmental and social mandates of the regulatory body 4 - Executive’s capacity to evaluate environmental and social issues 5 - Regulator’s capacity to evaluate environmental and social issues 6 - Legislative committee’s capacity to assess

Rating Highest

Medium-High Lowest

Highest Medium Lowest

Page 140


Readings in Sustainable Development Participation

Participation Participation Participation

Capacity Accountability and Redress Mechanisms Participation

Capacity

Accountability and Redress Mechanisms Accountability and Redress Mechanisms Accountability and Redress Mechanisms Participation Participation Participation Participation

Alan S. Cajes

environmental and social issues 7 - Public participation in setting minimum environmental performance standards 8 - Inclusion of environmental consideration in the national plan for the electricity sector 9 - Inclusion of environmental consideration in sector reform process 10 Public participation requirements in environmental impact assessment laws and procedures 11 - Comprehensiveness of EIA laws, policies and procedures 12 - Regulatory response to environmental and social petitions or complaints 13 Electricity provider engagement with civil society organizations and potentiallyaffected populations 14 - Capacity of civil society to address the environmental and social aspects of decisionmaking 15 - Quality of the judicial or administrative forums that address environmental and social claims 16 - Accessibility of the judicial or administrative forums that address environmental and social claims 17 - Assessment of job losses linked to policy changes or sector reforms in the electricity sector 18 - Participation in decisionmaking about access to electricity 19 - Scope for project-affected people to exercise their rights 20 - Participation in decisionmaking related to affordability of electricity prices 21 Participation in development of policies to promote low environmental

Medium

Low-Middle Low-Middle Medium-High

Medium Not applicable/ assessed Lowest

Highest

Highest

Lowest

Lowest

Lowest Medium Medium Highest

Page 141


Readings in Sustainable Development impact technologies management

and

Relevance of the ESA Indicators The ESA indicators are relevant given that energy is a “crucial commodity,” which could serve as an “instrument for poverty reduction and social equity,” and given the “environmental dimensions of energy policies”1. As a crucial commodity, it may be pointed out that the cost of commercial electricity in the country at 13.58 US cents/kWh in June 2005 was higher compared to countries like Indonesia (at 12.53), Singapore (10.58), Lao PDR (10.49), Vietnam (9.79), Bangladesh (8.62), China (8.24), Malaysia (7.74), Thailand (7.19) and Brunei (3.10) although lower compared to Cambodia (20.00), Japan (17.54), India (14.37), and Honking (13.89) 2. In the same period, the country’s residential electricity rate at 14.43 US cents/kWh was second only to Cambodia (at 15.18) and higher than the rates of India (at 8.47), Hong Kong (12.99), Indonesia (10.10), Singapore (10.59), Lao PDR (10.49), Vietnam (9.86), Bangladesh (8.20), Malaysia (5.78) and Thailand (8.65)3. It is not difficult to see the possible negative impact of the high cost of electricity to the competitiveness of Philippine industries, as well as to the purchasing power of the households. The situation is aggravated by the “projected power supply shortages in Mindanao by 2009, Visayas by 2010 and Luzon by 2012” if the required new capacity is not installed in the next four years4. 1

From the presentation of Usec. Mariano S. Salazar entitled “The Philippine Energy Situation, Oil Price Rise and Climate Change” presented during the ADB Conference on November 16, 2007. 2 Senate of the Philippines-Senate Economic Planning Office, Electric Power at a Glance, July 2005, no pagination. 3 Ibid. There were no data presented for Japan, China and Brunei for residential electricity rates. 4 Ibid. Based on the forecasts of the Department of Energy, an additional 9,225 MW of new capacity is needed to prevent the power supply shortages.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 142


Readings in Sustainable Development

From an environmental perspective, the country’s energy-related carbon dioxide emission, based on 2003 estimates, is 72 million metric tons, of which oil contributed 66 percent, coal contributed 26 percent, and natural gas contributed seven percent. The estimated per capita energy-related dioxide emission is 0.9 metric tons, which is a bit lower than India’s one metric ton per capita and much lower than Thailand’s 3.4 metric tons per capita5. Although the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) extensively discusses programs to mitigate hydrogen sulfide emissions from geothermal plants, no parallel intensive discussion is made to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal, gas and oil plants. In fact, the PEP projects an increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 68.5 percent between 2004 and 2014. Relevance of the ESA Indicators to RE In 2004, geothermal and hydropower plants contributed 14 and 20 percent, respectively, to the total installed capacity mix6. Under the 2005 PEP update, the Department of Energy (DOE) aims to double the country’s renewable energy-based capacity, as provided under the Renewable Energy Policy Framework (REPF). The identified technologies are those that will harness energy from water, biomass, sunlight and wind. There are realities, however, that must be confronted when promoting renewable energy RE) technologies. Says former DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla: “One, the reality of the high upfront cost of renewable energy. Second, the limitations as to site-specificity of many of the renewable sources of energy available to us. Thus in order to be able to tap the geothermal resources of this country, we’ve had to build expensive transmission lines connecting the different islands of 5 6

United States Department of Energy, Country Analysis Briefs, November 2006. Senate of the Philippines-Senate Economic Planning Office

Alan S. Cajes

Page 143


Readings in Sustainable Development the country to bring the energy supply from the source to the markets. And third, of course, the limitations themselves on the availability of renewable energy. Given the present state of technology, the amount of renewable energy available to the Philippines as a whole would not be adequate to meet the needs of a growing economy”7.

Lotilla told his audience that the Philippines has made a decision to invest in RE and cleaner energy projects although “fullest assistance” is required “in order to be able to move forward significantly on this front” because RE projects “right now are costing us 2.5 to 3 times the cost of conventional sources of energy”8. Another challenge that the electricity sector faces is the difficulty of convincing the stakeholders, especially the communities, that the energy sector can meet the environmental standards of the government. As Lotilla emphasized: “[t]he burden of showing or convincing our communities that indeed they can rely both on government and on private sector to be responsible in the implementation of environmental laws and standards is a burden that lies not on the community but upon us. And so here we need to harness the academic and scientific community that will allow us to give enough information to the communities that would give them a higher level of comfort as to the ability of the government and private sector to live up to the highest standards of environmental protection. This is a major challenge for us, but definitely it is not an impossible task”9.

Considerations in Implementing RE Projects 7

Raphael Lotilla, Sustainable Development and Energy: Energy for All; All for Energy, a speech delivered at the Opening of the “Asia Clean Energy Forum: Policy and Finance Solutions for Energy Security and Climate Change” on 26 June 2007 at ADB Headquarters, Manila, Philippines) 8 Ibid. 9 Ibid.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 144


Readings in Sustainable Development

Even for rural communities that may not be connected to the grid, the use of RE technologies in such areas should not only be aimed to provide electricity to the households, “but should also achieve measurable improvements in terms of addressing the povertyenvironment nexus identified as both a source and a symptom of underdevelopment10.” Thus, there is a need to design RE projects based on previous performance in the use of such technologies. Some of the lessons learned from the experiences of development institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank (WB), in several countries, including the Philippines, draw attention to the need to: “(i) provide microfinance options for technologies with high front-end costs like solar photovoltaic energy systems; (ii) understand the market characteristics of renewable energy, including the willingness and capability of the poor to pay; and (iii) build capacity among stakeholders.11” Take the case of the use of solar cells or photovoltaic (PV) devices that convert sunlight into electricity. This technology “is most competitive” in far-flung communities that are not connected to the grid and do not require large supply of electricity12. The ADB designed a pilot project in Afghanistan that would show the following: • Improvement in the quality of life; • Successful program implementation through community-based approaches, and • Achievement of “sustainable human development” by enabling the communities to manage the technology. 10

Asian Development Bank, Technical Assistance to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for Poverty Reduction and Rural Renewable Energy Development (Financed by the Poverty Reduction Cooperation Fund), December 2004, p. 2 11 Asian Development Bank, Technical Assistance to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for Poverty Reduction and Rural Renewable Energy Development (Financed by the Poverty Reduction Cooperation Fund), December 2004, p. 3) 12 United Nations Environment Programme, Energy Technology Fact Sheet available at www.uneptie.org.energy (last viewed on August 7, 2007, 9:57 PM).

Alan S. Cajes

Page 145


Readings in Sustainable Development

The project’s design is primarily based on the assumption that the technology does not only provide “an appropriate solution for heating, cooking, and lighting in rural areas, but also contributes significantly to progress in education, health, agriculture, and rural industry and other income generation activities that could help reduce poverty.13” Although PV has been shown to be feasible, there are limited case studies that “directly resulted in tangible and measurable improvements in the income of poor communities on any significant scale.14” ADB cites the following as among the probable causes: • The high initial costs of technology, which the poor cannot afford; • The limited number of locally relevant productive applications suitable for alternative energy; • The poor communities’ limited or no access to supply markets; • The absence of efficient technology service providers and of suitable projects in remote areas that could be bankable through financial institutions; and • The lack of support from the central energy ministries, because their mandate is energy provision and not income generation for the poor15.

13

Asian Development Bank, Technical Assistance to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for Poverty Reduction and Rural Renewable Energy Development (Financed by the Poverty Reduction Cooperation Fund), December 2004, p. 3 14 Ibid., p. 2 15 Ibid.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 146


Readings in Sustainable Development

Lessons Learned from Philippine Experience 1 As of February 2003, about 5,409 or 18 percent of the country’s 41,999 barangays were still unelectrified. The country’s target is one hundred percent electrification of barangays by 2006. Since 1,671 or about 30 percent of the non-energized barangays have little or no prospect to be connected to the grid system, the government pursued the use of new and renewable energy (NRE) technologies to provide these areas with electricity. As a matter of policy, the government decided to “facilitate the energy sector’s transition to a sustainable system with NRE as an increasingly prominent, viable, and competitive fuel option.” By the end of 2001, the country had “5,120 solar and 380 wind installations with contribution equivalent to about 0.3 million barrels of fuel equivalent (MMBFOE). From 1999 to 2001, about 1,000 barangays were electrified using NRE technologies including solar, micro-hydro, and hybrid systems.” When the government sough ADB’s technical and financial assistance in 2002 to rehabilitate the RE projects in the country, the DOE has set as a long-term goal a 100 percent increase in NRE-based capacity over a ten-year period, i.e., by 2012. By 2012, the NRE contribution, specifically from solar, wind and ocean energy, was planned to reach three (3) MMBFOE. As early as 2002, the government has set the following targets: • Be the top geothermal energy producer in the world. • Be the top wind energy producer in Southeast Asia. • Double its hydro capacity by 2012. 1

This part of the paper is taken liberally from Asian Development Bank, Technical Assistance (Financed by the Danish Cooperation Fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Rural Areas) to the Republic of the Philippines for the Rehabilitation of Renewable Energy Projects for Rural Electrification and Livelihood Development, September 2003, pp. 1-2

Alan S. Cajes

Page 147


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Expand the contribution of biomass, solar, microhydro, and ocean by 250 megawatts. The government’s strategy to achieve the target includes accelerating the promotion and commercialization of NRE systems. The DOE also set up the NRE program with the following objectives: • Reduce poverty. • Enhance energy self-sufficiency. • Encourage private sector investment and participation. • Reduce emissions by applying cleaner energy systems. In addition, the DOE pursued the “gift of light” program, which was intended to provide electrification to all barangays and to provide the necessary rural infrastructure through NRE technologies. There were 1,500 barangays that were programmed to be electrified using NRE systems. According to ADB, the country’s NRE project interventions are to a large extent dependent on the support by the development financing agencies, such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), WB, and bilateral agencies such as the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These agencies have financed NRE technologies like solar, wind, and mini-hydro projects. To streamline and better coordinate these initiatives, DOE is presently implementing the Capacity Building for Renewable Energy Development (CBRED) project, which is funded by UNDP. An estimated $100 million worth of NRE projects have been carried out in the Philippines since 1970. The projects were mostly initiated by funding agencies. These projects are technology-based. About 20 to 25 percent of these projects was rated as “less than successful”. Some of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 148


Readings in Sustainable Development

the projects, including the ADB-financed mini-hydro schemes in the early 1980s, were rated partly successful by the project performance audit report. The reasons for failure are divided into the following categories: • Institutional problems, including improper management schemes. • Lack of stakeholder mobilization and beneficiary participation. • Technical problems, including lack of skill and spare parts for operation and maintenance as well as technology obsolescence. • Financial problems, including high initial and maintenance cost, and high tariffs for consumers. The ADB, however, noted the recently increasing number of successful NRE projects in the Philippines. The key factor that contributed to project success “is the close collaboration of the beneficiary communities, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and private sector for the resource assessment, project design, construction, management, operation, and maintenance of the established NRE systems and related livelihood activities.” It also emphasized the need for future projects to “ensure productive use and sustainable operation of the installed NRE systems” by developing “a renewable energy-based community livelihood opportunities, such as installation of rice mills to increase the value from rice production, mini-ice plants for cold storage of fish products, and provision of skills and training, identification of potential markets, and marketing of products from such livelihood projects.” Based on the assessment of 106 projects, visits to 23 project sites and workshops with stakeholders, a Technical Assistance Team from ADB came up with the following findings: • Most projects were unsuccessful due to nonadherence to standards and specifications in

Alan S. Cajes

Page 149


Readings in Sustainable Development

equipment installation; weak management structure and ineffective after sales service; and lack of ownership and interest in the project due to negligible monetary or non-monetary benefits. • Physical rehabilitation, community preparation and facilitation for livelihood linkages were demonstrated for one Solar Battery Charging Station (SBCS) in barangay Bunog in Palawan, and for the twin Micro-Hydro Plants (MHP) in barangays Talalang and Secec-an in Kalinga. • Capacity building of the involved stakeholders was facilitated for one more MHP in barangay Malabog, Davao and one hybrid (solar-winddiesel) project in barangay Atulayan in Camarines Sur that can be rehabilitated in the near future. • The main components of the rehabilitation program are: “(i) system redesign, retrofitting, and reinstallation; (ii) leveraging TA funds with that of local governments, entrepreneur and communities to ensure stakeholder commitment and ownerships; (iii) developing local capacity to manage the projects by selecting, training, and contracting women entrepreneurs in case of SBCS and the local rural energy service company for the MHP to operate and maintain the rehabilitated facilities; and (iv) identifying and facilitating livelihood options linked with the provision of electricity to ensure that NRE projects bring direct benefit to the community.2” In summary, the lessons derived from the country’s experience in implementing NRE projects point to the following: • The need to establish a proper scheme to manage the project. 2

Asian Development Bank, Technical Assistance Completion Report, TA 4174-PHI: Rehabilitation of Renewable Energy Projects for Rural Electrification and Livelihood Development, no date, no pagination

Alan S. Cajes

Page 150


Readings in Sustainable Development

• Proper mobilization of the stakeholders and participation of the beneficiaries in all phases of the projects. • Ensuring the viability of the technology by building up the capability of the beneficiaries to operate and maintain the technology. • Ensuring financial viability given the high initial and maintenance cost of the technology and the high tariffs for consumers by providing livelihood projects. ESA Governance Principles and Selected RE Projects The ESA governance principles include access to (a) information and transparency, (b) capacity, (c) participation and (d) accountability and redress mechanisms. Each of the governance principle has indicators as shown in Table 2.

Principle of Transparency and Access to Information This principle promotes meaningful decision-making by ensuring the transparency and clarity of decisions related to the granting of environmental compliance certificates and/or permits for power sector projects. This also helps in enabling relevant government agencies or bodies to clarify and communicate their environmental and social roles and mandates to the stakeholders.

Microhydro power project (MHP1 1

A lot has been said about the Casecnan hydroelectric project. In the final report of the electricity governance initiative assessment team, the team used the 150 megawatts (MW) hydroelectric plant and irrigation control facility on the Casecnan and Taan rivers. The project was conceptualized as early as 1983. It was issued an ECC in 1995 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) – about a decade earlier when the assessment team completed its study. Large-scale hydro projects generally have significant negative environmental impacts, especially if they are built as part of large dam projects. Due to the environmental impacts of such projects, hydro projects

Alan S. Cajes

Page 151


Readings in Sustainable Development

The beneficiaries of a 33 kW MHP installed in 1999 in Kalinga live in the three upland villages of Tulgao East, Tulgao West (collectively referred to here as Tulgao) and Dananao, located within the municipality of Kalinga, north of the Cordillera Mountain Region in Northern Luzon. The three communities are neighbors and a steep valley, through which flows Bunog Creek, separates Dananao from the Tulgaos. Bunog Creek, from where the MHP system gets its energy, forms a natural boundary between the two tribes. During the dry months, Tulgao is accessible by a four-wheel-drive vehicle. Dananao is never accessible by vehicle, but can be reached by a four hour hike along another route from Tinglayan. It takes around one hour on foot from Dananao to Tulgao. The two Tulgao villages have 213 households, while Dananao has a further 124 households. The total population is estimated at 1600 people. There has been a steady migration of people to Tinglayan, Bontoc and Tabuk seeking education, work and marriage. The people in Tulgao belong to the Tulgao tribe and the people of Dananao to the Dananao tribe, both are part of the larger Kalinga ethno-linguistic group. Conflicts among tribes in Kalinga, where disputes commonly arise from border or territorial and resource issues, are nowadays settled through the peace pact. Tulgao and Dananao have a long tradition of rivalry and disputes over territory and, as recently as 1997, a border conflict broke out between the barangays. It is worth mentioning that since the conception and installation of the MHP, any disputes arising between the two villages have been resolved without violence. nowadays focus on smaller-scale projects. These projects generally have less than ten MW generating capacity. These include mini-hydro that has less than one MW, microhydro with less than 100 kilowatts (kW), and pico-hydro with less than one kW. Unless otherwise indicated, the documentation of the cases is lifted from the work of Feri G. Lumampao, Victoria Lopez and Lisa Go, Gender and Renewable Energy in the Philippines, supported by the APPROTECH ASIA (The Asian Alliance of Appropriate Technology Practitioners, Inc.)

Alan S. Cajes

Page 152


Readings in Sustainable Development

There are rice-drying areas in both communities, and recently rice mills were installed that run on the electricity provided by the MHP. A sugar cane press was provided in 2002, but was unused until it was connected to the MHP in November 2003. Indigenous cultural practices have been sustained in these villages despite the inroads of religion and other external influences. Community rituals covering each stage of rice production in both wet rice terraced farming and swidden, following the traditional agricultural calendar, are still strongly observed and enforced by traditional elders. Community cooperation remains relatively intact for certain traditional activities such as harvesting, forest protection, and emergency assistance to members of the tribe. This strong traditional cooperation has been tapped to build the community-based MHP. The differentiated roles of men and women in Tulgao and Dananao villages are rooted in the typical warrior culture of these indigenous societies. Aside from agriculture, there are other activities that augment the income of families especially during the lean months of rice and food shortages. These include basket weaving, carpentry, construction or road-building and blacksmithing. Men and women also carry out waged labor on other farms. In general, both men and women in these upland communities are involved heavily in economic and community work. But rice cultivation has defined roles for men and women in these upland villages. Building rice terraces, land preparation and the repair of rice terraces are in the male domain, although women provide assistance. Swidden farming in Tulgao predominantly involves women, who play the major part in the production of legumes and vegetables. Traditionally, it is the women who sow the legume seeds, although men dig the holes for the seeds to be sown. Legumes are sold by

Alan S. Cajes

Page 153


Readings in Sustainable Development

women in nearby towns for cash. As in wet rice agriculture, women select and store the seeds for the following crop. Most of the community affairs related to school, church and festivities involve both men and women. Decisionmaking is a shared role on matters pertaining to households, the family and children, church and school. The women were observed as being predominantly active in school and church concerns. Community labor for waterworks construction is in the domain of men. In the case of the MHP, however, women shared in some of the manual tasks such as hauling. This was a result of the community mobilization invoked by the lead organizations for this innovative project. The 33 kW community-based microhydro project (MHP) located in the cluster of remote and upland barangays of Tulgao East, Tulgao West and Dananao in Tinglayan, Kalinga have benefited the three barangays. This project had enabled them to work together in its installation and subsequent operation. SIBAT had undertaken the technical assistance for this project, which was initiated by EDNP and funded by KEEP of Japan. The Tulgao Farmers Association has been the core organization, which has owned the operation and management of the project from its conception onwards. Its members represent the community in this project. The MHP project site, which provides electricity to the barangays of Tulgao East, Tulgao West and Dananao, was initially surveyed in 1997. The feasibility of the MHP project was established in 1998 which led to the construction of the system and its commissioning in 1999. Research conducted by SIBAT as part of the feasibility study in November 1997 showed that Kalinga was among the least-served provinces in CAR, with less than 16% of its barangays having an electricity supply. The nearest point on an electricity grid was more than 30 kilometers

Alan S. Cajes

Page 154


Readings in Sustainable Development

away from the communities and, moreover, operated by MOPRECO whose area of operation was limited to Mountain Province and so did not cover these three villages. The nearest point on KAELCO’s grid, the operator most likely to connect Tulgao and Dananao, was, in 1997, more than 70 kilometers (km) away. Further, discussions with members of these electricity cooperatives revealed that these communities were unlikely to be connected to the grid within the next 10-20 years due to the distances involved coupled with the rugged terrain, which made connection expensive. As of 1996, MOPRECO and KAELCO stated that the installation costs for transmission lines only was about PhP 450 000 per km. Thus, alternative energy sources for these barangays needed to be explored. The energy consumption in the community before the installation of the MHP was primarily for lighting and cooking, with additional battery-powered flashlights and transistor radios used by some residents. Each barangay had a small-capacity diesel generator, potentially useable to charge batteries, but the five households in the three barangays who did own rechargeable (car) batteries would take them to Tinglayan or Tabuk to be charged. The Anglican Church had a solar PV system for lighting and battery charging connected to the multi-purpose center in Tulgao West, site of the clinic and reading center. A needs assessment yielded the community’s desire for better lighting. The reasons given for this emphasis were the cost of kerosene, and the dirty soot that it left behind in the houses. A rice mill was also said to be a good option, to reduce the workload of women and children. The feasibility study showed that, on average, PhP 38 per month was spent on kerosene, by the minority who used it. The average monthly expenditure on saleng was given as PhP 79 per household per year.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 155


Readings in Sustainable Development

The community’s roles in MHP’s development were through community mobilization and counterpart contributions in the form of labor and locally procured materials. A community plan was developed for the entire installation phase. The roles of the community, the church and SIBAT were outlined in the plan. The community organized various committees to organize the tasks relating to their counterpart role. A watershed preservation and enhancement project was also undertaken in cooperation with SIBAT, with thousands of pine tree seedlings successfully planted. However, this project was discontinued in 2003, just over half way through its planned duration of 2000-2004. The microhydro project was officially inaugurated in November 2000, with festive ceremonies attended by representatives from many indigenous villages in Kalinga. The project has been fully operational since then, except for an eight-month shutdown in 2003. The lead organizations involved in the project were the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Philippines (ENDP) and the Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya (SIBAT), which divided the tasks between them of organizing the community and providing technical assistance. The project was funded by the Kyosato Experimental Education Program (KEEP). The total investment cost was projected as PhP 2,587, 450, with the value of community work and materials provided locally estimated at PhP 293,000. The microhydro project uses the energy of moving water to turn a turbine, like a water wheel, which turns a generator and so produces electricity. Bunog Creek has a typical flow of 0.17 m3/sec. It is also tapped for the community’s communal irrigation system. To achieve a 30kW power output, the flow was diverted to a forebay site from where it drops 40 m to the turbine. The powerhouse site is approximately 1.5 km from Tulgao and 1.2 km from Dananao.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 156


Readings in Sustainable Development

The project fulfilled its objectives of providing enough electricity for lighting and small appliance use in over 300 households; as well as in community buildings such as the church, the school and the health clinic. Although the capacity of the system is 30kW, only 4-5kW is currently being used. Two rice mills were installed in 2002, and a sugarcane press in November 2003. These facilities are powered during the day, thus generating additional income for the community and reducing people’s workloads. The target beneficiaries of the MHP were the entire communities of Tulgao East, Tulgao West and Dananao, comprising of 300 households, plus various communal buildings including the church, a multi-purpose hall, school and health clinics. In practice, the MHP was able to reach around 80 percent of the total population of the three communities. The number of beneficiaries has fluctuated due to the migration of some families to other places. Most of the households have one or two light bulbs in their houses linked to the system. Some families chose to invest in appliances, and in total there are 21 families with 24 appliances. Aside from own entertainment use, the VHS and televisions are used as additional sources of income, with children in particular paying to watch videos. Payment is one pine pithwood (a log or piece of wood from a pine tree), used for fuel, per show. It was commented that this causes problems within the community as children steal the pithwood. Most of the families able to afford appliances had income from outside employment, such as teachers and government employees. Most appliance purchases are related to entertainment rather than alleviating household chores. Only the rice cooker, the food grinder and the two washing machines can be seen as in the latter category, and just one sewing machine was bought for productive purposes.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 157


Readings in Sustainable Development

The output from the microhydro plant is primarily used for lighting, with some small appliances, plus for processing farm produce with a rice mill and sugarcane press, and some blacksmithing (making farm implements). The system generally operates from 4.40 pm to 7 am (based on an agreed policy), and during the daytime if needed for the rice mill or lighting for the school. As agreed by the community, each household pays a monthly tariff of PhP 25 for their first 10W bulb and an additional PhP 5 for each extra bulb. For appliances, a household pays an additional PhP 30 per month per appliance. The MHP is managed by the Board of Directors, and there is a Manager responsible for the day-to-day operations. The Board of Directors is composed of three women and four men. The Manager is the pastor of the Episcopal Church. The MHP has a staff comprising one cashier/bookkeeper, three fee collectors and two operators.

Lessons Learned The MHP enabled some households to pursue incomegenerating activities, such as tailoring and rice milling, reduced the gathering of pine pithwood, instilled environmental awareness of the importance of forests and their conservation, reduced the incidence of respiratory and eye diseases, and abated the conflict between the Tulgao and Dananao tribes. The single biggest negative impact of the project has been, as a result of the commercial use of Video Home Systems to show films, is stealing to get the PhP 5 (in cash or in kind) payment to watch a film. This problem, however, is currently being resolved through community policies. The case does not say whether the project promoted meaningful decision-making by ensuring the transparency and clarity of decisions related to the granting of

Alan S. Cajes

Page 158


Readings in Sustainable Development

environmental compliance certificates and/or permits by the national, local and community decision points. It did not also show how it helped in enabling relevant government agencies or bodies to clarify and communicate their environmental and social roles and mandates to the stakeholders. No related project has been found to illustrate such attributes of the governance principle.

Principle of Access to Participation There are many ways by which this principle can influence the process and content of decision-making. Based on the indicators, this principle can help in setting the minimum environmental performance standards of the electricity sector, integrating the environmental considerations in the national plans and reforms, and enhance the environmental impact assessment system. It can also facilitate the engagement of stakeholders by the electricity providers, particularly in such areas as access to electricity, exercise of stakeholders’ rights, affordability of electricity prices, and formulation of policies to ensure that the RE technology will nor cause significant negative impacts that cannot be mitigated.

PV-battery charging in Malitbog, Southern Leyte The PV-battery charging station is implemented in Malitbog, Southern Leyte, particularly in the two remote villages of New Katipunan and Cadaruhan Sur. New Katipunan is 1.5 kilometers farther away from the town of Malitbog (13 km), from the town market (also 13 km) and also from the nearest city of Maasin (55 km), than Cadaruhan Sur. It remains two kilometers away from the nearest electricity grid whereas Cadaruhan Sur is now connected.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 159


Readings in Sustainable Development

Women in the two target areas, just like the men, are involved in development activities and share livelihood tasks with them. Women are prominent in growing and harvesting root crops and cut flowers, small-scale selling in the neighborhood, and layering the single abaca twine. Women also appear to be the more dominant gender in meetings; they often represent the households while the men tend to the farming and other tasks. The traditional role of women focuses primarily on the rearing of children – from feeding, babysitting, providing child care and health care, to tutoring and overseeing their activities in school, at church and in the community. Apart from this, they have to ensure that food is available at every mealtime, and then wash the dishes and pots. Matters regarding family size and the futures of their children are usually discussed between couples and are mutually agreed upon. It was mainly the men who were involved in providing assistance in the installation of the PV system: due to the heavy nature of the work, the skills required and their experience such as in hauling materials and equipment and in the installation of lighting fixtures. The women took charge in the preparation of food for the workers. The tasks of collecting charging fees and monthly dues, and keeping records were assigned among the women. Further, the project involves women in the operation and maintenance of household systems since they decide when to switch the light on and off, maintain the battery by cleaning the surfaces and terminals and monitoring when the battery needs to be recharged. Overall, income from livelihood activities is generally low in Cadaruhan Sur both before and after the electrification program, and average in New Katipunan since the electricity projects provided no benefits to the vegetable garden and farming activities except in abaca twining, which was extended by four to six hours at night time.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 160


Readings in Sustainable Development

Assessment of project performance in each of the two barangays provides insights into the implementation of the project. This off-grid BEP in Malitbog, Southern Leyte, has established the need for sustainable livelihood projects to pay for the electricity. However, the availability of electricity and lighting extends working hours, which can be used for productive livelihood projects. Before electrification, products were only stored for family use in both barangays. After electrification, products were also stored for commercial purposes in Cadaruhan Sur and only for commercial purposes in New Katipunan. Both barangays need additional training for new livelihood skills. Although program participants have gained new skills, possibly in anticipation of livelihood expansion and initiating new livelihood activities, Cadaruhan and Katipunan villagers still need additional training for new livelihood activities, which offer a realistic promise of income. Environmental protection has always been considered. DAR, DA and LGU representatives visit and monitor activities in the two barangays. However, no specific targets have been set for monitoring such as assessing community rubbish and human waste disposal, smoke pollution in charcoal making and tree planting along the cleared and sloping sides of the two dirt roads. Generally, the areas of Cadaruhan and Katipunan, as well as the residents, appear environment friendly. The women expected that the project would extend their available hours for household chores while the men thought they would have more time to repair farm tools and that the children would have better lighting for studying. The community was looking forward to the project enabling families to be together while listening to their favorite radio program or watching TV shows. The newly created Barangay Power Association (BAPA), under the leadership of the LGU, was the overseer and decisionmaker in the installation of the PV-BCS and in wiring

Alan S. Cajes

Page 161


Readings in Sustainable Development

households. The systems were installed by the supplier. Men were mostly involved in providing assistance in the installation due to the heavy nature of the work, and their skills and experience in areas such as hauling materials and equipment and installing lighting fixtures. The women, however, took charge of preparing food for the workers. After the PV-BCS and household lighting fixtures were installed, the BAPA was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the systems through hired technicians who were trained by the supplier to do simple repairs and troubleshooting. However, the task of collecting charging fees and monthly dues and record keeping were assigned to women. Further, the project has involved women in the operation and maintenance of the household systems since it is they who decide when to switch the lights on and off, and look after their battery by cleaning the surfaces and, terminals, and monitoring its condition to determine when it is to be recharged.

Lessons Learned The beneficiaries of the project are involved in the installation, operation, and maintenance of the PV system. Although the project had one clear positive benefit, i.e., the extension of abaca twinning by four to six hours per day, it contributed little, if any, in increasing the income of the beneficiaries. The two beneficiary barangays need training on new livelihood skills. Similar projects in other areas, such as the Batanes Alternative Energy and Enhancement Project, do not show details of the incomegenerating activities. Accordingly, “it is not clear that community solar battery charging stations save households money over regular battery use. Batteries still must be purchased and replaced regularly. However, if residents

Alan S. Cajes

Page 162


Readings in Sustainable Development

previously traveled far to a grid-based charging station, the travel time and costs may be eliminated.1” Although the stakeholders have always considered environmental protection as important, no specific target has been set for monitoring. The case also does show how the stakeholders were engaged in identifying the PV system, determining the electricity charges, and in formulating local policies to sustain the project.

Principle of Capacity This principle refers to the government’s ability to provide the public with access to mechanisms related to environment and social decision-making, such as the environmental impact assessment system, and the ability of stakeholders, particularly the civil society organizations, to make use of such mechanisms. Its attributes include the “capacity of government and official institutions to act autonomously and independently; the availability of resources (both human and financial) to provide access; as well as the capacity of civil society (particularly NGOs and the media) to analyze the issues and participate effectively2.”

NorthWind Bangui Bay Project The NorthWind Bangui Bay Project is a 33 MW (Phase I 24.75 MW and Phase II 8.25 MW) wind power plant located in Bangui Bay, Province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines. Plant production, at a projected load factor of 30%, is expected to produce in annual electricity generation of approximately 86.7 GWh. The project is expected to displace grid electricity generated from fossil 1

UNDP, The GEF Small Grants Programme at http://sgp.undp.org/download/SGP_Philippines2.pdf last viewed at 11:18 PM, February 25, 2008. 2 Electricity Governance Toolkit, which is available online at http://electricitygovernance.wri.org

Alan S. Cajes

Page 163


Readings in Sustainable Development

fuels and thus avoid 56,788 tCO2e (tons of carbon dioxide equivalent), or 397,516 tCO2e over the first 7year crediting period. The first turbine was erected on March 12, 2005. The first turbine went on line, under testing conditions, and delivering the first electrical energy generated by the plant to Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC), on April 13, 2005. Commissioning of the first 15 wind turbines under Phase I project occurred on May 28, 2005 when these units completed their initial 100 hour reliability performance. The Conditional “Taking Over Certificate” was issued to the wind farm contractor on June 20, 2005 for the operating turbines and the 30 MVA sub-station and the 69 kV Transmission Line. Phase II of the project is scheduled to be commissioned end 2007. The project falls under Sectoral Scope #1 for Renewable Energy, with Project Activity described as “Grid-connected renewable power generation; electricity addition from a wind power project.” The Project’s Sustainable Development Monitoring Plan (“SDMP”) covers the project’s area of influence and inhabitants. Based on audit findings, the project has provided silt barriers/canals around the earth excavations and boulders and placed excavated sands away from the tidal zone during construction to prevent possible silting of coral reefs. During construction, 80 percent of the workers were local residents. Other mitigation measures include the adoption of Transco Compensation Guidelines for possible damage to private properties, provision of safe oil and grease equipment and grease and oil monitoring, monitoring of bird collisions, and preparation of a social development plan. As benefit to the host community, NorthWind has to remit one-centavo per kWh sold to DOE, which will disburse the amount according to the following: 50 percent of PhP 0.12/kwh for electricity fund, 25 percent of PhP 0.12/kwh for development and livelihood plan, and

Alan S. Cajes

Page 164


Readings in Sustainable Development

25 percent of PhP 0.12/kwh for reforestation, watershed management, health and/or environment enhancement fund. Emission reduction (tCO2) has also been documented and verified in 2005 and 2006 GHG displacements are estimated at 46,960 tons/year for CO2, 802 tons/year for SO2, and 1602 SPM/year.3 A five percent discount to the “effective cost of delivered electricity” based on the cost of electricity generated by NPC and TransCO cost of delivering the electricity to INEC will be the savings of the electricity consumers of INEC. The direct benefits to the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte include REM and Chattel Mortage Registration Fees of PhP 10 million, about PhP 3.5 million real estate taxes to the Municipality of Bangui, business tax of about PhP 1.5 million per year, about PhP 750 thousand per year to host communities, direct employment for the local population, savings from the consumers of electricity in the Province, and a landmark commemorating Ilocos Norte’s position on global warming and environmental protection.4 In 2006, the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project generated savings in the amount of approximately US$ 1.4 million (PHP 70 million) for the electricity consumers of INEC. Primary funding of the Bangui Bay wind project is through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), which provided a concessional loan sourced from ABN-AMRO and Nordea Bank of Copenhagen, Denmark, amounting to US$ 29.35 million. The loan is guaranteed by the Philippine Export-Import Agency (PhilExim)5. 3

NorthWind Bangui Bay Project Monitoring Report Volume 1, Monitoring Period: May 1, 2005 through August 31, 2006, In reference to: PDD Version 2, December 23, 2005 UNFCCC Reference Number: 0453 4 See a PowerPoint presentation at http://www.doe.gov.ph/esummit/presentation/Workshop3%20-%20centeno.pdf (last viewed 10:45 PM, February 25, 2008). 5 See http://www.northwindspower.com/ (last viewed 10:57 PM February 25, 2008).

Alan S. Cajes

Page 165


Readings in Sustainable Development

The DENR issued its first Letter of Approval in December 2005 to the NorthWind Bangui Bay Project, confirming that this project activity meets the national criteria for sustainable development. The Project is the first commercial wind power project in the country and in the ASEAN Region, and the first of its kind to be connected to the Philippine main. The local stakeholders regarded the “project favorably due to the anticipated economic benefits in terms of increased investments, additional tax revenues, improved employment opportunities and transfer of technology… Unquestionably, the project catalyzes the growth in investments, tourism and commerce in the area and the Philippines as a whole and thus instills a greater sense of national identity, pride and commitment among Filipinos6.”

Lessons Learned The Project’s designated operational entity, Det Norske Veritas Certification Ltd. (DNV), has found out that comments from the local stakeholders “were invited according to the Philippines Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) requirements. No major concerns were raised. Public stakeholders’ input has also been invited via the UNFCCC website, and no comments have been received”7. The Project was issued an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) #01 04 04-23 0027-0802 dated 23 April 2004 (Batching plant during construction), ECC#011 00 12-18 0036-1405 dated 18 Dec 2000 (Wind farm), and

6

See “Sustainable Energy and Sustainable Tourism,” a paper delivered by DENR OIC Armando de Castro at the Ministerial Consultations of the Ninth Special Session of the Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum, Dubai, 7-9 February 2006. 7 See http://cdm.unfccc.int/UserManagement/FileStorage/DAK2ZZYHISGO8IX7XURVM17 FYHZRAV (last viewed 12:10 AM, February 26, 2008.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 166


Readings in Sustainable Development

ECC #01 04 04-23 0024-1404 dated 23 April 2004 (Transmission Line and Sub-station). The case shows at least two mechanisms by which the public can participate in environmental and social decision-making related to the wind project, namely, the environmental impact assessment system and comments system using the UNFCCC website. It, does not show, however, how the stakeholders used such mechanisms. It also does not indicate whether the stakeholders, such as civil society organizations and media, have the capacity to analyze the issues and participate effectively.

Principle of Accountability and Redress Mechanisms This principle is necessary to hold public and private sectors answerable to the public as regards environmental and social petitions or complaints. It is necessary to ensure that stakeholders can protect their rights to information and participation, as well as challenge decisions that do not take their interests into account. It helps take into consideration the quality and accessibility of the judicial and administrative remedies for environmental and social claims, especially the potential social and environmental repercussions of policy changes or sectoral reforms.

Biodiesel from Jatropha for Power Plants8 The Philippine Forest Corporation is a wholly government owned and controlled corporation; a subsidiary of the Natural Resources Development Corporation of DENR tasked to undertake agroreforestation projects and mandated to derive economic productivity out of idle lands. It adapted a simple framework that represents the critical parameters of its

8

Unless otherwise indicated, this part of the paper is liberally lifted from http://www.philforestcorp.com/index.html (last viewed 11:06 pm February 25, 2008).

Alan S. Cajes

Page 167


Readings in Sustainable Development

program to create economic productivity that can be appreciated by serious investors and farmers as well. As part of its mandate, Phil Forest shall work with industry stakeholders and partners (farmers, ranchers, woodlot owners, agro-forestry product buyers and producers, families) to achieve a vision of dynamic, selfsustaining and productive development by providing beneficiaries, as well as other stakeholders, access to capital and investments, identifying technologies, and building marketing capabilities to make available every opportunity for economic productivity, long term sustainability and proper ecological stewardship. Its main goal is to provide assistance to the landless poor, first in acquiring tenurial rights and subsequently in providing support services to its beneficiaries. Through this framework, Phil Forest seeks to transform idle lands and unemployed citizens to productive lands and productive people that will ultimately result in transforming the economy of the Philippines. Phil Forest is inviting the public to participate in their program to create productivity out of the vast idle lands in the country. It currently holds the rights to an initial area of 375,091 hectares of public forest lands, evidenced by a Memorandum of Agreement with the DENR signed last Sept. 1, 2006, which it will bid out to potential investors that are classified as follows: Landless Families, Small and Medium Enterprises, Cooperatives, NGOs, Single-Proprietorships and Entrepreneurs, Partnerships and Corporations, Industrial Plantation Developers, Local Corporations, and Foreign-owned corporations. This is part of an initial 2,000,000 hectares that will be transferred over a period of time. Phil Forest, under its “Lupang Hinirang Program� and operating on the basis of the MOA with DENR, will begin distributing usufructuary rights to potential shareholders through auction process.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 168


Readings in Sustainable Development

Phil Forest will conduct the identification, delineation and parcelarization of lands in preparation for the auction of lease-hold rights where the public, including government employees, are included. It likewise seeks to “auction� lease rights for Land to be Developed by potential developers to different types of investors. Under the Transaction Structure of the 25-year Lease Agreement between Phil Forest and its lessees, Phil Forest retains legal ownership and/or management of the land, leases out the rights to develop the land, helps the lessee to acquire necessary permits from DENR to develop the land, and takes over the land if the Lessee defaults on the agreement to develop. The Lessee shall be the Highest-winning Bidder for the land, obtain the final approval for their Full Development Plan, implement the development plan, construct and install necessary assets, and handle the overall management of the project. Pre-qualification criteria and requirements for different investor packages are as follows: between 1 to 10 hectare development size for individuals and farmers (family package), 11 to 500 has. for corporations, partnerships, single-proprietorships and cooperatives (SME package), and 501 has. and above for legal and foreign corporations (industrial package). For the family package, the reserve price is PhP 500 per hectare and the minimum amount of development cost is PhP 1,000 per hectare. For the SME package, the reserve price is PhP 500 per hectare and the minimum amount of the development cost if PhP 20,000 per hectare. For the industrial package, the reserve price is the same but the minimum amount of development cost is PhP 40,000 per hectare. According to Irwin Santos, former officer-in-charge of Phil Forest, the corporation is working on a project to produce biodiesel, which will be sold to Napocor to displace its bunker oil requirements for power plants. Phil

Alan S. Cajes

Page 169


Readings in Sustainable Development

Forest will come up with an agreement with PNOC for the refinery. Phil Forest will provide PNOC with the jatropha seeds from the lessees9. According to Phil Forest, jatropha grows throughout the country, thrives even with little water, and can be grown quickly even in adverse land conditions. It has a productive age of 35 to 50 years and can start yielding fruits and seeds on the 10th month of its planting. Phil Forest estimates the cost of jatropha plant management at PhP 41,394 per one (1) hectare plantation using seedling as planting source. The operating expenses are PhP 25,916 for the first year, and PhP 15,516 per year onwards. The IRR is placed at 30 percent with NPV (@12%) of PhP 83,887. The payback period is four (4 ) years, while the yield threshold is up to 40 percent. Phil Forest signed a Memorandum of Agreement with DENR-ERDB to qualify and estimate the amount of Carbon Sequestration of the Jatropha curcas L. plant species for purposes of the aforestation/reforestation methodology of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Phil Forest’s plantations will be submitted as potential CDM projects before the upcoming commitment period in 2008. On June 25, 2006, Phil Forest signed the Memorandum of Agreement on Research and Development of Biofuels for Enterprise Development with 17 State Colleges and Universities (SUCS). The contract covers capability building for Jatropha nursery establishment and plantation. On October 9, 2006, Phil Forest contracted the University of Santo Tomas to conduct studies on the optimization of oil extraction and production of biodiesel through the esterification process.

Lessons Learned

9

Interview conducted by this writer over the phone on February 13, 2008, 8:30 pm at the Development Academy of the Philippines.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 170


Readings in Sustainable Development

Phil Forest plans to use crude Jatropha oil (CJO) extracted from Jatropha to produce Jatropha methyl ester (JME) based on trans-esterification with methanol, and to use the resulting Jatropha biodiesel fuel (JME-BDF) as a substitute for diesel fuel. Assuming that JME-BDF is carbon neutral, combusting it as fuel does not entail the discharge of CO2. The planned project, therefore, has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions. It is not clear, however, how the jatropha oil will be extracted and collected from the lessees. There is also no information about the location of the JME-BDF production plant, and how JME-BDF will be distributed and at what cost. There are no copies of the project feasibility study and business plan that can be consulted. The interview also did not yield such information, although Mr. Santos said that the corporation has a feasibility study. The corporation’s Primer for jatropha plantation does not mention as reference its feasibility study. The Primer discusses mainly the agronomy side. Very briefly, it states that based “on the experience of India, 3 kilos of Jatropha seeds can produce 1 liter of crude Jatropha oil”. According to Mr. Santos, Phil Forest has no environmental impact assessment study for any of its existing and proposed projects. Since there is no information as regards the total number of hectares that will be planted to jatropa, rated capacity of the JME-BDF production plant, as well as the construction of oil refining facilities and chemical storage facilities, it is difficult to determine the category of the proposed project under the country’s environmental impact statement system. It is also difficult to state the significant positive and negative impacts of the proposed undertaking. Similar proposals in other countries point to the fact that the financial validity of this type of project does not approximate that of a general commercial direct

Alan S. Cajes

Page 171


Readings in Sustainable Development

investment undertaking. If the project is pursued without emission trading, it is deemed as not commercially viable. Surprisingly, the corporation claims that the IRR of the investment is at 30 percent and the payback period is four (4) years. Its Primer on Jatropha for Biodiesel, however, states that the “return of investment ranges from 0.90 0.95 while payback period is between 2nd to 3 rd year�. A review of a similar project in Tanzania showed that the financial IRR would be less than eight (8) percent10. In summary, the case presented does not provide information regarding the corporation’s accountability to the public as regards its environmental and social performance given the absence of environmental impact assessment of its programs and projects. The public is left with judicial action as possible remedy for environmental and social claims, if there is any. It is also difficult for the stakeholders to determine the environmental and social viability of the programs and projects given the absence of project feasibility studies and business plans11. Summary and Conclusion

Lessons Learned in relation to PA 21 Principles The Philippine Agenda 21 adheres to 15 principles of sustainable development. About nine of these principles are related to the lessons learned from the reviewed RE projects. The principles and the corresponding key lessons learned are as follows: 1. Primacy of developing the full potential of the human being. Connecting households to the grid or an alternative system is providing a social service and an opportunity to contribute to human well10

Construction Project Consultants Inc., CDM Project Formulation Study for Jatropha Biodiesel Development in Tanzania Summary Report, March 2007. 11 Mr. Santos confirmed on February 27, 2008 that he has emailed a copy of the feasibility study that covers only their model plantation. He was briefly interviewed at DAP around 6:30 PM.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 172


Readings in Sustainable Development

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

being in the form of CO2 reduction, natural resources regeneration, etc. Holistic science and appropriate technology . Choosing the right technology based on the needs or requirements of the target partner-beneficiaries, as well as the available resources. Cultural, moral and spiritual sensitivity . Designing projects that nurture local or indigenous knowledge, practices, beliefs, ethics, particularly in areas where there are indigenous communities, people having the same religions affiliation, etc. Self-determination. Integrating this principle in the design of social preparation activities to ensure a meaningful and enlightened stakeholders’ participation. Gender sensitivity. Recognizing the important and complementary roles of both men and women in the establishment, operation and maintenance of an NRE system. Participatory democracy. Improving the capacity of stakeholders and interest groups to effectively participate in decision-making processes and take advantage in utilizing the participatory mechanisms. Institutional viability. Providing capacity-building interventions to improve the ability of communities or people’s organizations to manage an NRE system as an enterprise. Viable, sound and broad-based economic development. Purposive and planned identification of opportunities to earn additional income as a result of the availability of electricity in the community. Ecological soundness. Instilling environmental protection, rehabilitation and stewardship in communities, especially in areas where there are microhydro projects.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 173


Readings in Sustainable Development

Governance and Ecology Starting in the late 90s, it has become customary to compare the performance of the different countries using selected indicators that have governance and ecological dimensions. The 2008 Environmental Performance Index (EPI), for instance, centers on two broad environmental protection objectives, namely, reducing environmental stresses on human health, and promoting ecosystem vitality and sound natural resource management 12. The Philippines is ranked 61st (the higher, the better) with a score of 77.9. Thailand is ranked 53rd with a score of 79. Vietnam places 76th. In the 2005 Environmental Sustainability Index (ESI), Thailand was ranked 73rd, with the Philippines and Vietnam ranked 77th and 127th, respectively13. The recent Human Development Report (1007/2008) of UNDP ranks the Philippines 90th and falls within the medium human development classification. Thailand is 78th, while Vietnam places 105th, but still in the same classification14. Comparative assessment of country performance requires governments to study strengths and opportunities for improvement to raise their ratings in the long term. Understanding the ESA indicators and using them within the framework of performance excellence in the electricity sector are, therefore, opportunities that must be seized because governance generally "impacts directly on the lives of poor people who are less able to avoid the adverse consequences of poor governance and therefore bear a disproportionate share of the ill effects of systems

12

For details visit http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/es/epi/downloads.html#content (last viewed on February 27, 2008 at 1:00 pm). 13 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_Sustainability_Index (last viewed on February 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm). Note that the two reports are not comparable over time due to differences in data and methodology. 14 UNDP, Human Development Report 2007/2008 Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World. UNDP: Palgrave Macmillan: NY, 2007.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 174


Readings in Sustainable Development

and structures of governance that do not reflect their interest15."

15

See Andres Gouldie, Is a Good Government Agenda Practical? An Approach to Governance. Talk given at Overseas Development Institute, March 25, 1998.

Alan S. Cajes

Page 175


Readings in Sustainable Development

About the Author Alan Salces Cajes is fellow of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) where he is designated as vice president and managing director of the Center for Sustainable Human Development, Re-entry Action Plan adviser to government professionals who take part in the Public Management Development Program of the government, and in-house resource person on sustainability and strategic management, quality assessment and project management. He is a Career Executive Service Eligible. He finished a Bachelor of Arts major in Philosophy, with cum laude, at the Holy Name University (formerly Divine Word College) in Tagbilaran City and a Master of Arts major in Philosophy, with magna cum laude, at the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He has developed, designed, implemented or supervised more than 50 action-research projects, as well as delivered lectures or handled sessions to various audiences in the country, on environmental management and sustainable development. On his spare time, he undertakes independent research on Philippine culture, politics and history. He is now working on an online depository of reference materials on development management and sustainability while working on his doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology at the Asian Social Institute in Manila.

ISBN 978-971-94507-1-9

Alan S. Cajes

Page 176


1


Readings in Sustainable Development