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

February 1
Afobaka Dam and Operation Gwamba (1964)
February 2
Groundhog Day
February 3
George Adamson, African Lion Rehabilitator, Born (1906)
February 4
Congress Overrides President Reagan’s Veto of Clean Water Act (1987)
February 5
National Wildlife Federation Created (1936)
February 6
Colin Murdoch, Inventor of the Tranquilizer Gun, Born (1929)
February 7
Karl August Mobius, Ecology Pioneer, Born (1825)
February 8
President Johnson Addresses Congress about Conservation (1965)
February 8
Lisa Perez Jackson, Environmental Leader, Born (1982)
February 9
U.S. Fish Commission Created (1871)
February 10
Frances Moore Lappe, author of Diet for a Small Planet, born (1944)
February 11
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
February 12
Judge Boldt Affirms Native American Fishing Rights (1974)
February 13
Thomas Malthus Born (1766)
February 14
Nature’s Faithful Lovers
February 15
Complete Human Genome Published (2001)
February 16
Kyoto Protocol, Controlling Greenhouse-Gas Emissions, Begins (2005)
February 16
Alvaro Uglade, Father of Costa Rica’s National Parks, Born (1946)
February 17
Sombath Somphone, Laotian Environmentalist, Born (1952)
February 17
R. A. Fischer, Statistician, Born (1890)
February 18
Julia Butterfly Hill, Tree-Sitter, Born (1974)
February 18
World Pangolin Day
February 19
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Established (1962)
February 20
Ansel Adams, Nature Photographer, Born (1902)
February 21
Carolina Parakeet Goes Extinct (1918)
February 22
Nile Day
February 23
Italy’s Largest Inland Oil Spill (2010)
February 24
Joseph Banks, British Botanist, Born (1743)
February 25
First Federal Timber Act Passed (1799)
February 26
Four National Parks Established (1917-1929)
February 27
International Polar Bear Day
February 28
Watson and Crick Discover The Double Helix (1953)
February 29
Nature’s Famous Leapers
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