April 7, 2022

EARTH: The Lost Beauty

BFF Shehannie Alsa, BS Forestry, Central Mindanao University

I need you.

Can I ask a little time of yours? Can I share with you a very short story about me? Can I explain why I need you? 

Once upon a time, I was a beautiful and healthy Earth. I was so green for I was blessed with good growing trees, plants, and many other organisms living in me. I had clean air to breathe, pure water to drink, healthy soil to plant in, and peaceful lands that anyone can have. I was indeed beautiful back then.  

Hundreds of years later, humans appeared in me. At first, I was happy because they took care of me. They value the things I had. They nourished me very well. But, with more than 7 billion of them now, I was suddenly scared. I felt something was wrong. Every day, they produce tons of waste and throw them recklessly. Smoke and harmful gases from homes, vehicles, and industries are suffocating me.  It’s slowly affecting my lungs. They’ve been cutting my precious trees which provide clean air to breathe. My forests were destroyed and turned into industrial areas where they built buildings, roads, and factories beyond my carrying capacity. They are slowly polluting my healthy body in every aspect: air, water, and land. 

Years have passed and things are getting worse. I’m feeling very hot like I’m having a high fever. I can’t understand myself. I easily get emotional – I cry a lot, get angry, and have sudden mood swings. I believe deforestation is one of the reasons that lead to these natural calamities: floods, soil erosion, drought, temperature increase, changed rainfall distribution, and loss of valuable biodiversity. The fact is that I’m sick. 

I don’t know why these things are happening to me. All I did was give life to them. I just give them the necessities they need to live such as food, water, shelter, air, and everything else. But why? Regardless of the free services I provided to humans, they aren’t able to return my kindness. Humans forgot to take care of me. Rather, they are now being cruel to me with their mindless activities. They abuse the resources I provided which should be nurtured for it to sustain. The growing pollution and damage caused by humans is affecting me and threatening their survival. This is not what I wanted for them. I don’t want to harm humans and make them suffer. But this is just a reflection of their doings. 

The extent of degradation caused by humans is becoming irreversible. Many are affected and this event should scare you, humans. That is why I need you. I need you to save me. And, if you save me, I will save your life as well. Be responsible, so I may be sustainable. I need you to do something that can ease the pain I’m feeling right now even a little bit. I need you to take a step and make a move for my healing.

Forest Foundation Philippines, in partnership with Edukasyon.ph, its grantee,  implemented the Best Friends of the Forest Movement (#BFFMovement) Online Fellowship Program to support young forest advocates in the country’s most critical forest landscapes – Sierra Madre, Palawan, Samar and Leyte, and Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental. Through the program, students were given access to learning resources, mentorship opportunities, and platforms to showcase their passion projects. This published material is a passion project of our Best Friend of the Forest. The views and opinions expressed in this material are those of our Best Friend, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Forest Foundation Philippines and Edukasyon.ph. Furthermore, both Forest Foundation Philippines and Edukasyon.ph assume no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate or incomplete information presented in this material.