Rodne Galicha, Philippine Environmentalist, Born (1979)

The biodiversity of the Philippines is extraordinary, and that of Sibuyan Island especially so.  The island, known as the Galapagos of Asia, supports one of the densest forests in the world and is home to Mt. Guiting-Guiting National Park.  One man who knows the island well is Philippine environmentalist Rodne Galicha.

Rodne Galicha (photo by Rodne Galicha)

Galicha was born in the town of San Fernando on Sibuyan Island on June 2, 1979.  He studied to be a priest as well as an environmental activist, and the combination of spiritual and scientific thinking is a hallmark of his vision.  “I just want to sit down on a rock, look at the horizon, close my eyes while feeling my breathing in and out — best to enjoy the orchestra of the gentle waves weaved in to the noise of chirping birds of the Sibuyan Sea.  From the seashore, {I take} a little walk to the mountain side and give respect to the majesty of Mt. Guiting-Guiting….”

Galicha knows, however, that positive action is needed to bring about a sustainable world.  Consequently he has worked for and organized a variety of non-governmental environmental groups.  He was a Philippine leader of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and represented his country at UN climate meetings in Morocco and Germany.  He worked with the Filipino Youth Beyond Paris and Campus Corps, understanding that the sustainability message must be routed through children.  He recounted his best speaking opportunity as a chance visit to a small village school.  “Since there was no electricity, I managed to use chalk and illustrated the basics of the climate crisis on the blackboard — the greenhouse effect and the carbon cycle, among others. The children were so receptive and they committed themselves to make a change in their own homes and schools.”

He is a founder and leader of the new organization (founded in 2018) Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, an interfaith movement arising from Pope Francis’ encyclical about sustainability and the climate crisis. The group advocates a strategy of “telling appointed stewards of our financial resources to withhold deposits, investments, and loans to institutions that are engaged in or enable the growth of businesses and ventures that harm the environment.”  He has led several successful efforts to control mining in both the Philippines and Australia. Most recently, Galicha has been fighting to preserve the integrity of Mt. Guiting-Guiting National Park through another organization he leads, Bayay Sibuyanon, Inc.  The park continues to be threatened by road-building proposals.

Mt. Guiting-Guiting National Park (photo by Androkay)

Galicha is an advocate of the “8R” approach to sustainable living:  reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, refuse, rethink, rainforest and recollect.  For his efforts, he was chosen in 2018 as one of the Philippines Outstanding Young Men and Women.

References:

Climate Reality Project.  Meet the Presenter:  Rodne Galicha.  September er 06, 2011.  Available at:  https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/meet-presenter-rodne-galicha. Accessed May 8, 2021.

Gen-T List.  Rodne Galicha.  Available at:  https://generationt.asia/people/rodne-galicha. Accessed May 8, 2021.

Living Laudato Si’ Philippines.  Available at:  https://livinglaudatosi.org.ph. Accessed May 8, 2021.

Manila Standard.  2020.  NGO: Halt Romblon road project.  The Manila Standard, June 21, 2020.  Available at:  https://manilastandard.net/mobile/article/326618.  Accessed May 8, 2021.

This Month in Conservation

January 1
NEPA Enacted (1970)
January 2
Bob Marshall Born (1901)
January 3
Canaveral National Seashore Created (1975)
January 4
The Real James Bond Born (1900)
January 5
National Bird Day
January 6
Wild Kingdom First Airs (1963)
January 7
Gerald Durrell Born (1925)
January 8
Alfred Russel Wallace Born (1823)
January 9
Muir Woods National Monument Created (1908)
January 10
National Houseplant Appreciation Day
January 11
Aldo Leopold Born (1887)
January 12
National Trust of England Established (1895)
January 13
MaVynee Betsch, the Beach Lady, Born (1935)
January 14
Martin Holdgate Born (1931)
January 15
British Museum Opened (1795)
January 16
Dian Fossey Born (1932)
January 17
Benjamin Franklin, America’s First Environmentalist, Born (1706)
January 18
White Sands National Monument Created (1933)
January 19
Yul Choi, Korean Environmentalist, Born (1949)
January 19
Acadia National Park Established (1929)
January 20
Penguin Appreciation Day
January 21
The Wilderness Society Founded (1935)
January 22
Iraq Sabotages Kuwaiti Oil Fields (1991)
January 23
Sweden Bans CFCs in Aerosols (1978)
January 24
Baden-Powell Publishes “Scouting for Boys” (1908)
January 25
Badlands National Park Established (1939)
January 26
Benjamin Franklin Disses the Bald Eagle (1784)
January 27
National Geographic Society Incorporated (1888)
January 28
Bermuda Petrel, Thought Extinct for 300 Years, Re-discovered (1951)
January 29
Edward Abbey, author of “Desert Solitaire,” Born (1927)
January 30
England Claims Antarctica (1820)
January 31
Stewart Udall, Secretary of Interior, Born (1920)
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