In case it has not occurred to you yet, climate change is real and appalling. And at the frontline of its massive long-term effects to the Earth is none other than our oceans.
This is why it has become even more important that we commemorate World Oceans Day. Today, we should be paying even more attention to the waters filling up 70 percent of our planet which, in the last two centuries, have been absorbing a third of hazardous carbon dioxide produced by irresponsible human activities. The ocean plays an integral role in regulating the Earths climate, as stated by the IUCN, but due to our ignorance, we practically force the ocean to store extra heat from the atmosphere. This has led to aggravating effects in the weather, currents, sea levels, temperatures, and even mangroves.
We can still save our oceans and the entire planet through these non-government organizations (NGOs) which you can consider joining or donating to:
Save Philippine Seas
This non-stock and non-profit organization began as a temporary movement that was formed in 2011 to fight against the illegal ocean wildlife trade case in the country. Its campaign eventually grew into an organization focused on marine conservation.
Its current projects include Shark Shelter, a community-based initiative to protect the tresher shark and other coastal resources in Malapascua Island, Cebu. Last September 2018, Malapascua hit the news as the beach and the ocean bottom were found littered with trash, from sachets, junk food bags, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, straw sacks, and a variety of other waste. (READ: Malapascua in Cebu is the next victim of our waste mismanagement problem)
Waves for Water
This international NGO focuses on making clean drinking water accessible. Volunteers all around the world visit communities with shortage of clean water and distribute water filtrations. They also tackle rain water harvesting. Their main goal is to educate more people and make them realize that with the right tools and proper techniques, anyone can filter their existing contaminated waters and create potable and clean water.
Scuba for Change
A dive center based in Puerto Galera aims to do two things: educate locals and tourists on marine conservation and encourage them to dive consciously, with respect to all creatures under water. People of all ages, including kids, are welcome to join. Fifty percent of this organization’s profits goes to Stairway Foundation, another local NGO and a charity organization who works to prevent child exploitation in the Philippines.
Coral Cay Conservation
Since 1986, this international organization has helped nearly 20 countries in saving coral reefs and tropical forests. They came to the Philippines in 1995 to help Southern Leyte monitor coastal resources and go on expeditions to find and preserve threatened eco system. They train their marine volunteers to scuba diver and conduct surveys on status of reef systems.
Marine Conservation Philippines
This NGO focuses on promoting sustainable eco-tourism. Along with protecting endangered reefs, Marine Conservation also restores mangroves, establishes sanctuaries, and reach and educate fishermen to repel illegal fishing.
Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE)
This non-stock and non-government organization is dedicated to conserving the marine ecosystem through three things: scientific research, policy, and education. They use their data to know more about the status and abundance of certain marine creatures such as cetaceans, whale sharks, turtles, sharks, and rays. LAMAVE works with local and national authorities to make sure that proper conservation is being implemented in the country.
Header image courtesy of Unsplash
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Writer: AMIERIELLE ANNE BULAN