Monday, September 20, 2010

Environmentalists use dancing for advocacy

Environmentalists use dancing for advocacy
Jessica Ann R. Pareja
The Freeman
September 20, 2010

CEBU, Philippines – In celebration of nature and to show respect to mother earth, the internationally known Earthdance was held in Cebu for the first time last Saturday and yesterday as the highlight of the Cebu Earth Summit 2010.

The 14-year-old Earthdance finally came to Cebu through the efforts of a network of individuals and groups who believe that through the universal languages of music, art and dance, they will be able to send a strong message to the people that it is now time for a change towards attaining an environmentally sustainable development.

Earthdance was conceived in 1996 with a vision to unite the whole world in peace through the universal platform of dance and music, according to Earthdance International.

Its mission is "to promote global peace, sustainability and social justice through an international online community and network of event producers participating in an annual multi-location music and peace festival."

The Earthdance was held at the Family Park in Talamban, Cebu City. More than 60 organizations and a lot of individuals participated in the event.

"We have to change our lifestyle to achieve an environmentally sustainable development because if we don't change the course we are on, we might not be able to sur-vive the future," said Jah Fe, one of the organizers. She does not belong to any particular organization but she is a member of the community who actively takes part in activi-ties that aim to save the environment.

Two things that Fe and his fellow advocates would like to achieve are community awareness and education and strengthened movement for environmentally sustain-able development.

Fe said that Cebu and the country as a whole has a very incredible environment such as the presence of rainforests, volcanoes, rich marine life.

"The Philippines has the highest biodiversity of corals, butterflies, birds and a very rich variety of rice but all of these are under a lot of pressure. It is rapidly degenerat-ing due to lost of habitat, change of habitat, population expansion without management and illegal activities that damage the environment," Fe said.

Mismanagement is putting the Philippine environment into a critical situation because the government is more of passive than pro-active.

"Degeneration is happening faster than before. It is the civil society that is also doing this, we have to help the government," Fe said.

Everyone can do something even in their own little way, Fe said, adding that basic energy conservation and water conservation tips are helpful if practiced.