Clean Environment: Clean Land

Clean Environment: Clean Land

Land is a very important resource that can enhance the quality of life of any human being in any society in the planet Earth. The use of land must therefore be well planned. Each local government unit or state created laws that will govern the rational use of land. Others call it Land Use Act. Smaller units like towns and cities formulate their own Land Use Plan that is accompanied by a legal mechanism called the Zoning Ordinance.

Several uses of Land had been created and their location is governed by laws to make the town, city or community, look well organized. So, in the town, city, province or county, there are areas for residential use, industrial use, institutional use like schools, hospitals and others, commercial use, areas for parks and recreation as well as open spaces. There are protected areas that is home to national forest, beaches, an underground river where a 20 million years old Serenia fossil is found, heritage sites like caves where the remains of the Tabon Man was found, and so many others. Land should therefore be used properly so that the future generations will have more left for their use and enjoyment.


(Thank you to DENR. This video was uploaded on youtube by denr10org. Puerto Princesa Underground River has already been declared the 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO Heritage Site.)

How can we keep this resource clean? Land should not be allowed as the receiving end of pollution or any pollutants. Using fertilizers that can affect the sustainable use of land is not just right and it is not healthy for the land. Disturbing the land structure like mining can deform landscape that will influence erosion and flooding as in the case of flash floods and catastrophic flow of water from bald mountains which could result to the death of residents in that area.

Clean land implies caring for the land, using it properly, and control the development that will happen on it. That is why we have the 4 Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle and rot or composting so that the wastes will be placed in the landfill and not just anywhere. We have River Life Protection Program because we want the waterways to be clean and not the dumping area for garbage. When the rivers and waterways are clean, we allow the living organism there to thrive. We have wastewater treatment plant, material recovery facility and so many environment related activities so that we can keep our environment and the land we live in clean and healthy. (Photo by Henry Lib, South of Guam Island)

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The Mandaluyong City Experience

BEST PRACTICES CORNER: The Mandaluyong Market and Mall

Many years ago, August 25, 1990, when the Public Market of the City of Mandaluyong was gutted by fire, the city government had to construct a temporary market in one of the areas in the city to house the displaced market vendors. With an area that was then empty, the city government of Mandaluyong had to think on how that little area of land can be made into full use and bring revenues to the city.

I was lucky to be one of those employees trained by PRMDP-AusAID on the topic: Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT). At that time, Mandaluyong City had already a new market. One day, we were brought to this Market-Mall and no less than the City Administrator Atty. Santos explained to us how this Market-Mall came about. We had a nice tour of the more that 6 stories building. Later that day, we were ushered in to the Office of the City Mayor who was then Ben Hur Abalos. The Mayor and Atty. Santos had told us the struggles of the City of Mandaluyong to construct the Market, but soon realized how the concept of B.O.T. can help them achieve that.

From the rubbles of the old market, a new market was built. On its first level were both the Dry and Wet Section. I cannot fully remember which part, left side or right side, but the Meat Section and the Fish Section were separated. On the second level were stores or shall I say concessionaires and of course I remember there was Jollibee. Other fast food chains were also competing with the rest. The third floor was occupied by another set of business, etcetera and so on and so forth. At that time, the city government was ideating on making one of the upper floors as parking area.

Be that as it may, the City Government of Mandaluyong was able to make a decision that changes the landscape and business atmosphere of Mandaluyong. Who would think that the Market-Mall we were visiting at that time was a government owned property? The façade and character does not manifest it was. It looked like a Mall, per se.

So, here we are, the Success Story of how the City of Mandaluyong made this small land area and old market into a profitable asset that change not only the landscape of Mandaluyong but also its status as an LGU in the entire Philippines.

As a Bacolodnon, I hope that someday our city government officials can make a decision to change the Bacolod Central Market into something more useful, beautiful and a place that will attract people and business activities. Making it high rise like Mandaluyong’s Market-Mall? Why not?

For cities that experiences a decay in some areas of the urban center like the heart of the city, it is going to be a problem on how to revitalize it and bring back life and vitality to the once vibrant and booming business area of the city. Other people would call this experience a decay, slow death or whatever term that describes a dying interest of people to patronize business establishments or even to make the Bacolod Central Market as their destination.

If this happens, the dying section of the city will be revived and with its renewed image and vitality, the Central Market will once again regained its image as the Center of commerce and trade in the City of Smiles.

Project: Hyderabad Waste Management Project

BEST PRACTICES CORNER:

Here is an example of managing hazardous waste in Hyderabad, India. The project is assisted by the Australian Agency For International Development or AusAid. (Reference: http://www.earthsystems.au)

Project: Hyderabad Waste Management Project

CLIENT: AusAID, the Australian Agency for International Development, manages the Australian Government’s
official overseas aid program.

LOCATION: Hyderabad is the capital city of the State of Andhra Pradesh and a major industrial centre in southern India. It is India’s fifth largest city having a population of over 4 million people.

With a population of 914 million people (1994), India is the second most populous nation in the world after
China. Nearly one quarter of its population live in poverty.

BACKGROUND:

The Hyderabad Waste Management Project is a four year project funded by AusAID to improve the
management of industrial waste in that city.

The development of a central Facility for the Treatment, Storage and Disposal of hazardous industrial waste
(TSDF) is an important component of this project. The project is being implemented for the Government of India through the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB). It is being jointly undertaken by Kinhill Pty Ltd and the Overseas Projects Corporation of Victoria (staff for this project being largely provided by the Victorian Environment Protection Authority). Earth Systems provides specialist technical input to the project as a sub-consultant to Kinhill.

EARTH SYSTEMS INVOLVEMENT IN THE PROJECT

Earth Systems staff have been responsible for advising and assisting APPCB in various aspects of the
development of the TSDF. Specific tasks include:
❏ Development of site selection criteria and identification of potential sites in consultation with
government, industry and community representatives.
❏ Evaluation and short listing of these sites using the siting methodology developed.
❏ Selection of a preferred site following the conduct of detailed investigations at several short listed sites.
❏ Selection of a preferred tenderer for the design, construction and operation of the TSDF.
❏ Preparation of an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and concept design for the facility.
❏ Training of APPCB staff and local consultants in the detailed design of secure landfills.

OUTCOMES:
Earth Systems is playing an important and ongoing role in the project. The successful development of the
facility will bring about significant improvement in the management of industrial hazardous waste in
Hyderabad enhancing the quality of life for its residents and the environment.

Reference: http://www.earthsystems.au

Commentaries:

Since there are about 12 industry categories and 20 types of wastes identified by the AP (Andhra Pradesh) Pollution Control Board, Earhniversity found it very helpful to utilize this local experience as a Lessons Learned so that their practice or Best Practices can be of help to other cities, provinces or states in handling environment concerns such as Pollution Control.