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

June 1
US Announced Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement (2017)
June 2
Edwin Way Teale, Nature Writer, Born (1899)
June 2
Rodne Galicha, Philippine Environmentalist, Born (1979)
June 3
The World’s First Wilderness Area Established (1924)
June 4
Gaylord Nelson, Politician and Conservationist, Born (1916)
June 5
World Environment Day
June 6
Novarupta Volcano Erupted in Alaska (1912)
June 7
Thomas Malthus Published His Famous Essay (1798)
June 8
Bryce Canyon National Park Created (1923)
June 9
Coral Triangle Day
June 10
E. O. Wilson, Father of Biodiversity, Born (1929)
June 11
Jacques Cousteau, Ocean Explorer, Born (1910)
June 12
Frank Chapman, Creator of the Christmas Bird Count, Born (1864)
June 13
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Born (1944)
June 14
Bramble Cay Melomys Went Extinct (2016)
June 15
Global Wind Day
June 16
Gray Whale Delisted (1994)
June 17
World Day to Combat Desertification
June 18
Alexander Wetmore, Ornithologist and Smithsonian Leader, Born (1866)
June 19
Feast of the Forest, Palawan, Philippines
June 20
Great Barrier Reef Protected (1975)
June 21
World Hydrography Day
June 22
Cuyahoga River Burst into Flames (1969)
June 23
Antarctic Treaty Implemented (1961)
June 24
David McTaggart, Greenpeace Leader, Born (1932)
June 25
David Douglas, Pioneering Botanist, Born (1799)
June 26
United Nations Chartered (1945)
June 27
Tajik National Park Added to World Heritage List (2013)
June 28
Mark Shand, Asian Elephant Conservationist, Born (1951)
June 29
Mesa Verde National Park Created (1906)
June 30
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Created (1940)
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