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.


Climate Reality Project.  Meet the Presenter:  Rodne Galicha.  September er 06, 2011.  Available at: Accessed May 8, 2021.

Gen-T List.  Rodne Galicha.  Available at: Accessed May 8, 2021.

Living Laudato Si’ Philippines.  Available at: Accessed May 8, 2021.

Manila Standard.  2020.  NGO: Halt Romblon road project.  The Manila Standard, June 21, 2020.  Available at:  Accessed May 8, 2021.

This Month in Conservation

October 1
Yosemite National Park Created (1890)
October 2
San Diego Zoo Founded (1916)
October 3
James Herriot, English Veterinarian, Born (1916)
October 4
Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Ecology
October 5
Catherine Cooper Hopley, British Herpetologist, Born (1817)
October 6
Mad Hatter’s Day
October 7
Henry A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture, Born (1888)
October 8
World Octopus Day
October 9
Vajont Dam Disaster (1963)
October 10
Dnieper Dam Began Operation (1932)
October 11
Big Cypress and Big Thicket National Preserves Created (1974)
October 12
William Laurance, Tropical Conservationist, Born (1957)
October 13
International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
October 14
Timpanogos Cave National Monument Created (1922)
October 14
Dr. Mamie Parker, Pioneering African American Fisheries Scientist and Leader, Born (1957)
October 15
Isabella Bird, Pioneering Eco-traveler, Born (1831)
October 16
World Food Day
October 17
Oliver Rackham born (1939)
October 18
Clean Water Act established (1972)
October 19
Research Vessel Albatross Launched (1882)
October 20
OPEC Oil Embargo (1973)
October 21
“Ding” Darling born (1876)
October 22
Wombat Day
October 23
Cumberland Island National Seashore established (1972)
October 24
Antoni von Leeuwenhoek born (1632)
October 25
Secretary of the Interior Convicted in Teapot Dome Scandal (1929)
October 26
Erie Canal Opens (1825)
October 27
Golden Gate and Gateway National Recreation Areas Created (1972)
October 28
Henry Mosby, Wild Turkey Biologist, Born (1913)
October 28
First Ticker-tape Parade Held (1886)
October 29
Stanley Park, Vancouver, Dedicated (1889)
October 30
UNESCO Designates 9 Natural World Heritage Sites (1981)
October 31
Lincoln Highway Dedicated (1913)
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