The “Trench” CCUS Project Can Also End Incursions Into Philippine Waters

by Bobby Reyes

“Philippine Coral Reef” | Photo by HarshLight via Flickr/Creative Commons

Part XVI of “The Filipino Melting Pot” Series

Suppose this journalist is a member of the policy-and-decision-making body of the Philippines (PH). In that case, he will push the development of the “PH Trench” and its other economic zones in the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea into “CCUS World Projects.” By adopting this policy, the People’s Republic of China and other nations may be persuaded — with due respect — into ending their incursions into PH waters.

Remember that we discussed turning the PH Trench into a CCUS site in Part XV of this series. The CCUS is the acronym of a “Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage” site.

The 16-million members of the “Filipino Melting Pot” (FMP) may initiate this movement of converting certain maritime areas within their Filipino homeland into CCUS sites. The FMP consists of Overseas-Filipino workers (OFW), Filipino immigrants, and those who are now citizens of Filipino descent in the North-American countries of Canada, the United States, and Mexico (and other nations, too).

“This column also proposes the inclusion of the Benham Rise, also known as the Philippine Rise”

This column also proposes the inclusion of the Benham Rise, also known as the Philippine Rise. It is an extinct volcanic ridge located in the Philippine Sea approximately 250 kilometers (160 mi) east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue Isabela — known to the people of Catanduanes as Kalipung-awan as early as the precolonial era of the Philippines. It is “loneliness from an isolated place.”

According to Wikipedia, under the Philippine Sea lie several basins, including the West Philippine Sea Basin, located the Central Basin Fault (CBF). The Benham Plateau located in the CBF, and its basement probably is a micro-continent. Several scientific surveys have been made on the feature to study its nature and its impact on tectonic subduction, including its effects on the 1990 Luzon earthquake. The Philippines claimed this feature as part of its continental shelf in a claim filed with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on Apr. 8, 2009. The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) approved it in 2012.

In addition, the rise is designated as a “protected food supply exclusive zone” by the Philippine government since May 2017. Mining and oil exploration is banned in the Benham Plateau as it is a protected area.

They can recycle the “captured” plastic wastes into road-building materials, synthetic products and used them in fabricating affordable housing panels like wallboards to mitigate the growing homelessness problem of the world.”

The FMP members and their descendants can also suggest to the PH government, the United Nations, and other world entities to include the islands and reefs in the disputed sections within the 200-mile Economic Zone of the PH as sites for the capture of plastic wastes floating in the China Sea to the Taiwan Strait, the Sea of Japan and the rest of Western areas of the Pacific Ocean. Then they can recycle all the captured plastic wastes in the islands controlled by the PH government and other participating nations in the above-described areas.

They can recycle the “captured” plastic wastes into road-building materials and synthetic products and use them to fabricate affordable housing panels like wallboards to mitigate the growing homelessness problem of the world. This column talked on Dec. 30, 2020, about the top-five cities in the world with the most number of homeless people. Readers may like to refresh their memory of the said report that also appealed to then-President-elect Biden to help end homelessness at this link.

The industrialized world is attempting to reduce or mitigate the carbon intensity also in the manufacture of plastic. And all the navies of the participating countries may try to gather floating plastic wastes, especially in the Pacific Ocean. These naval vessels should be permitted to dock to unload all the plastic debris in the PH-held islands for recycling. Yes, even in the islands controlled by the PH that are parts of the disputed Spratly Archipelago. Several countries, aside from the PH and China, claim some of the disputed islands, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and Taiwan.

“Since carbon wastes are some of the leading pollutants that can accelerate Global Warming, perhaps the Top-100 industrialized countries of the world can join the lobby to persuade all the claimants in the disputed Spratlys to agree to this CCUS-site proposal.”

Turning the Spratlys into another CCUS site can be the most effective and courteous way to give China and the other mentioned countries and their leaders a decent way out of their incursions in the disputed waters in the South China Sea and the domestic waters of the PH archipelago. Since carbon wastes are some of the leading pollutants that can accelerate Global Warming, perhaps the Top-100 industrialized countries of the world can join the lobby to persuade all the claimants in the disputed Spratlys to agree to this CCUS-site proposal. Maybe they may also convince them to finance the turning of the said PH portions of the Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea into natural-and-engineering CCUS solutions to save humanity from extinction.

The Filipino Employees’ Association of the United Nations and the United States Chamber of Commerce (and the participants in its series of Carbon-Removal Policy Trends online meetings) may support this initiative. The Philippine Daily Mirror and Filipino-American media organizations like the Filipino-American Press Club of New York may help lobby the countries and international entities concerned to support this proposal. Time is running out for the world to mitigate Climate Change.

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