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The Outdoor Rules Are Changing

Photo lifted from business mirror article.

This is the reason why I've written this blog:

http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/burning-issue-is-phl-prepared-for-forest-fires/


Grabe... the realities of El Nino and Climate Change have reached the mountain tops. Actually, there are more human-induced impacts that result to deforestation and changing of ecosystems from rainforests to grasslands. Ey, as of about 15 years ago, our original rainforest has dwindled to a pathetic 5%.


But what can we do aside from hopeless amd helpless finger-pointing? From where i sit, the outdoor community may have to bite the bullet, and the corresponding agencies be more proactive and responsive.


1. We may have to declare zero-activity months starting on the onset of dry season. But not on every mountain! Study first the vulnerable spots and zone them. Grasslands, mossy and dwarf forests would be some of the most vulnerable to impacts. 


2. This is a bitter medicine that we really have to think hard - zone activity areas where camping is allowed. Those areas may have to be "developed" (meaning, harden trails, harden campgrounds, etc) to minimize creating disastrous impacts. DENR and other stakeholders must really study this option, identify the sites, formulate hardening mechanisms, and sell the idea to stakeholders. 2 hectares to protect 500 hectares, maybe that's a good compromise.... This will have to be discussed very well to avoid any unacceptable loophole.


3. Let's develop an Outdoor Code of Conduct that goes beyond take nothing but pictures! 


I stand by my opinion that we should stop immediately blaming mountaineers for mountain incidents. There are so many possible causes that result to these tragedies. But let us, outdoor people and our government come up with ways to protect the remaining less than 5% of our rainforest from further destruction caused by our forefathers and leaders. The rules of outdoor games are changing.

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