Friday, February 17, 2006

Philippines Mudslides and Illegal Logging

The recent mudslides in the Philippines has wreaked havoc on a the residents and natural regions around the south-east Asian archipelago, especially on the island of Leyte. It being monsoon season heavy rains have fallen for over three days in the region. Thousands are reported to be buried in one of the worst mudslides in the country's history.

The Philippines have a rough history with natural disasters. In 2003 mudslides claimed over 80 people and hundreds went missing. In 2001, a typhoon killed 36 people after it caused massive mudslides and flooding. The blame for the latest mudslide is falling to illegal loggers who are raping most of the rural regions with clear cutting of hardwood forests. Its not the first time illegal logging has been put on the hot seat either. So, one hopes that the country, but more importantly the world, begins to realize that buying such products from the asian wood market is directly connected to these disasters. The folks sitting in their tropical hardwood chairs and couches who give large checks to the American Red Cross after disasters like this could probably do better to educate themselves on the devastation their furniture causes. The bottom line is its a circular process...we're all connected.

Checkout a devastating report on the causes of illegal logging, how its connected to American consumers and the effects of such deforestation on the natural environment.

Already, the country is dealing with soil erosion and deforestation (most of it illegal) not to mention high pollution levels among the ancient mangrove swamps where the majority of their fish stock are bred.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ecologist on RAN

The organization I work for, Rainforest Action Network, is being featured in this month's Ecologist. If anything I'm interested in what folks are thinking about some of the work we do as the article does a great job of grasping what our work has accomplished, some of its shortfalls, what we hope to accomplish and how we operate "under the radar" of the media and major networks. You can't get the article online (!) but you can grab it at your Barnes and Noble (or local bookshop newsstand of your choice...I think.)

Granted its a friendly news source (in case you couldn't tell the Ecologist is a bit of a softball for us) and many of our victories are garnering more attention especially in the financial sector with the likes of JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and now Wells Fargo. But its nice to finally get a little press outside of American Banker and Investors Daily. Not exactly mainstream, y'know?

Checkout the global finance campaign's website DirtyMoney for more info:

Otherwise, see the new RAN website that will be released in the coming weeks.