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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ANNUAL ECOLOGY CRISIS CONFERENCE

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.

Click this link to sign up: Join Resource Recovery Movement!

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.

Note: The organizers reserve the right to make minor changes in the Conference details prior to the actual Event.

HMES 2010 Organizers