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Shorelines in coastal areas in Caraga Region are slowly disappearing as they are being submerged in seawater because of rising seawater. This is according to two non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in climate change adaptations and disaster preparedness initiatives. Botanist Teresa "Tet" Bordadera of NGO Green Coalition said they observed shores along coastlines in three Caraga provinces — Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Agusan del Norte — were slowly disappearing as rising seawater is already eating up shores by at least 10 meters and in some areas as long as 30 to 50 meters.
Some residents along the coastlines are thus forced to relocate, she noted. Bordadera expressed fear that a few years from now if the rising seawater level trend would continue, coastal areas including smaller Caraga islands will sink and be wiped out from the map. Surigao del Sur province where most of the coastal areas are facing Pacific Ocean and holds the distinction as a province having the longest shoreline, is now very active in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Initiatives. Bordadera, in an interview Friday, told the Philippines News Agency that based on initial studies they made, at least five smaller islands in Caraga Region that are facing Pacific Ocean already sank or have been submerged by rising seawater level. It can be recalled that a group of Filipino artists and individuals calling themselves Tiktok For Climate Change Action also claimed islands in Surigao provinces are already sinking. Artist Ping Medina who is one of the officials of TikTok, was here in Caraga Region last December to attend a forum on Climate Change at Philippine Gateway Hotel and Convention in Surigao City. He specifically cited that Gigaquit town and surfing capital General Luna’s shores are fast disappearing. Medina advised local government unit (LGU) officials of said town to come up with fast and effective solutions before rising seawater levels destroy lives and properties in the days to come. Both Medina and Bordadera cited what is happening to Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean and other island states which are now also being submerged in seawater. “And because their atolls were now submerged by ocean waters, they are now being hounded by many legal issues, their source of potable waters are being contaminated by salt waters, their livelihood is affected and the future of their children is becoming uncertain,” Bordadera added. Bordadera stressed that now is the time for all Filipinos to do their share in preserving the country’s remaining forests to avert more calamities.

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