Recently Japan suffered an 8.9 Magnitude earthquake with a subsequent 10-meter Tsunami following in its wake. Expected would be hundreds up to thousands dead and trillions up to quadrillions in Japanese Yen of damage.  The social loss and environmental degradation is even more devatasting with an oil refinery and many other industrial installations and facilities going up in flames or drowning and getting crushed in water. A lot of areas are affected: Fukushima, Obaida, Sendai, Hokkaido suffering the brunt of the tremor and many parts of Japan experienced minor aftershocks.

I dearly wish that Hon. Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, former Defense Minister and in charge of home defense, will be reading this article because this is like an Open Letter to PM Najib Tun Razak, more than anything else.

We have been preparing for a hazard mapping summit in Manila in April 2010 with funding from abroad that was lodged as part of a fund in a Malaysian bank, the CIMB that promised to shoulder the conversion from bond to cash. It appears that the CIMB does not have any capability to make true their promise. We moved the conference to November 2010.

At this time, we have moved  to another new timetable, after the middle of 2011.

We don’t mind if the time frame keeps moving.

But disasters keep happening over the past 23 months – which is the period of delay we have  experienced due to the inadequacy of our banking institution, CIMB Bank.

Now CIMB Bank has advised us to move the fund facility to another more capable bank but that will take hundreds of thousand of U.S. Dollars to do that, as it did the first time we had the fund lodged at CIMB .  In terms of Pesos, that would rake up nearly P12,ooo,ooo. and we thought we’d already gone past that.

I need not remind Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia,  that the danger of ever present disasters are now at our doorsteps. The floodings in China, the earthquake in Taiwan, Christchurch in New Zealand, an earlier earthquake in Haiti, Taiwan and so many more.  In just 23 months.  Excellency Mr. Prime Minister Najib Razak, we were together during the ruling party of the Philippines and Malaysia’s Youth Summit in Manila in 1993.  I wrote a lot to you as chair of the international organizing committee. And you wrote me back at least a few times through your external committee head Ibrahim. We go back that far, and this time, I do need your help.

It takes so little, as a mere conference, to define  a map of hazards in our environment in full color and understandable code. But it seems that opportunity will be lost to us even longer and more disasters can come and go and then we might nearly all be dead before we know it. And where is climate change in all of these disasters?  I don’t seem to see evidence of it that we can take to courts.  These occurrences are of another phenomenon and that plus climate change, with other factors put together are what we want to dwell on during the hazard mapping summit, dear Najib.

A lot of countries have written us about their interest in the hazard and environmental summit and how they can participate.  Even members of the United Nations have early expressed their interest. It appears that only your Malaysian Bank, CIMB with your own brother in it, Najib, is the least bit interested in helping us. I cannot overemphasize Najib, that the purpose of the hazard mapping summit is to identify areas where disasters will strike the hardest, on a medium scale or in an insignificant manner.  In this way, there is surely going to be better preparations than what we have seen from the pitiful experience of Christchurch, Japan and many other countries in the past.

I hope the Prime Minister of Japan Hon. Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of New Zealand Hon. John Key, Prime Minister of Haiti Jean Max Bellerive, can put in a word to you Najib, to please allow us to hold the hazard and environmental mapping summit in Manila at least this year 2011 before new and bigger disasters come by floating currency in favor of banks like CIMB.

Act now Najib, or the cooperation we talked about in the Malaysia-Philippines Youth Summit  and the following ICAPP meetings would have been for nothing. Do something for the environment before its too late and stop worrying for a moment about other things!!!  Let the hazard mapping summit happen!!!  God bless you Najib!!! Salam aleikum!!! – Sincerely, Solomon

P.S.

During the time of the former President, Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, it was only Elaine Bautista (now Mrs. Horn) who responded to our communiques about the project.  In the time of His Excellency Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, I have already communicated with Sec. Voltaire Gazmin and one of my former co-workers in the ngo sector Dinky Soliman, but the only measly result of the communication was changing the name of National Disaster Coordinating Council into the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. How awful!  Of course, I cannot blame Sec. Gazmin. You can’t even be sure if he is comfortable in his position right now.  I guess I cannot care less if the government is serious or not in wanting to help this conference push through with.  We, on the other hand, are clearly serious in wanting to help the people of this country and our neighboring countries at least get a picture of what will happen in their own future.

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October 31, 2009

HIS EXCELLENCY
BAN KI-MOON
Secretary General
United Nations

Dear Mr. Secretary General:

Greetings!

Every 5th of June since 1972 is commemorated by the United Nations as the World Environment Day.

In 2010-2011, scientists report that there will be a solar maximum that has not occurred since fifty years ago as reported in this article from Science@NASA:

a (solar) storm is coming–the most intense solar maximum in fifty years. The prediction comes from a team led by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). “The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the previous one,” she says. If correct, the years ahead could produce a burst of solar activity second only to the historic Solar Max of 1958. Read more about it here

This and other factors will result in major disasters during the period in question. Our group of professionals advocating environment protection and disaster damage diminution respectfully request the United Nations to support our effort to organize a Geo Hazard Mapping and Environment Summit in 2010 and we are determined that this gathering be convened in Manila, Philippines.

In this connection, may we respectfully request the following:

1. United Nations and its concerned departments participate in the Summit and help in organizing said event
2. The Year 2010 be declared as the International Geo Hazard Mapping Year
3. The month of April 2010 be declared as the International Disaster Risk Reduction Month; and finally,
4. The date of April 17, 2010 be declared as the first World Hazards Awareness Day.

That these declarations be formally announced in Manila prior to the Summit.

Thank you ever so much! Mabuhay!!!

Respectfully yours,

Organizers HMES 2010

During a small group (round table) meeting in Quezon City at the residence of poet and writer Rolly Carbonell, Author, poet,on forthcoming hazards from climate change and the solar super storm in 2012-2013, everyone shared their their ideas on various psycho-social issues that need to be considered about this event in the near future.

Initially, the group discussed the impact of the tsunami in Thailand and Indonesia, Bangladesh et al, Hurricane Katrina in the US, Typhoon Ondoy in the Philippines.

The Convenor of the conference, Sen. Edgar U. Ilarde, said that there will even be bigger catastrophes come 2012 and 2013, when the phenomenon of the solar climax or solar maximum takes place.  This will be in the form of a magnetic storm or a solar super storm that has devastating effects on both humans and more potently upon satellites, electronics, communications and many other devices powered by electricity.

On the other hand, Author, poet, philosopher George Sison, said:

The way we approach disaster, those in the past and especially those that are forthcoming, it almost looks like we brought these things upon ourselves.

George was saying that as if by mute agreement, we all collectively invoke disaster and will calamities to wreak damage upon ourselves and loved ones. Our conventional conscious acts and thinking either make or help make storms and earthquakes to happen. This is a dangerous thing to do. Psychically inviting peril and death.

George was also saying that we, as a people that are called Filipinos, are the only ethnic group that apparently suffer from negative karmic vibrations that in selected places of the world, once identified as Filipinos, we are discriminated against.  In George’s experience, he says he was extremely humiliated in an airport when someone asked who were from the Philippines and segregated all those that raised their hands from  the rest and told to occupy a corner so as to be processed longer than the rest of the travelers.

Such negative karma in a collective, George says, if powerful enough can also be contributory to events that happen in the environment. Together with the negative psychic energy of many others in the rest of the planet, we could even trigger bigger, much more tremendously powerful calamities all around the world.

More about this post here.

The Philippines has a long way to go in weather forecasting.  For a long time, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or popularly known as PAGASA has been waiting for its order of at least ten S-band Doppler Radars.  The first delivery being half of the lot.  This has not happened.

PAGASA has been relying in part on the steady stream of free inputs with its membership in the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).  Certain quarters suggested the creation of a Philippine space agency in 2007 and a data communications (satellite) based agency as early as 1988.  No one listened to the proposals.  If the former Sec. Emilia Boncodin of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) even singlehandedly torpedoed down the creation of the Congress-legislated National Transport Safety Board, much more a space agency. And because of Boncodin’s single act, the whole situation is so fucked up that tragic disasters and crises involving mishaps at sea have been happening left and right and can’t be stopped from happening in the future. There were those who unnecessarily criticized and lambasted the proponent of a Philippine space agency, a retiring engineer at PAGASA, as foolish.

The project proposed to create a functional data communication agency, the Philippine Satellite Communication Operation, Research and Development Council (PSCRDC) in 1988, at the diminishing level of euphoria over EDSA I was probably just thrown in the garbage can.  If real and pseudo scholars will check at the Records Office in Malacañang, there is heavy doubt if the document was even registered as received by the Office of the President, even under the heading of Classified matter.  The project paper had a stamp of SECRET all over it.

The PSCRDC was clearly envisioned to be a Philippine space agency and it preceded the idea submitted by Engr. Bernardo Soriano.  Soriano appears to be an admin man, although he should be equipped with a doctorate after serving more than 30 years in PAGASA.  Why he submitted the idea for PASA could be due to his years of experiencing faulty detection and forecasting at PAGASA.

The Philippine Government should review the PAGASA proposal now and not at any other later time.  S-band Radars are all right.  But is it state-of-the-art in storm detection radars (SDR)?  If the investment to buy 10 radars will not cover the entire archipelago, what is the use of having the Dopplers?

Will it not pay more to have a stronger space agency and to invest more inputs for a mechanism to generate more data from outer space than is available today for the country?  After all, how many end-users are there for satellite data?  Nearly everyone has a use for information from outer space, not the least of which are those in the field of environment management, business, civil and military aviation, shipping, land transport, logistics, defense, law enforcement and just about any Googler and ArcGIS map user out there that includes many students, teachers, professionals who know how to.  And if you count them all, the number runs to millions.

That in itself is already a huge market.  Considering that the Philippine business traffic overlaps with those of many other countries, there is also revenue potential in this area.

For this reason, Cyberpark Telecom, our company has extended its sights towards business that relies on outer space data and possibly to generate a positive relationship with Smart Communications in this regard.

While there is only one Philippine satellite, see data from SatNews below, there is also great good that will come about if the satellite were boosted and fully equipped with new components and gadgetry to increase its sensing capabilities and other functions.  And that is where we come in.  If the Agila II Satellite people will not accept our offer, we can go shopping for other partners.  There are hundreds of satellites, real and artificial orbiting in outer space. India alone has ten satellites.  Or we could opt to launch our own satellites in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology in the near future.

By then, government must have renamed the PAGASA into a Philippine Space Agency as Soriano dreamed of.  But today we urge the administration of HE  PGMA to start pushing its cluster of agencies to map out the strengthening of RP’s capacities for using outer space as a valuable resource in many of its concerns.

As we are advocating in Resource Recovery Movement, there is a need for policy regime change in the area of mapping as it relates to environment, to global warming, to its many applications in engineering, architectural township planning, urban development, agriculture, etc.

The link to information on the Agila II Satellite: SatNews

Want to be part

October 21, 2009

2010 Hazard mapping and environmental summit (HMES), Eco Summit 2010 to be held in the Philippines (Manila) (8-15 April 2010)‏

From: Meen Poudyal Chhetri (dr_mbpchhetri@xxxxxx)
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2009 7:13:50 AM
To:    saferecover@msn.com; onefestival@live.com

Dear Sir/Madam, 

I am from Nepal. This is regarding my great interest to participate in the 2010 Hazard mapping and environmental summit (HMES), Eco Summit 2010 to be held in the Philippines (Manila) (8-15 April 2010).

As defined by the World Bank, I am from a very low income and least developed country – Nepal,  neither me nor my organization have resources to attend theconference. I would, therefore, like to request you to kindly let me know, if there is any possibility of funding from your organization for my participation. If I will be given a chance to attend the conference that will be an asset and excellent opportunity for me and my organization. I can contribute by presenting a paper in theconference.

I look forward to hear from you soon in positive vein.
 
With very kind regards,

Sincerely yours,

Meen B. Poudyal Chhetri, PhD
General Secretary 
Nepal Center for Disaster Management (NCDM) 
Lalitpur, Nepal

From UNEP-OCHA:

Dear colleagues,

We at the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environnment Unit have become aware of the Hazard mapping and environmental summit you are organizing in April 2010. As part of efforts to improve the international response to environmental emergencies we have developed a tool to identify secondary environmental risks that industrial facilities and large infrastructure may pose when affected by a natural disaster: the Hazard Identification Tool (please see the attachment for further information). In addition to using this tool in response to emergencies, i.e. to identify environmental hazards after a disaster has struck, we have been exploring different ways to use the tool to identify and map hazards before the on-set of natural disasters, thereby
contributing to preparedness efforts.

It is before this background that we would like to inquire whether any contribution from our side could be of value to the Eco Summit and/or whether there might be other possibilities for collaboration. I would be happy to provide you with more details on our work in regards to environmental hazard identification.

Best regards,
Mirja Peters

(See attached file: HIT – One pager (09 Sep).pdf)

Ms. Mirja PETERS
Environmental Emergencies Unit (joint UNEP/OCHA)
Emergency Preparedness Section, Emergency Services Branch
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Palais des Nations – bureau D-117
CH 1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
Phone: +41 22 917 1590
Fax: +41 22 917 0257
E-mail: petersm@un.org
http://ochaonline.un.org/ochaunep

Conserve the environment! Please do not print this email unless absolutely
necessary.

2010 Hazard mapping and environmental summit (HMES)
[ Eco Summit 2010 ]

Type: Meeting or Conference 
Date: 08-15 Apr 2010 
Location: Philippines (Manila) 
Main organizer 
Resource Recovery Movement (RRM) 

Description 

The Resource Recovery Movement will hold the first 2010 Hazards Mapping and Environment Summit  (Eco 2010 Summit) in Manila, Philippines. This is ultimately borne about by the tremendous changing of the Philippine landscape and those of other countries in the Pacific Rim in the last few decades. All efforts towards risk mapping in relation to calamities and disasters in the past should now take into consideration the great shifts and transformations in land mass, the enormous amount of rainfall brought about by climate change and many new factors that were heretofore not factored into national and sub-national planning by governments as well as even by business establishments and non-government organizations.

The 2010 Hazard Mapping and Environmental Summit (HMES) is intended to develop better approaches to mapping risks and dangers to communities in the Philippines and other countries with tropical climates. It takes a cue from the recent experience in China, Indonesia and the Philippines, notwithstanding the previous experiences in Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan where scores of people died due to unforeseen occurrences during the incidence of a natural disaster: earthquake, 
typhoon, tsunami and other calamities. 

The databasing, mapping and full coordination of efforts towards use and sharing of a full function GIS on hazards, volcanoes, water, flood, forests in the Philippines and Asia, vulnerability areas, liquefaction potential, crisis and hot spots is long due because of the long-running phenomenon of climate change in the planet. This is also significant in that the Philippines, among other countries, lies in the Pacific Rim of Fire where a large number of earthquake faults lie. 

The most important value of the conference is to determine the plan and the cost of implementing such a plan to make the Philippines and other participating nations safer from increasingly hazardous calamities. 

Additional information 
http://ecologyguardian.wordpress.com/ 

How to register 
Please contact Sol: +632 7102609 +639212384228 
email: saferecover@msn.com 
onefestival@live.com