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Let Us all be a Friend of the Watersheds

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Since 2008 various actions have been taken by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement in protecting and preserving the watersheds in Zamboanga City as part of the Dialogue with Creation (DWC) program efforts and advocacy for environmental concerns. The Movement had conducted a series of consultations,meetings, and has appealed to the City Council to withdraw the “no objection”resolution which was passed to undertake mining at the Ayala Watershed; dialogue with the City Mayor; awareness raising among the general public using all forms of media and even organized a march for a cause in 2010 where thousands of people participated.

Zamboanga City Water District (ZWCD) once said that the Zamboanga City Watershed is one of only three forested areas that are intact in Mindanao. Seven watersheds were identified namely: Pasonanca Watershed; Ayala River Watershed; Curuan River Watershed; Vitali River Watershed; Manicahan River Watershed; Culianan River Watershed and; Bolong River Watershed. Of these,only Pasonanca Watershed has been proclaimed a protected area.

In order to sustain the advocacy to work for the protection and preservation of the watersheds in the city, on May 26, 2013 Silsilah launched a group called, “Friends of Zamboanga Watersheds” who expressed their wish to actively engage to this cause and made their pledge of commitment:

- To protect and sustain the watersheds of Zamboanga offering our skills and services to help society as a normal and civil obligation,

- To educate our people on the importance of WATER, asking their collaboration to be vigilant and oppose any move that may destroy our watersheds and environment,

- To encourage our people to appreciate their work as stewards of God’s Creation helping them to protect the watersheds of Zamboanga for the good of all,

- To inspire Government leaders and People of all cultures and religions to dream and act together with our youth in building an Eco-harmonious society with clean water for all,

- To share our commitment with others on the local, national and international level to promote this new friendship and mission as one of the biggest priorities of the world today.

Silsilah has been grateful to individuals, civil society groups, barangay leaders, government agencies, city officials, all concerned Muslims, Christians and people of other faith traditions who have supported to these endeavors through the years and hopefully for many more years to come. In a meeting of the core group of the Friends of Zamboanga Watersheds held on June 18, 2013 the president of Silsilah, Ms. Aminda Saño, encouraged the group and said, “to work alone to venture for such a cause is difficult but if we will work as a group things can happen with prayers and strong faith”.

Others are welcome to join and become friends of the watersheds. For more information contact the secretariat of the DWC email:silsilahdialogue@gmail.com




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