Little things that add up
THAT short piece I wrote about a week ago about the instilling of environmental consciousness at the grassroots level by at least one unit within the Gawad Kalinga network reminds me of another instance where a small fishing village learned how to preserve their fishing area. Since I am prone to more senior moments lately, I will just recall some of the salient points. The fishing village was somewhere in Western Visayas, and had once been able to lay claim to very rich fishing grounds just nearby. Unfortunately, a predilection for shortcuts and easy money caused the fisherfolk to engage in two of the most despicable means of catching fish: dynamite blasting and cyanide poisoning. In both cases, the coral formations that attracted all aquatic forms of life were destroyed, and, in the case of cyanide poisoning, probably for all time. As a result, their fish catch dwindled till they reached starvation levels. Finally, an outside party -- either an NGO or a group of well-meaning people -- intervened and showed them the fallacy of their short-term methods. They were able to locate an inlet which had the beginnings of aquatic life in it. They were taught to do the necessary things to promote the propagation of corals in the area, such as the sinking of old vehicles -- properly sanitized of any environmentally disastrous components like batteries, etc. -- which would provide a means for the lifeforms to cling to. In less than a year, the inlet became a thriving fishing ground, but with a difference. Now, the village members organized themselves to both guard their prized inlet and to ensure that no outsiders would blunder in to destroy what they had started. A small lesson that tells us how little things like this can be replicated and propagated, especially by groups and corporations, foundations and NGOs.
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