Ms. Mara Valenzuela, Ms. Allysah Moreno, Mr. Wilson Dimayuga
PSSE-BatStateU Student Chapter Member
The causal links between environmental change and human health are complex because they are often indirect, displaced in space and time, and dependent on a number of modifying forces. Human health ultimately depends upon ecosystem products and services (such as availability of fresh water, food and fuel sources) which are requisite for good human health and productive livelihoods. Significant direct human health impacts can
occur if ecosystem services are no longer adequate to meet social needs. Indirectly, changes in ecosystem services affect livelihoods, income, local migration and, on occasion, may even cause political conflict. The resultant impacts on economic and physical security, freedom, choice and social relations have wide-ranging impacts on well-being and health, and the availability and access to health services and medicines.
Threats to Ecosystems and Health Ecosystem disruption can impact on health in a variety of ways and through complex pathways. The types of health effects experienced are determined by the degree to which local populations depend on ecosystem services, and factors such as poverty which affect vulnerability to changes in elements like access to food and water. Trade-offs between provisioning and regulating ecosystem services at different scales have been a main cause for concern, because regulating ecosystem services are thought to underlie the sustainable production of provisioning and cultural ecosystem services and are important for the
resilience of social-ecological systems.
4.1 How do we identify and capitalise on synergies between maintaining or restoring freshwater ecosystem health and providing water, food and health benefits for people?
Aquatic ecosystems perform numerous valuable environmental functions. They recycle nutrients, purify water, attenuate floods, augment and maintain streamflow, recharge ground water, and provide habitat for wildlife and recreation for people. Rapid population increases in many parts of the Philippines— accompanied by intensified industrial, commercial, and residential development— have led to the pollution of surface waters by fertilizers, insecticides, motor oil, toxic landfill leachates, and feedlot waste. At the same time that water pollution and releases of nutrient-laden municipal sewage effluents have increased, water consumption has also increased, thus reducing the flows available for the dilution of wastes.
Human development activities, including dam construction, mineral extraction and land-cover changes, are increasingly disrupting the connectivity of our freshwater ecosystems. These activities may cause direct or indirect hydrological alterations by disrupting the magnitude and timing of hydrological flows. Direct disruptions of freshwater ecosystem connectivity may occur via construction of dams and levees, water storage in reservoirs, water diversion for agriculture or cattle ranching, and water extraction for human use. Indirect disruptions of connectivity occur primarily via land-cover and land-use changes, which alter the surface energy and water balance (e.g. ET, surface temperature, runoff) as well as the biophysical determinants of stream habitats (e.g. light, nutrients, water quality). The cumulative effects of these hydrological alterations are disrupting freshwater connectivity and leading to large-scale degradation of freshwater ecosystems globally. Increased sediment delivery resulting from urban construction, agriculture, and forestry also has resulted in greater turbidity and sedimentation in downstream channels, lakes, and reservoirs, with attendant losses of water storage and conveyance capacity, recreational and aesthetic values, and quantity and quality of habitat for fish and wildlife. Increased demands for drainage of wetlands have been accommodated by channelization, resulting in further loss of stream habitat. This has led to aquatic organisms becoming extinct or imperiled in increasing numbers and to the impairment of many beneficial water uses, including drinking, swimming, and fishing.
Naturally, restoration of aquatic ecosystems may be accomplished in stages, and particular ecosystem functions and characteristics— such as potable water— may be restored even when other ecosystem characteristics deviate from natural conditions. Thus, in certain situations, partial ecological restoration may be the operant management goal and may provide significant ecological benefits even though full restoration is not attained.
Without an active and ambitious restoration program in our country, our swelling population and its increasing stresses on aquatic ecosystems will certainly reduce the quality of human life for present and future generations. By embarking now on a major national aquatic ecosystem restoration program, the Philippines can set an example of aquatic resource stewardship that ultimately will also improve the management of other
resource types and will set an international example of environmental leadership.
4.2 What role do markets and regulation play in capitalising on synergies, and reconciling trade-offs, between water for ecosystems, food and public health?
They are adopting the SDGs and the progress towards each of the goals is intertwined with progress towards the others. Together, they form a complex network connected by linkages that are both positive (synergies, reinforcing each other’s progress) and negative (trade-offs, hampering each other’s progress). Renewable energy technologies can be used to improve access to water and to increase food production, but their deployment can also compete with other needs, bringing unintended cross-sectoral impacts, including on biodiversity and ecosystems. These considerations underline the importance of considering intersectoral impacts and sustainability priorities as early as possible in the renewable energy planning process, and ensuring that they are addressed consistently through well-integrated, sustainable renewable energy projects.
4.3 How can we protect and restore aquatic ecosystems urgently and at scale for both biodiversity and human welfare?
We can protect and restore the aquatic ecosystems by performing the eco hydrology and phytoremediation where it uses natural hydrology, or the ability of specific aquatic organisms to reduce the impacts of pollution on aquatic ecosystems, or to reverse the adverse effects of these pollutants.
In this study, we can protect and restore the aquatic ecosystems by knowing first the source of the pollution, and when sources are determined, treatments must be done to avoid or reduce the pollution on water and even on land. The wastewater must be disposed properly and it must be an environmentally accepted water, and the effluent should be under the provisions of the general effluents guidelines and standards. When the treatments are thru, there will be the restoration of the aquatic ecosystem and there will be less pollution and it will not affect those who live near the area.
It is a substantial fact that specific disposal standard for laundry effluent have not been prescribed and monitor. Laundry wastewater carries lint, soil, dyes, finishing agents, and other chemicals from detergents. The general characteristics of laundry effluent can be summarized as, it is strongly alkaline in nature, BOD is less than 1000mg/L and COD is 1000-1500 mg/L yet the characteristics of laundry wastewater vary from sample to sample and depends on the type of source whether it is commercial or domestics laundry waste including type of chemicals used. The significant parameters of laundry wastewater are BOD and COD. The amount of surfactants was also observed because it is the main components of laundry detergents. This study focused on providing an essential treatment for laundry wastewater using banana pseudo stem derived activated carbon. Bananas are one of the most food product in the world and it grows annually about 120-150 million tons. Its source efficiency would be very useful to conduct the study as it is seen planted everywhere. Though only banana stem is needed as the water filter agent, the other parts of the tree will not go to waste due to its effectiveness. The research also aimed to determine the removal efficiency of the activated carbon, the most effective setup and what class will it fall as per DAO 2016-08. Preparation of activated was achieved through sun-drying, milling, sieving, chemical activation and carbonization. After that, wastewater collection was done from a laundry shop located at Padre Garcia that discharge directly to the environment without further treatment. Afterwards the collected laundry wastewater was passed through pre-treatment by sand and gravel. Subsequently, the pre-treated wastewater passed through different setup composed of different amount of activated carbon. In terms of all the parameters, Setup 3 was observed to be the most efficient set and gives the highest value of Removal Efficiency. The treated wastewater falls within Class A as per DAO 2016-08. In conclusion, this study attained its general objective come up with activated carbon used treating laundry wastewater. In addition, the researchers recommend an agitation process to lessen the consumed time of the treatment compared to filtration process