Have you ever wondered why so much natural disasters are happening around the world? Earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes, heavy rains, floods, landslides and other natural occurrences have caused tremendous sufferings and destruction to peoples and communities. Some say that nature is fighting back because of years of continued abuse. Others believe its because of man’s ignorance and greed.
To respond to this growing concern over nature’s backlash, Government and non-government organizations have launched various programs to work on the environment. Conferences on collaborative efforts to tackle issues on climate change brought about by the so called greenhouse effect are happening all over the world. And yet man is so far from making a niche in preventing the devastation being done by man against Mother Earth.
The combined reality of greed and ignorance are very strong motivations to continually cause the denudation of our remaining forest, the destruction of mountains to extract mines and minerals, the murder of rivers and streams by dumping poisonous waste have all resulted to the decline in livelihood opportunities for the masses and difficulty of survival for many.
We must address these issues if we are to achieve a certain degree of success in the fight for the environment. To do this, we must be able to explain to the our people in the simplest term how nature works for mankind. Let me share with you an experience I had a few weeks ago. I was among high school students in a remote village up in the mountains of Cotabato. One student asked me why in some areas water was abundant when they are located higher than where we were. One even mentioned that further up, a small water falls was existing with so much water. How did water get on top of these mountains?
This was how I explained it. Trees in the mountains serve as catch basin like empty drums. When it rains, water is stored in each of these trees. These drums of water would have tiny holes and would slowly drip. These droplets of water converge and become springs that lead to streams and into rivers and waterfalls.
When we cut trees, we destroy the drums that store water. As a result, springs, streams, rivers and waterfalls dry up. When it rains the water go straight into the land causing soil erosion and landslides. The soil that flows with water downstream find their way into rivers causing siltation and swelling of river banks, flooding and destroying communities along the way. After my story, the students concluded that we should not allow the cutting of trees and that there is an urgent need to plant fruits trees if their communities were to survive.
With this simple story, the students realized one very important thing; that we are all stakeholders of Mother Earth and our survival depends upon how we take care of GOD’s wonderful creations like trees.
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