Environmentalist groups and some residents of Baguio has called upon the halting of the removal and cutting down of trees at SM City Baguio. The removal of Baguio’s foliage on SM’s property caught a lot of attention from concerned non-government agencies and people residing at the famous City of Pines claiming as unnecessary and a complete violation against the preservation of our environment.
SM has signed an agreement in lieu of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) allowing them to transport or cut down the city’s greens. And if possible, relocate to a viable spot and plant an equivalent number of trees according to the laws governing the environmental law or the signed agreement.
For this matter, who do we think is the bad guy? SM Corporation or the concerned citizens and Baguio residents?
True to the fact that the expansion of this commercial establishment will bring forth more business opportunities and employment for the Baguio locals and will for some amount contribute to the tourism in the mountainous region. Yet, we could not easily give up decades of old trees for our own personal gain in as much as we are very much concerned with the current issues concerning our environment.
Legally, SM has the right to do what they want within their purchased lot but the social responsibility of taking care of our natural resources should be observed on their end.
Concerned citizens and environment advocates have the freedom to express their concern on SM’s actions for it may directly or indirectly affect them in some way. Though I cannot say if the people involved are knowledgeable about they are fighting for or just merely random people called up to do the fight for money.
The challenge of incorporating the natural environment in our habitable structures is one great challenge for the designer. As an Architect, this is one thing we can do to do our part in taking care of our environment. Indoor gardens, foliage, open courts and parks with luscious greens can be somehow utilized. Even the natural environment can be utilized to save more energy as what SM Baguio has in some ways did on their current structure.
I hope involved people can do what is necessary to keep both sides happy. All we want is bringing together economic growth and environmental preservation together.
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