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I REALLY don’t know why they still say sustainabledevelopment is good when it is not being practiced.

Everywhere I go I see nothing but over-development and there seems to be no stopping it.

Buildings and new cities are rising everywhere despite the glut and the oversupply of condominium units.

What makes it worse is that they seem not to factor in the lack of water that needs to be used to construct this so called development.

Already there are signs of a water shortage as our mountains and forests continue to go bald and logging continues unabated.

Already our faucets are running dry and our aquifers are being depleted.

Water is the source of all life -- without it there is nothing to talk about not even climate change.

Our rivers continue to dry up and when it rains new rivers are formed and flash floods wreck havoc on our communities and peoples.

There is a shortage of water for agriculture and the food that we eat.

Even the yields of our agricultural produce have gone down as the top soil has lost all its nutrients.

The world is focusing all its efforts and rhetoric on climate change due to what super typhoon Yolanda’s devastation of Tacloban and everything in its path.

Pope Francis’ visit to Tacloban and our beautiful country was basically for the victims and survivors of Yolanda not to mention that we are the largest Christian country in Asia.

Pope Francis’ message has reached far and wide and is a clear signal to all world leaders especially those entrusted to combat climate change in the COP 21 this year in Paris.

With nothing accomplished last year in Lima, Peru and with record droughts and the warmest year on record in 2014, the war against climate change is by far the most dangerous catastrophe we have to tackle and win.

We need to reduce GHG and we need to reduce and restore atmospheric carbon dioxide back to the 350ppm needed to sustain life.

This is not difficult to do. Frankly the oil issue and the economic crisis have accomplished more to mitigate climate change than the COP.

The cost of renewable energy has prospered and is now affordable and we must pursue this to save our planet.

But what we need to do is get our act together and change our thinking on development.

We need to really bite the bullet and make it sustainable. We need to develop the wellness of the people and the planet and not build and build until we are out of water, food and clean air.

With over two billion people without access to water and sanitation. And the Philippines in ground ZERO.

For what good is all the development if there is no Life.

The world’s people are suffering as well as our biodiversity and ecosystems.

It is time to have a binding agreement to reduce GHG in the COP 21 in Paris.

Let us heed the message of Pope Francis.

Let’s go back to the basics.

(By: Antonio M. Claparols – President ESP)