By Datu Oskie MUHAMMAD, Vice Chair for Mindanao, GREENS PH – Partido Kalikasan
THE COTABATO RIVER BASIN is the proposed target area for GREENS PH-Partido Kalikasan's period of engagement with the Climate Change Commission and Asia Pacific Greens Federation (APGF). In the centre of it is the LIGUASAN MARSH which has a total wet land areas of 288,000 hectares located in the areas connecting the provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat. The marsh is surrounded by ten watershed areas namely: 1. Mal-mar, 2. Libungan, 3. Malasila, 4. Buayan, 5. Sebu, 6. Kabulnan, 7. Timanan, 8. Blit, 9. Dimapatoy, 10. Bukidnon and are the head waters of the Mindanao area.
The 10 Watershed Areas surrounding the Cotabato River Basin are all in the period of deterioration and without effective conservation the current flooding is likely to worsen, threatening the life of approximately a million inhabitants in the areas of Central Mindanao.
A people’s power movement is needed to prevent this scenario. We are not underestimating the power of government, but we have experiences from the past and doubt the capacity of the government to solve the problems alone.
A grassroots movement for social and environmental reform needs to be established which invites all sectors of people, regardless of social classes and geographic areas, to unite in addressing the threats in our times which also affects the generations after us. Greens PH invites the members of the Global Greens family to join and to support us in delivering mass capability building programs to build this grassroots movement for social and environmental reform.