Citizens clean up Manila Bay to protest against reclamation

IN solidarity with the International Coastal Cleanup 2012, volunteers of Brigada Kalikasan and Kalikasan Partylist today held a clean-up of Manila Bay, along Gasangan shore in Baseco, Manila and in Freedom Island, Paranaque.

Entitled “Linis Brigada ng Kalikasan,” the event aims to engage and educate the public on key issues concerning water and aquatic ecosystems such as pollution and resource depletion. Earlier this morning, students from various universities and environmental advocates trooped to the two clean-up sites for the massive clean-up efforts.

Kalikasan Partylist expressed its opposition to the impending reclamation projects along Manila Bay which would span up to Las Pinas, Paranaque and Cavite.

“Filipinos are doing their share to save the world’s shores from further pollution, damage and development aggression. In Manila, we are calling attention to the sorry state of Manila Bay: a diverse coastal and marine habitat and one of the best natural harbors in Southeast Asia which is now being polluted, neglected and reclaimed for commercial land conversion,” the group said in a statement.

Over the years, Manila Bay’s shoreline has been reduced due to land reclamation and decrease of mangrove forests. Its waters have also become increasingly polluted. Kalikasan Partylist believes that it is in the people’s interests to protect the Manila Bay’s wealth of biodiversity, natural resources and ecosystem services.

In 2011, Kalikasan Partylist mobilized over a hundred volunteers for the ICC. The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) has been the world’s largest volunteer effort for coastal health over the past 27 years. In this year’s ICC, Kalikasan mobilized citizens and students based in the National Capital Region to clean up and conduct a trash audit of Manila Bay in cooperation with Office of the Mayor of Manila City.

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