year-end stories

Floods, reclamations, illegal fishing among 2021’s biggest environment stories

Jee Y. Geronimo
Floods, reclamations, illegal fishing among 2021’s biggest environment stories

Graphics by Nico Villarete

The Philippines in 2021 also has to contend with other environmental issues such as illegal fishing, reclamation projects, threats to environmental defenders, and pollution

MANILA, Philippines – Just days before Christmas, millions of Filipinos found themselves reeling from the massive damage caused by Typhoon Odette (Rai), the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines in 2021. Philippine scientists have said the increasing frequency and severity of tropical cyclones are among the top climate-induced risks that the country now faces with an increasingly warmer planet.

Odette made landfall a month after world leaders in November clinched the Glasgow Climate Pact, which keeps alive the hope of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. Vulnerable nations like the Philippines were disappointed that the deal offered no funding for climate-linked losses and damages, but agreed it was still better than nothing.

While 2021 was an important year for the climate, the Philippines this year also had to contend with other environmental issues, such as illegal fishing, reclamation projects, threats to environmental defenders, and pollution. But there were moments of hope, too, like when a Filipino scientist made history by being one of the first humans to reach the Emden Deep, the third deepest spot on Earth.

Here are some of the biggest environment stories in the Philippines in 2021:

Reclamation projects
Oceans, fisheries
Pollution
Climate change
Nature, forests

– Rappler.com

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.