Tag Archives: Climate change

[People] Protecting the Planet | by Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Environment

Protecting the Planet
Shay Cullen

11 June 2021

Have you ever seen the sun set upon the sea,
the migrating birds fly in formation proud?
Have you ever seen the mighty forest and heard the birds sing clear and loud?
Have you seen the flowers in the meadows and the fields that provide the nectar for the bee, That gives the honey in the hive hanging from the tree?
Have you ever seen the dolphins race across the ocean wave,
The mighty whales that swim the oceans strong and brave?
A breathless sight of beauty you will ever see
If we will just allow them to live and to be.

Read more

[Event] Climate Change: The New Challenge for Human Rights: Act NOW! -EU

A sustainable environment is a human right.
In celebration of the 2019 International Human Rights Day, the EU Delegation to the Philippines invites you to a forum on “Climate Change: The New Challenge for Human Rights: Act Now!”

Register now! Admission is Free.
Click link here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/climate-change-the-new-challenge-for-human-rights-act-now-tickets-84239074339?aff=efbeventtix

See EU there! 🙂

https://www.facebook.com/events/2454147711529926/

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[From the web] Why Filipinos as young as 12 are planning to join this year’s ‘climate strike’ -ABS-CBN news

MANILA – Cedric Tuazon is just 12 years old, but while his classmates are spending their weekends sleeping in or watching K-Pop, he’s thinking of ways to help address environmental problems.

“I also have a lot of interests. I’m interested in different art forms like drawing… I am also interested in K-Pop,” Tuazon said. “But I also want to fight for the environment.”

Tuazon said that while his classmates worry only about their subjects and their “love life,” he wants to be more educated and to help secure the future of young Filipinos like him.

“There are many plastics and waste that are thrown to the ocean. All of the sea creatures think those plastics are food and eat them, which is definitely not good for their health which would lead to them dying,” he said.

“I think most of the youth who are fighting for our planet know the dangers and consequences of not doing something now so they are taking action while we still can.”

Read more @news.abs-cbn.com

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[In the news] Climate change could pose ‘existential threat’ by 2050: report -CNN Philippines

Twenty days of lethal heat per year. Collapsed eco-systems. And more than one billion people displaced.

Those are all probable scenarios that could devastate societies by 2050 if swift and dramatic action isn’t taken to curb climate change, according to a think tank report backed by a former Australian military chief.

The paper, by the Melbourne-based Breakthrough National Center for Climate Restoration, is not a scientific study, but an attempt to model future scenarios based on existing research.

It paints a bleak future in which more than a billion people are displaced, food production drops off and some of the world’s most populous cities are left partially abandoned.

Its foreword is written by Chris Barrie, a retired admiral and former head of the Australian Defense Force, who said that “after nuclear war, human-induced global warming is the greatest threat to human life on the planet.”

Read more @cnnphilippines.com

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[Press Release] Workers Complain of Ill Effects of Climate Change on Work and Health,Demand Php750 Pay Hike and Better Conditions to Adapt -CTUHR

“We cannot focus on our work and the blower in the factory is not enough to ventilate the production plant,” said Blas, a factory worker. “We can’t work any longer now reducing our income due to heat,” Regie, a pedicab driver butts in. “Our family members contract several illnesses, cough, asthma and several skin diseases due to extreme heat. The entire community feels like burning every day,” laments Divina, a working mother.

These were the collective feelings of factory workers and pedicab drivers gathered last April 28 in Punturin, Valenzuela City, to assess how Climate Change is impacting work and workers’ conditions.

In the last months, the temperature has hit between 38-41oC with heat index much higher according to PAG-ASA. While the earth is rumbling from a long drought and recent earthquakes, workers are being ‘baked’ inside poorly ventilated production lines contending with rusty blower spewing hot air in often windowless factories. In Valenzuela City, where many workers are obliged to work for 12 hours every day without a day off and paid less than the minimum wage, especially the long-term contractuals, climate change impacts are slowly killing those workers. They often go home dehydrated, as companies failed to adapt to changing temperatures without changing work systems and quotas.

In their homes – boarding houses and one cubicle so-called apartments, residents complained of skin diseases, asthma, cough, heart ailments and other illnesses caused and aggravated by extreme temperature. Their wages ranging from Php 200-P510 (USD4-10) cannot bring them to health clinics or expensive medical treatments.

“They are pushing the workers to individually adapt to climate change without recognizing that it’s the companies and corporations practices and unfettered desire for profit that’s driving global warming,” says Daisy Arago, Executive Director of Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) and one of the workshop organizers. She added that studies revealed that 100 Transnational Corporations are responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions that are burning the earth. [link] Yet, workers and the marginalized poor are suffering more from the negative effects of climate change, she added.

“If workers are paid better, Php 750 national minimum wage is given, we have secure jobs, not and we can freely organize or unionize, we can better adapt to climate change. This means that we do not have to dwell along waterways, or under bridges that are dangerous and most vulnerable. Or stay in crowded communities without access to fresh air and a cleaner environment. We can send our children to health clinics,” asserted Malou Santos, Women WISE3chairperson.

Asked what else workers need to do to address climate change impacts, Glenn Bayona, one of the workers who attended said, “We need to change not only the industrial but also agricultural policies. Actually, the economic policies that give power to corporations to destroy hills and mountains, deplete the water sources, poison our air from pesticide aerial spraying & powerplants, etc, that drive us here in the cities to become contractual workers.”

Santos added that workers, especially women would continue to be vulnerable if the basic needs like wages, housing, water, energy are not addressed. It is not us individually that are responsible for heating up the planet and we demand climate justice. When we mean climate justice, the workers, women and other vulnerable sectors’ demands are met and given justice.

The workers also asserted that climate justice is one of the issues that should be addressed by the running candidates this upcoming May 13 Midterm Elections.

Reference:
Daisy Arago
CTUHR Executive Director
Tel # 0916 248 4876 / 718 00 26

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[In the news] We’re losing the war on climate change -CNN Philippines

For years now, people like environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben have been screaming from the treetops that we need a World War II-scale mobilization to fight the scourge of climate change.

They’re right, of course. And on Earth Day — that 24-hour sliver of the calendar when we talk about the fact that humans exist on, and because of, a living planet — it’s clear not only that we are losing this war but that we still are failing to recognize it’s taking place at all.

I mean, yes, I’ve met Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen who is “schooling world leaders” on climate policy and who started a global school walkout movement. I’ve read the Green New Deal and seen the videos of young people demanding that US reps adopt it. Just this month, protesters in London shut down parts of the city in their calls for a reckoning. It’s true that clean energy sources keep getting cheaper. Electric cars are more popular than ever.

But the scale of the outrage in no way matches the magnitude of this disaster, which, like WWII, threatens to cripple or even obliterate human life on the planet as we know it.

We’ve known the truth about climate change — that people are burning fossil fuels and warming the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic consequences — for decades now. James Hansen testified about the dangers of global warming when he was an NASA scientist in 1988. The New York Times headline: “Global Warming Has Begun, Expert Tells Senate.”

Read more @cnnphilippines.com

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[From the web] Climate Science, Sustainability, Governance: Finding Solutions to Climate Change By Renee Juliene Karunungan

Climate Science, Sustainability, Governance: Finding Solutions to Climate Change
By Renee Juliene Karunungan
May 12, 2017

The Congreso Internacional de Cambio Climatico (International Congress on Climate Change) took place in Huelva, Spain last May 10-12, with the theme “Finding Solutions.” There were many sessions tackling different topics on how we can all find solutions to climate change. Here are 5 things I have learned from the conference:

We need to redesign our systems

Leyla Acaroglu, sociologist and designer, talked about the importance of disruptive design. “Destruction is about intent,” she said.  Design is the powerful silent social scripter that influences the world — from architecture, to urban spaces. But along with design, we need to remember that everything is interconnected and that we move in systems.

“We either change the system or reinforce the system by the choices we make,” Leyla said. Leyla stressed the importance of our everyday decisions and choices, reminding us that the market is only as powerful as what the public consumes. Making conscious decisions can create ripples of change.

One system we need to change is our linear model of economy, where we take, make, and waste.

Read full article @climatetracker.org

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[Statement] GCCM- Pilipinas celebrates the one year anniversary in the midst of myriad challenges to faith in action

To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! – Pope Francis Homily at his inauguration, March 19, 2013

Photo by GCCM

Photo by GCCM

Two years after, the Holy Father gave flesh to this love and hope through the landmark encyclical Laudato Si.

GCCM- Pilipinas celebrates the one year anniversary in the midst of myriad challenges to faith in action.

Laudato Si calls for conversation and conversion to protect our common home. No meaningful conversation can be achieved that does not lead to conversion – to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

Indeed the road to conversion is strewn with many obstacles. Mammon entices us with the lust for profit, the insatiable desire to accumulate power and privilege, to worship at the altar of greed.

We are witnesses to the wanton destruction of our forests, rivers and seas. Extractive industries have laid barren hectare upon hectare of our fragile ecosystem. Dirty energy such as coal has polluted the air we breathe. Illegal logging, rapid urbanization has led to unprecedented deforestation. Climate change now threatens the existence of all of creation. The effects of El Nino/La Nina increasingly become more vicious and devastating with each passing year.

Our God of all Creation did not destine us to be destroyers of the earth our common home. Upon our shoulders rests the responsibility of being good stewards of creation.

GCCM-Pilipinas calls on all Christians and people of goodwill to embrace the teachings of Laudato Si by making radical and moral shifts/choices in our way of thinking, doing and living to reverse the tide of destruction for the sake of our generation and the generations to come.

GCCM-Pilipinas recognizes the high marks President-elect Rodrigo Duterte got in the Green Thumb Coalition survey of presidential candidates. We remain hopeful policy changes will be done on the issues of extractive industries, energy, forestry, land use and the like.
GCCM-Pilipinas asks the new administration under President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to make the cause of the environment a benchmark of his leadership. Laudato Si highlights a need for a “conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” (LS 14) We ask everyone to actively take part in this conversation for the protection of our common home.

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[Press Release] Environmental groups welcome CCC review of coal -CEED

Environmental groups welcome CCC review of coal

CEEDAdvocates for the environment wlecomed the Climate Change Commission resolution signed by outgoing President Benigno Aquino III, reviewing policies pertaining to new and existing coal-fired power plants in the country in light of the Philippines’ international commitment to shift to a low carbon economy.

Members of the Green Thumb Coalition, a network of civil society and grassroots organizations pushing for the incoming administration to address several issues pertaining to the environment, viewed the pronouncement as a positive step towards moving away from dirty and harmful energy and towards a path of sustainable, renewable energy for all.

Gerry Arances, Convenor of the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED), noted that considering existing policies like the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and even the highly-contested Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), the streamlining of policies on fossil fuel energy sources – particularly coal – has been long overdue.

“For years under the Aquino administration, there has been conflict between the government’s pronouncements promoting the utilization of renewable energy resources and its actual policy of opening the country up to the construction of new coal-fired power plant projects,” said Arances.

According to Arances, with 27 new coal-fired power plants adding to the19 existing facilities in the country, the Philippine’s power mix has grown even more dependent on coal at the expense of renewable energy in the past few years.

“With the growing international rejection of coal from European governments to US state governments, technology utilizing this energy source has been proven to be obsolete,”Arances stated. “As a recent Oxford study concluded, these facilities if approved will become stranded assets, binding our country to a phased-out energy resource for the next 50 years while the rest of the world is shifting to renewables,” he added.

Grassroots communities support development

Communities threatened by the construction of coal-fired power plants were also welcoming of the CCC pronouncement aimed at “harmonizing” policies on coal plants with policies on environmental protection and international obligations to combat climate change.

“Even with the past election season grabbing most of the public’s attention, the people of Batangas City have aggressively campaigned against the construction of a 600MW coal plant in our hometown,” said Batangas City Councilor Kristine Balmes.

Balmes, the same party as that of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, PDP-Laban, enjoined her presidential bet to follow through with his promise of abandoning coal as an energy source.

“Our future president has been very vocal about shifting to renewable energy sources and eventually phasing out coal,” said Balmes. “We urge him to fast track this shift as a response to our needs as a community, specifically our health, environment, security and livelihood.”

Activist groups urge DOE and DENR to reflect policy shift; Duterte camp agrees with coal phase-out

“While not explicitly stated, the six-month comprehensive review of policies and permit processes entail an immediate moratorium on all coal operations,” said Sanlakas Secretary-General Atty. Aaron Pedrosa. “We therefore demand that the Department of Energy and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to immediately issue administrative orders reflective of the CCC resolution,” Pedrosa added.

Pedrosa, who also heads the Energy Working Group of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), said that an immediate suspension of all existing coal-fired power plants and coal mining operations, as well as the suspension of processing for proposed coal plants, are necessary if policies on coal will be subject to review based on their environmental and climate impact. “We must uphold the precautionary principle, which suggests that activities that could possibly cause damages to the welfare of people must be treated as harmful until proven otherwise,” stated Pedrosa.

Atty. Pedrosa, also stressed that the moratorium on all coal-related activities must carry over to the new administration, regardless of who sits in the Duterte cabinet. Pedrosa recalled the response issued by the Duterte camp to the Green Thumb Coaliton presidential survey, where the then-presidentiable stated: “The Duterte Administration agrees with the eventual phase out of coal power plants and other plants that use harmful fuels and steer the country for more investments in RE.”

References:
Gerry Arances – Convenor, Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) – 0917 630 6098
Coun. Kristine Balmes – Councilor, Batangas City – 0917 703 1698
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa – Secretary-General, Sanlakas – 0927 592 4830

PRESS RELEASE
May 27, 2016

 

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[Press Release] Climate Justice Group welcomes Climate Change Commission Resolution Challenges Incoming President Duterte for Sweeping Reforms in Energy Sector -PMCJ

Climate Justice Group welcomes Climate Change Commission Resolution
Challenges Incoming President Duterte for Sweeping Reforms in Energy Sector

PMCJ LOGO NEWPhilippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a nationwide climate justice coalition expressed its appreciation for the latest Climate Change Commission resolution calling for the review of the Philippine energy policy and harmonization of regulation on new and existing coal plants “in accordance with a low carbon development pathway. “

“This resolution is consistent with the Philippine commitment to contribute to the global effort to keep temperature to below 1.5 degrees, and a significant development in the face of the long standing demand by many communities and peoples organizations in the Philippines to shift away from coal energy,” commented Ian Rivera, the National Coordinator of the broadest climate justice coalition in the Philippines.

The Philippines led the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of governments from 20 countries, in successfully pushing for the inclusion in the Paris climate agreement of the aspirational goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  “The urgency of addressing the climate crisis is deeply felt by our people, having experienced massive devastation from extreme weather events related to climate change, such as supertyphoons and super-El Ninos. It is only right that we lead in the effort to address change – not only in words but in action” said Rivera.  “We hope this resolution will actually lead to the reversal of the Aquino government’s policy of expansion of coal energy, and a swift transition to renewable and clean energy for people and communities,” he added.

“This resolution is long overdue.  We have been fighting against coal plants and coal mines for a long time, being witness to the horrific effects of coal projects on communities, on people’s health and livelihoods, on our local environment. We are also against coal energy because it is one of the leading contributors to climate change” said Mr. Roldan Gonzales, Executive Director of Gitib, Inc., and a PMCJ campaigner from the Mindanao.  “We challenge President-elect Duterte to take this further, beyond a review, and make it a priority of Presidency to issue an Executive Order suspending plans, permits and construction of new power plants in the country.  Mindanao is host to many of the 27 new coal fired power plants currently in the pipeline.  “
Ms. Pines Arcega, convenor of Defend Zambales and a PMCJ anti-coal campaigner in one of the frontline communities from Luzon, echoed this challenge.  “A review of energy policy and harmonization of regulations on new and existing coal plants is not enough.  Our communities, our country, have suffered enough. Government should act immediately to put a stop to dirty energy.  We need an executive order for a moratorium on new coal plans and coal mines in place in the first 100 days of the new administration.

References :
MR. IAN RIVERA – 09174746178
MR. ROLDAN GONZALES – 09177109784
MS. PINES ARCEGA – 09321747583

 

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[From the web] COP21: “States’ human rights obligations encompass climate change” – UN expert -OHCHR

COP21: “States’ human rights obligations encompass climate change” – UN expert

PARIS (3 December 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, John Knox, today reminded all parties attending the Paris Climate Conference* that “States’ human rights obligations also encompass climate change,” and urged them to adopt a rights perspective in tackling environmental issues.

ohchr

“Every State in the climate negotiations belongs to at least one human rights treaty, and they must ensure that all of their actions comply with their human rights obligations. That includes their actions relating to climate change,” Mr. Knox said in Paris, where he is taking part in the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties – COP 21.

Representatives of more than 190 States are gathered in Paris to discuss a possible new universal and legally binding agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the threat of dangerous warming due to human activities.

“I call on Governments to honour their human rights obligations as they negotiate the climate agreement,” the expert stated. “Even including a reference to human rights in the agreement itself would be of great symbolic and practical importance.”

“It is now beyond debate that climate change threatens the enjoyment of a vast range of human rights. Moreover, it is inherently discriminatory, harming most those who have contributed least to the problem.”

“An increase of even 2 degrees would have devastating effects on the human rights of the most vulnerable,” he said. “The Climate Vulnerable Forum countries’ proposed target of 1.5 degrees would better accord with human rights principles.”

The Special Rapporteur also noted that States must also take human rights law into account in their actions to adapt to climate change and to undertake response measures.

“Governments do not check their human rights obligations at the door when they respond to climate change,” he said. “They must respect the rights of their people to receive information about proposed climate actions and to have their voices heard in the decision-making processes.”

Mr. Knox recalled that the Governments on the Human Rights Council have unanimously agreed that human rights obligations and principles can strengthen climate policy-making by promoting coherence, legitimacy and sustainable outcomes.

“The Paris Agreement is vital to the protection of human rights of present and future generations, in every country of the world. The Agreement should recognize that fact,” the Special Rapporteur concluded.

Mr. Knox delivers a keynote speech Friday 11 at the inaugural conference of the Climate Law and Governance Day, at the Sorbonne.

(*) Paris Climate Conference – COP21: http://www.cop21paris.org/

The UN Human Rights Council appointed Professor John Knox in 2012 to serve as Independent Expert, and reappointed him in 2015 as Special Rapporteur, on the issue of human rights obligations related to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. The Council requested Mr. Knox, a professor of international law at Wake Forest University in the United States, to clarify the application of human rights norms to environmental protection, and to identify best practices in the use of human rights obligations in environmental policy-making. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Environment/SREnvironment/Pages/SRenvironmentIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.

– See more @www.ohchr.org

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[Press Release] Spotlight on the Philippines during Climate Reality Project and Live Earth 24 hours of reality live event in Paris

Spotlight on the Philippines during Climate Reality Project and
Live Earth 24 hours of reality live event in Paris

Together with former US Vice President and Climate Reality Chairman Al Gore, Filipinos will add their voices to the global chorus demanding climate action.

Manila, Philippines (11/08/15) – On November 13th and 14th the world will come together to demand our global leaders act to combat climate change at COP21 in December. This year’s fifth-annual 24 Hours of Reality webcast event, hosted by The Climate Reality Project and Live Earth will be broadcast live from the iconic Champ de Mars in Paris with video footage from around the world including special live footage from the Philippines on November 14th from 16:00 to 19:00.

Climate-reality-project-logo

Al Gore, former US Vice President and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project, will host 24 Hours of Reality and Live Earth: The World Is Watching, a livestreamed event from Paris. Each hour will focus on the local and global impacts of climate change, as well as the promising solutions that can be found around the world and here in the Philippines.

Airing two weeks prior to the monumental Paris climate negotiations, the event will serve to remind global leaders that the world is watching. Featuring stories from around the world, presentations by global climate leaders, renowned musical acts, interactive components and celebrity video segments, this year’s 24 Hours of Reality will be the most expansive yet. The time has come for countries, including the Philippines to take significant action and make strong commitments to reduce emissions, combat climate change and set us on a path towards a better future.

“We have been focused during the last year on improving the chances for success at the Paris negotiations, and building the political will necessary for significant action at COP21,” said Al Gore. “In three weeks, when global leaders arrive in Paris for the most significant round of climate negotiations for the last two decades, we will truly be at a turning point. Millions of individuals worldwide have called for a strong emissions reductions agreement at COP21. We are working to make sure those requests are honored so we can move on to the next phase of our journey to a healthy and prosperous future.”

“The climate crisis has continually resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods across the country, and there is an urgent need for all the world leaders to come up with a strong agreement and act on it,” said Climate Reality Philippines manager Rodne Galicha. “Beyond our submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to cut carbon emissions, the grassroots communities are determined to reclaim the power for a clean sustainable future. The rest of the world is not only watching for the outcomes of COP21 but are already acting on climate solutions.”

Adding Filipino voices to the global refrain ahead of COP21 will raise awareness of the significant impacts of climate change while also examining both local and global solutions to put us in the best position possible to make a global impact.

In addition to Al Gore and Climate Reality President and CEO Ken Berlin, the ShoulderHill Entertainment produced broadcast will include an impressive list of elected officials, celebrities, musicians, climate advocates, world-class scientists and other special guests from the Philippines and around the world including:

· Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News Reporter
· Sam Champion, The Weather Channel’s Most Watched Weather Anchor
· Maria Elena Estares, Program and Training Director, Conserving for Tomorrow Foundation
· Renee Karunungan, Adopt a Negotiator

For more information, visit http://www.24hoursofreality.org

Promotional Videos:

About The Climate Reality Project
The Climate Reality Project is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to mobilizing action around climate change. With a global movement more than 5 million strong and a grassroots network of trained Climate Reality Leaders, we are spreading the truth and unleashing cultural momentum to solve the climate crisis. Former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore is the Founder and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project. For more information, visit http://www.climaterealityproject.org or follow us on Twitter at @ClimateReality.

*PRESS RELEASE*

Contact:
Sara Axelrod
saxelrod@gpg.com
(1) 202-295-0177

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[Press Release] Eco, faith groups “bless” COMELEC. Pols urged: Prioritize HR, environment -PMPI/ATM

Eco, faith groups “bless” COMELEC. Pols urged: Prioritize HR, environment

Photo grabbed from PMPI fb page

Photo grabbed from PMPI fb page

MANILA – ECO GROUPS and faith-based organizations hold a symbolic cleansing, as politicians officially file their certificate of candidacy (COC) before the Office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in this City, on Monday, October 12.

The Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI), AlyansaTigil Mina (ATM), Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP), EcoWaste Coalition occupied the gateway of the COMELEC to urge the candidates to prioritize the environment and human rights in their platform.

“Today, more than ever, we see the need for our leaders to commit to the protection of our environment and defend the rights of our people, most especially those who have been affected by large-scale mining in the country,” said PMPI project officer Ed Garingan.

The groups chanted “Commit to the environment, commit to human rights,” while the youth sector performed environmental songs.

“We would like to find out now who can commit for the environment. Who among them may discard their “trapo” skins and be genuinely active in the protection of our environment and the human rights of our vulnerable sectors,” Garingan added.

Tao Muna, Hindi Mina

National environmental and human rights group ATM, bringing their call against the destructive impacts of mining, once again highlighted the 10 point human rights agenda on mining by intensifying the organization’s campaign Tao Muna Hindi Mina (People first, not mining).

“For the past 2 years, Tao Muna, Hindi Mina has been campaigning to uphold the of human rights of communities in mining-affected areas,” ATM National Coordinator Jaybee Garganera said.

He added that the lack of state accountability to the destructions and human rights violations and abuse brought by mining only sent the battle uphill.

“In the coming 2016 elections, we would like to call on the candidates to adhere to their responsibility as future nation leaders and fulfill their obligation to the environment and the people.” Garganera asserted.

Partnership towards better

“We are hopeful that we can encourage and open the eyes of our lawmakers and politicians to act on this critical matter and make environment and human rights part of the electoral agenda,” PMPI National Coordinator Yoly Esguerra said.

She added that this is urgent given that the projected impacts of the climate change will mostly affect the vulnerable and poor communities and will only get worse if we don’t act on it now.

“Let’s not let things slide. Communities are being displaced because of armed conflicts and natural hazards and it continues to grow, whether in our country or across the globe. Let us start anew and use our electoral power as citizens to elect “Green Leaders”  and forge  a partnership with them to ensure that the environment and human rights agenda will not be forgotten after they assume office” she added.

For more info, you may reach:

ED GARINGAN, PMPI Project Officer for Anti-mining Campaign, 0922.850.1875, egaringan.pmpi@gmail.com
AMOR J. TAN SINGCO, PMPI Comms Officer, 0925.576.7426, atansingco.pmpi@gmail.com
CHECK ZABALA, ATM Media and Communications Officer, 0927.623.5066, checkzab@gmail.com

PMPI/ATM Press Release
12 October 2015

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[Press Release] Climate advocates launch nationwide climate caravan -CRP

Climate advocates launch nationwide climate caravan

Manila, Philippines – The global movement founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore launched a Philippine-wide climate caravan to raise awareness on the importance of collective action to address climate change and gather grassroots support to encourage world leaders to come up with a strong climate agreement in Paris during the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) come December.

Climate-reality-project-logo

As significant part of the Road to Paris campaign initiated by The Climate Reality Project (CRP), the climate caravan focuses on the roles of the Filipino youth and the local government units to galvanise community climate action. In partnership with Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, the campaign aims to promote climate heroism among the young people.

“We are launching our newest campaign for the Filipino young people called Bakit, Bakit Hindi?, an adaptation of CRP’s Why? Why Not? Initiative in 2014, which is mainly a social media campaign aiming to bring forward the Filipino youth as catalyzers of collective action in the lead-up to the Paris Climate negotiations,” said CRP country manager Rodne Galicha.
In this campaign, young people will be given the opportunity to ask probing questions to government officials, Philippine negotiators and environmental agencies such as the DENR and the Climate Change Commission through thirty- second videos.

“These videos will be utilized to stimulate discourse via social media over the next few months, especially during our nationwide climate caravan, where climate volunteers will hold dialogues with local government units, vulnerable communities such as indigenous groups, women and children, as well as youth representatives from all regions nationwide. We, therefore, encourage local government units and their respective councils to issue resolutions in behalf of their people to call on world leaders to sign a strong and bold climate agreement,” said Galicha.

Representing Luzon youth delegates from eight regions of Luzon, youth leader Marlex Tuson from Ateneo de Manila University who participated in the Road to Paris Filipino Youth Climate Consultation and Workshop stressed the collective action of the young people to influence drastic change and policy reform.

“The trauma of experiencing the ill-effects of typhoons in the Bicol region, it pains me. But it’s a different sense of fulfilment I feel when I do the things I’m really passionate about. It draws a smile that hides no worries of sustaining the energy in pursuing the cause,” said Tuson.

The Philippine campaign specifically aims to strengthen the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), lobby for gradual but sustained phase-out of coal-fired power plants and the implementation of the People’s Survival Fund, and emphasizes the human rights approach to the climate crisis issue by putting the concerns of the most vulnerable communities including indigenous groups, women, and the youth.

“The Road to Paris initiative aims to gather millions of signatures from all over the world urging parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to finalize a bold climate agreement. We’re working in eight pivotal countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United States – to rally millions to support practical climate solutions like renewable energy and tip the balance for a successful agreement in Paris,” said Don Henry, Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne and member of the international Board of CRP.

As special envoy of CRP’s founder Al Gore, Henry explained that the Road to Paris campaign is uniting citizens, corporations, and organizations on every continent to demand a strong agreement at COP21 that will dramatically cut emissions and accelerate the planet-wide shift to clean energy,

“The Philippines has a unique opportunity to be a leader at home and on the world stage with tackling the climate crisis. Having a ‘green development path’ that builds jobs and innovation in renewable energy and adaptation to climate change is a great opportunity for the Philippines.  This can help reduce greenhouse pollution and grow jobs. The Philippines can play a global leadership role at the international climate negotiations in Paris. Already the Philippines voice has been persuasive. The country can urge all countries to act to achieve a strong international climate agreement,” said Henry.

Joining CRP’s campaign for a strong climate agreement is United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Champion Senator Loren B. Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and principal author of the Climate Change Act and the People’s Survival Fund Act.

“We need to explain the human face of climate change. It is not just a scientific and environmental issue but an all-encompassing threat to our basic human rights – food, potable water, shelter, decent livelihood and life itself. We need leaders who are informed so that they can make ordinary people understand the climate crisis and be able to connect it to issues of everyday life,” said Legarda.

Legarda further emphasized ‘that leaders must pave the way for the needed paradigm shift from an extractive and consumptive economics to sustainable development. We should veer away from the throwaway culture and aim for a zero waste, low-carbon economy. We have to undertake resilience measures to ensure that communities are able to adapt to the changing climate and at the same time contribute to preventing further rise in global temperatures.’

“Moreover, our country’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) should reflect a strong stance towards deep cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a way to mitigate climate change. It is unfortunate, however, that we continue to witness coal plants being constructed. In the past five years alone, 21 coal-fired power plant projects were granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC),” said Legarda.

Representing the indigenous peoples of the country, Representative Teddy Baguilat of the lone district of Ifugao emphasized the challenge of the climate crisis to the resiliency of the indigenous knowledge, systems and practices.

“Our indigenous peoples have survived through the years. Positively, our traditional way of life assures us of our resolve to continually adapt to the changing patterns of the climate. We may be affected by this ecological crisis but our contribution to humanity to solve it has been consistent while we live in harmony with nature,” said Baguilat.

Asserting the need to rethink development models which harm the environment, Baguilat said that pending bills on land use, mining and forestry, must be approved immediately to help reduce the ill-effects of climate change.

Journalist and applied physics graduate Atom Araullo, who himself experienced the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan, regard climate change as the most important issue that humanity faces.
“The climate crisis is perhaps the most important issue that humanity faces, and we’ve only begun to work on the solutions. Even though the science is clear and the effects are being felt, it’s alarming that we still continue our path toward self-destruction,” Araullo said.
Climate Reality Project volunteer since 2009, Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta, chief of the Public Attorney’s Office of the country, emphasized the rights-based approach to climate action ‘must be practiced and age specific requirements met in conducting disaster relief’.

“As the climate crisis, such as Typhoon Haiyan unleashes its wrath, my thoughts are on the vulnerable sectors in our society. Women, children and even the elderly become even more vulnerable in times of disasters. They suffer the brunt of natural calamities. During these times, the authorities must be vigilant in the protection of their rights especially that of women and children who are prone to human trafficking,’ said Acosta.

Famous mountaineer Gideon Lasco, a medical doctor and anthropologist, encouraged advocates to physically experience nature to appreciate its importance to humanity.
“I see promise in the idea of passion as basis for advocacy. Divers would care about coral reefs, mountaineers will care about mountains, travelers will care about all natural sights that they see. My advocacy is to make people care about issues affecting the environment by making them appreciate what the outdoors is all about,” Lasco said.

As official courier partner of CRP’s Road to Paris campaign together with the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and the Ecological Society of the Philippines (ESP), JRS Express celebrating its 55th year founding anniversary committed to deliver actual petition forms for free.

“We are proud, honored and privileged to partner with the Catholic Church on the Climate Reality Project to send a strong message to the members of the COP 21 in Paris and all the people and leaders of the global world that our planet and people are dying all because the development model refuses to stop greenhouse gas emissions and continue with their destructive and greedy ways. It is hoped that we will be able to get 20 million people to sign this petition. In line with Pope Francis encyclical  the Laudato Si we must change our ways and protect Gods creation. And we vow to do so,” said Antonio Claparols, president of JRS Express and founder ESP.

Promoting sustainable transport, COMET electric vehicle operator Global Electric Transport (GET) committed to support CRP’s Road to Paris campaign and has entered the field to make a difference. GET provides a solution to the country’s growing problems on mobility with an intelligent, integrated and sustainable mass transport system built around energy-efficient electric vehicles, born out of a mission to build green and people-friendly cities.

“Apart from advocating environment-friendly practices, GET has set out to genuinely make a change in the lives of people, most especially the marginalized group such as public utility drivers. GET believes that progress has never been about profits alone, it has always been about giving back to the people and mother nature, thereby pledging full support to the Climate Reality Project. Together, we can make a difference,” said Anthony Dy, GET country managing director.

Engaging with the climate campaign, the Cravings Group, with ISO certification on environmental management issued by TÜV Rheinland Philippines Inc., committed to reduce waste and harmful effects on the environment and   recycle materials where needed.
“Together with green chefs, lifestyle change advocates and environmental homemakers, let us all learn how to run a green kitchen: from proper waste resource management to using organically-grown vegetables and meet and to newfound ways of preparing and eating food,” Cravings Group said in a statement.

The Road to Paris campaign’s climate caravan initiative is also done in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), the Climate Change Commission’s #NOWPH Greeneration program with the National Youth Commission (NYC).

Partners supporting the campaign includes Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, Bayay Sibuyanon Inc., ISDA, Loyola Mountaineers, Manila Water, Lorimar Publications and Uratex.

xxx
For more information, please visit http://facebook.com/climaterealityphilippines
Contact: Beatrice Chua Tulagan – 09153130530 – roadtoparisph@gmail.com

01 September 2015
PRESS RELEASE

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[Statement] Protect our common home, unite towards ecological justice! -ECOJIM

Protect our common home, unite towards ecological justice!

Photo by ECOJIM

Photo by ECOJIM

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?”[1]

By the way current and dominant systems and attitudes stand, faith without actions might not be enough to save individuals, but the planet in its entirety as well.

Primarily driven by climate change, an ecological crisis is manifesting itself through extreme weather events, droughts, ocean acidification, and food and water crisis. Such was reflected in the unities made in the National Conference on the Integrity of Creation last July 29-31 in Manila.  This re-echoes Pope Francis’ call and Encyclical “Laudato Si” for a new, universal solidarity to address our urgent task to protect our common home.

In response to these pressing realizations, we, members of the Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement, representing the growing faith-based movements and networks within the country and across the globe in the fight for climate justice, enjoin people of all faiths and beliefs to share in the collective responsibility of addressing the ecological crisis.

Amid the numerous impacts primarily being experienced by the poor and most vulnerable people in different countries, there is not a more opportune time than now in acting and standing against a system that utilizes and promotes the exploitation of natural and environmental resources for it to survive. Allowing this system of exploitation to continue only disparages the integrity of all creation and widens the gap between the rich and the poor, instead of encouraging compassion and cooperation.

It is in this light that we acknowledge and declare climate change, including all acts of environmental destruction and exploitation that come along with and as a result of it, as a crosscutting issue that transcends religion, culture, science, and politics. As we ready ourselves for the battle for our common home before us, we call on everyone to prepare and put on a full armor that will enable us to stand and not lose hope in this decisive fight.

The belt of moral, historical and scientific truths

The ecological and climate crisis not only requires our faith-based responses but also a science-driven discourse as well. Instead of contradicting each other, empirical data has supported and complemented what our faith has taught us to do: become good and caring stewards of all creation or face dire consequences.

According to the 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report, more people will become poorer because of climate impacts, particularly its effects on agriculture. Armed with this knowledge, it is utterly irresponsible and immoral, to turn a blind eye to the cry of the poor which is now one with the cry of the earth.

The window for keeping global temperature to prevent catastrophic effects – below 1.5 degrees – is rapidly closing. If current trends and carbon emissions continue, the planet is destined for a 4°C or even 5°C rise in global average temperatures. The potential consequences of this temperature rise are unimaginable, considering the various impacts being experienced right now with a 0.8°C increase in temperature.

Upon knowing these truths, it is imperative that immediate actions and efforts be undertaken in order to generate an alternative future that is far from the grim picture being predicted and presented to us.

The breastplate of moral righteousness and social justice

The fight for climate justice is not merely an act of kindness or goodwill. It is our moral obligation to ensure that no rights are trampled upon and no duty is forgotten. We must take it upon ourselves the valiant task of securing and protecting people’s right to energy, to sufficient, healthy, and appropriate food, water, and livelihood, and to the security of possessions and homes from climate impacts.

This task enjoins that local, national, and international institutions to fulfill their roles and duties to the people. Transparency and accountability, especially in the area of finance, are crucial in transforming our market-oriented and profit-driven system into a people-centered and poor-friendly system that exhibits the concept of common good.

This task also means building climate-resilient and stronger communities to protect the most vulnerable members of our society who do not have the means and the ways to adapt to the changing climate by themselves. Strengthening adaptation measures are more than charity; they are the means by which we safeguard the lives and rights of all people regardless of their social and economic status. Their protection rests in our hands as a movement and as members of the same human race.

With private and transnational corporations continuously neglecting this notion of common good, it should nowe become our common responsibility to remind them that the earth and its resources are finite and therefore, more sustainable practices and means to meet all people’s needs must be employed.

The shield of faith

The enormity in scale of the fight for climate justice is less frightening when viewed through the lens of faith. No matter how ambitious or bold our intentions and actions may seem, we are still emboldened to speak out and act in the belief that in these collective voices and actions will our faith be made full.

Every victory, no matter how small or short-term, leads us closer and closer to the ultimate goal of transforming the system that is currently ushering us towards catastrophic climate change. It is in these little victories that we gather the hope and encouragement we need that will enable us to fight the good fight of faith and finish the race.

This global crisis is as much a spiritual crisis as it is an environmental and political crisis. As an inter-faith movement, it is only fair and just that we humbly recognize and acknowledge the faults and failures that we have committed to the environment as well. It is by beginning with genuine repentance and desire for change will we be able to achieve authentic ecological conversion that will be by all and for all, and produce the fruit of love for the environment and our fellow creations.

Protect our common home, unite towards ecological justice!

Armed with these necessary tools, the Ecological Justice Interfaith Movement boldly urges relevant institutions of all creeds and all countries to unite towards a renewed appreciation of our common role as stewards of the environment and keepers of our neighbors.

We enjoin the people of developed countries of the North to heed the call of the brothers and sisters in the developing South: to base their commitment to cut emissions and fund climate justice efforts on a centralized, historically-responsible assessment of their vast contributions to the ecological crisis.

We enjoin the Philippine government to side and stand in solidarity with the poor, vulnerable communities it claims to represent. It must not use the faith and resilience of character Filipinos have to justify its shortcomings in responding to their need for food, land, water and livelihood, as well as just adaptation measures.

The Philippine government must also be the leader in holding developed countries accountable for their environmental faults, not settling for loans and rhetoric but just reparations for the damage the country continually sustains.

Finally, we demand all governments of the world, as well as international funding institutions to stop investing on fossil fuels and begin the transition to a more sustainable, more ecologically-responsible and socially just renewable energy system.

The path to deliverance always begins with the admission of faults, justice and a renewed paradigm. This is also true in the context of ecological justice. Whether in small acts in our community or in the systemic ways of life we utilize as nations and as a species: our beliefs, our faith must reflect in our actions. Through this, we preserve not only our own integrity, but the integrity of the rest of creation.

Protect our common home!
Preserve the integrity of creation!
Unite towards ecological justice now!

Referrence:
Fr. Dexter Toledo
ECOJIM Chairperson
09173196906

[1] James 2:14 New International Version.

PRESS STATEMENT
August 31, 2015

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[Statement] ATM on Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Sii” (“Praise Be To You”)

ATM Statement on Pope Francis’ Encyclical “Laudato Sii” (“Praise Be To You”)
18 June 2015

As his holiness Pope Francis said in his homily on February 9, 2015 in Vatican, “A Christian who does not protect creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God … And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow.”

(Source: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/02/09/pope_mass_protecting_creation_a_christian_responsibility/1122292)

atm-logoIt is with this that Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), an alliance of environmental and human rights groups composed of more than a hundred organizations and partners all over the Philippines expresses its full appreciation and support to his Holiness, Pope Francis, on this monumental day, June 18 of the present time as he gives light to one of the world’s most pressing issues: the environment and climate change.

As stewards of Mothers Earth, we have the obligation to nurture and protect the resources and creation His Almighty has given  us to call home. We must remember that we, the human race owe the Earth and not the other way around. Sadly, we have paid Mother Earth and our environment with nothing but abuse and irresponsibility as we prioritize capitalistic intentions above honoring the integrity of creation. We mutilate our lands, we pollute our bodies of water, we burn our forests, we plunder our resources, we kill our wildlife, we destroy with irrational liberty everything that nature has lent us.

History can attest how our savagery to the environment has paved the way for social and economic inequality. As we continue destroying nature for monetary gains, the poor becomes poorer and the rich becomes richer.  Here in the Philippines, environmentally destructive activities, such as mining has raised the socio-economic disparities of many if not all mining-affected communities. In fact, most mining-affected communities have high poverty rates and belong to the country’s poorest of the poor communities.

Aside from causing environmental degradation and increasing socio-economic inequality, environmentally destructive activities spawned many other negative impacts such as human rights abuses and violations and cultural displacement.

Environmentally destructive activities that exacerbate climate change have also made many countries, the Philippines included, to be more vulnerable to disasters brought by the climate crisis. No Filipino can ever forget Super Typhoon Yolanda and the devastation it brought everyone in the Eastern Visayas.

With this, Alyansa Tigil Mina calls on our world leaders to fulfil their moral obligation to Mother Earth. We call on all nations, including our very own government to fight climate change and give honor to God’s creation.  We must all respond with concrete action to the idea being proposed by Pope Francis – that of integral ecology.

Let us stop environmentally destructive activities and bear in mind what our capitalistic motivations have brought our world. Let us also be reminded that climate change and the threats it pose are far beyond political affiliations and boundaries or even religion. It is an issue that concerns each and every one of us that inhabit this world.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

(sgd.)
Fr. Edu Gariguez
Chairperson, Alyansa Tigil Mina

[Right-up] Facing the Dangers of 2 Degrees Warming by Renee Juliene Karunungan

Facing the Dangers of 2 Degrees Warming
by Renee Juliene Karunungan

Is 2 degrees too much?

Protest 2 by Ayeen

In the wake of the G7’s announcement to limit global warming to 2 degrees, UN climate negotiators from the world’s most vulnerable nations have questioned whether 2 degrees is too dangerous.

Ayeen Karunungan

Unfortunately, their call to focus efforts on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees were blocked today from some of the most powerful nations at the UN climate talks: India, China and Saudi Arabia.

Care International’s Sven Harmeling has labelled this move “highly concerning,” especially given the human rights implications of a 2 degree target.

This concern turned to protest today, as young people gathered at the UN with banners of tropical storms. They then asked negotiators to “add their name here” if they believed that a 2 degree world was safe, noting that they would use their names for the “future disasters of a 2 degree world”.

Climate change impacts is a human rights issue

Last week a group of global Human Rights experts, highlighted what they called the “human rights” implications of a 2 degree rise, calling it “the greatest human rights challenges of our generation.”

They argue in line with the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that people who are currently “marginalised are especially vulnerable to climate change,” even at only 2 degrees of warming.

A U.N. report released earlier this year states that climate change accounts for 87 percent of disasters worldwide. This figure, it must be remembered, comes with only 0.8 degrees celcius of global temperature rise that we are now experiencing.

However scientists are largely uncertain what the impacts of a doubling of current warming could be. Those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change have been concerned about the reality of 2 degrees of warming since the UN climate talks began.

The Philippines fights for less than 2 degrees target

As the Philippines Climate Change Commissioner, Mary Ann Lucille Sering argued earlier this year, “How can we possibly subscribe to more than double current warming given what less than 1 degree Celsius has entailed?”

Sering currently heads a group of countries within the UN climate talks known as the Climate Vulnerable Forum, who argue that the 2 degree target, reinforced by leaders of the G7 this week is “inadequate, posing serious threats for fundamental human rights, labor and migration and displacement.”

Sering and other leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum commissioned a Human Rights inquiry into the 2 degree target earlier this year that has highlighted the severe impacts of 2 degrees for poor and marginalised groups around the world.

John Knox, who lead the inquiry as the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment argued that “Even moving from one to two degrees of warming negatively affects the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights.”

He further believes it will have a multiplying impact on Human Rights around the world, and make it very difficult for countries to “respect, protect and promote human rights.”

These reports, and the current state of UN climate negotiations around the 2 degree target have shone light once again on the importance of support that developing countries will need to face the ongoing impacts of global warming.

The damage of climate change impacts to the Philippines

The Philippines is known to be one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change, along with other small island nations and developing countries. When typhoon Yolanda hit the country in 2013, more than 6,000 people died and millions were affected, losing their homes and livelihood. Post-disaster problems such as human trafficking was also recorded. This is not to mention the effect of climate change to the country’s food security.

The impacts of climate change is fundamentally intertwined with human rights issues — the right to life, right to food, right to shelter, right to self determination especially those of the more vulnerable sectors such as women, children, persons with disability, and indigenous peoples. The impacts of climate change has left many Filipinos with dead families, no homes, destroyed crops, and lost hopes and dreams.

According to Oxfam, climate change is the number one threat to overcoming poverty. Many Filipinos undergo a cycle of building and rebuilding their lives only to be continually destroyed by climate change impacts.

At less than one degree warming, the Philippines is facing extreme weather conditions, warming waters, drought, and sea level rise. What this means is that the Philippines must be prepared to face more Yolanda’s, less food production due to low adaptive capacity of farmers and their crops and less fish catch of fisherfolks, and more migration as islands sink under water. Is the country prepared to face these?

Mitigation and adaptation needed

Within the UN climate negotiations, many fear that financial support for adaptation and the damages that cannot be adapted to will not meet the required targets. This is what led negotiators and civil society actors to stage a protest today in the UN climate talks demanding that negotiators not only recognise the importance of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees, but also reinvigorate negotiations to better support the inevitable damages that will result.

Interestingly, this has been one of the key negotiating points for India over the years. However, with its plans to push ahead with its controversial coal plant in the pristine Sundarbands region of Bangladesh, and ban NGO’s from criticising, it may indeed be set on a development path that is at odds with its developing country partners.

In addition, the Philippines must look into its own plans for clean and renewable energy. With more coal power plants set to be opened in many different parts of the country, the question of sincerity on the government’s call for reducing carbon emission remains questionable.

It is only a matter of time before the true “reality” of a warming world sets in.

Renee Juliene Karunungan, 25, is the Program Manager for Advocacy of Dakila, an organization of artists creatively inspiring social transformation. Dakila has been working on climate justice since 2009 with Oxfam International.

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[Press Release] Land use group highlights importance of proposed national land use bill in environmental protection -CLUP Now!

Land use group highlights importance of proposed
national land use bill in environmental protection

As the world celebrates Earth Day, the Campaign for Land Use Policy Now! (CLUP Now!) stresses the importance of the proposed National Land Use Act (NLUA) in protecting the environment and its inhabitants. Labeled as a ‘green bill’, the NLUA is aimed at managing the proper use of the country’s natural resources.

CLUP NOW

“Mother Earth provides us with everything we need, but are we doing something to take care of nature’s gifts?” stated Anthony Marzan, convenor of CLUP Now! “It is our responsibility to protect our natural resources, and this can be done through its proper utilization.”

“The proposed NLUA will not only protect the environment, but will also provide safety and security to every citizen, especially now that we are experiencing the devastating effects of climate change,” Marzan added. “Stricter land use policy is necessary to adapt to the changing climate. Balancing the use of our natural resources to conserve the environment and promote economic growth is essential amid climate change. The role of land use planning is profound in both climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.“

NLUA champion and former Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Sano explained that even though there are existing environmental laws, these are not enough to protect people and resources from natural disasters. “We have policies and programs to regulate how we use our land and resources that can help avert crises resulting from natural disasters,” explained Sano. “But our experience with Yolanda showed us that these are not enough. We need the NLUA.”

The proposed land use bill sets guidelines in identifying areas for protection, production, settlements and infrastructure, to ensure that the country’s finite lands and resources are protected and utilized in a manner that is beneficial for all sectors of society and the future generation.

In an effort to inform a larger audience about the NLUA, CLUP Now! recently released a song on land use entitled, “Dapat Nang Ipasa (Awit ng NLUA).” The song, written and performed by Noel Cabangon, also has a music video that shows the benefits of having a national land use law.

“We are hoping that through the song and the music video, people can grasp the main idea of the NLUA,” stated Marzan. “The music video is one of our attempts to laymanize a complex law, and help the people understand its implications on the environment and in our daily lives.”

The music video can be viewed on the Facebook page and YouTube channel of the CLUP Now! Network.

For more information, contact:

Kim Alvarez, CLUP Now!, 0918-6545059, kbalvarez@gmail.com
Gillian Cruz, CLUP Now!, 09157830489, gillianmariecruz@gmail.com
CLUP Now! Network, campaignfornlua@gmail.com

PRESS RELEASE
22 April 2015

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[Press Release] Labor group says poor needs living wage, regular jobs to adapt to climate change -CTUHR

Labor group says poor needs living wage, regular jobs to adapt to climate change

As the world celebrates Earth day this week, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights said that calls for living wage and regular jobs become more imperative especially for the urban poor in light of the country’s high vulnerability to climate change.

CTUHR logo

Based on the climate change vulnerability index, the Philippines is among the top 10 countries at extreme risk to climate change and Metro Manila is second to Bangkok as the most vulnerable city to climate-change related disasters.

The group recently published the results of its climate justice feminist participatory action research (CJ-FPAR) on urban poor communities lying along the Tullahan River in Metro Manila. The research revealed that apart from damage to homes and properties due to massive inundation following typhoons and prolonged southwest monsoon rains, urban poor women and their family members also lost days of work thereby lowering family income during and after the calamities. The report also noted that because of the precariousness of livelihood and employment urban poor women have, it becomes almost impossible for families to recover from disasters.

The CJ-FPAR is part of multi-country research, initiated and supported by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development (APWLD), a leading regional feminist network that has a consultative status at the United Nations.

“Extreme weather events such as typhoons and consequent flooding in Metro Manila that occurred repeatedly and more frequently in recent years have aggravated the urban poor’s condition. Combined with poverty wages and informal or contract employment, these disasters will keep the poor ever mired in poverty. Building resilience and adaptive capacity of the poor to climate change should therefore include providing living wages, regular jobs, more viable livelihood and social services to the poor,” Daisy Arago, CTUHR executive director explained during a Solidarity Walk for climate justice held in Novaliches QC last Saturday, 18 April.

The Solidarity Walk organized a recently formed local alliance, Kilusan ng Mamamayan para sa Hustisyang Pangklima (KMHP), comprised of women organizations, trade unions and church people, called for decent work, livelihood, and rights as part of a “just” adaptation policy to climate change.

Meanwhile, CTUHR underscored that all talk of adaptation will be rendered useless if big countries do not significantly lower their emissions.

“Rich countries such as the United States benefit immensely from the use of fossil fuels and extraction of natural resources, while developing countries like the Philippines suffer the consequences of a warming planet. They have amassed and continue to amass huge sums of profits at the people’s expense,” Arago said.

“We call on the people to unite and strengthen calls for climate justice and build broader grassroots movement to end a system that is exploitative to both the environment and the people,” Arago averred.

For reference: Jane Siwa, CTUHR public information coordinator 09174682829.

PRESS RELEASE
20 April 2015

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[Press Release] Beyond 60 minutes: THE TRUE IMPACT OF EARTH HOUR -Haribon

Beyond 60 minutes: THE TRUE IMPACT OF EARTH HOUR

Over 170 countries are expected to be in the dark for an hour to participate in the Earth Hour campaign and raise awareness on the devastating effects of climate change. This year’s global tagline is “Use Your Power to Change Climate Change,” emphasizes on the individual empowerment to mitigate the effects of climate change. Philippines earned the title “Earth Hour Hero Country” for leading the Earth Hour participation since 2009.

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Haribon Chief Operating Officer Maria Belinda de la Paz sees this as an advantage in promoting environment conservation and lessening the impact of climate change. “This is a good indication that Filipinos are aware and must be therefore willing also to make concrete actions to reduce emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”

Beyond 60 minutes

However, de la Paz believes that the challenge lies after Earth hour. “Switching off the lights for an hour is a proof of willingness to lessen our carbon footprint, but there’s still a lot of ways on how we can help do this.”

Climate change can be attributed to several factors. Certain human activities cause the increase of green house gases such as the use of fossil fuels , deforestation, and waste production.

Ironically, the Philippines’ commitment to Earth Hour doesn’t automatically equate with its commitment to establish mitigation or adaptation measures to address the impacts of climate change.

“The DENR claims that we have 22.8% forest cover left. Yet we need 54% forest cover to maintain ecological processes in the country. Aside from energy conservation, there is an urgent need to bring back our forests in order to minimize the effects of climate change,” de la Paz added.

Haribon Foundation strongly pushes for the restoration of the Philippines’ rainforests. Through the Rainforest Organizations and Advocates (Road) to 2020. Road to 2020 is an environmental conservation movement committed to restore one million hectares of Philippine rainforests using native tree species by year 2020. People can take part in this endeavor by volunteering at tree planting events, or donating to “Adopt a Forest,” or “Nurture a Tree” .

Haribon also established Buhay Punlaan, a nursery of native tree seedlings at the Caliraya Watershed in Lumban, Laguna to support Road to 2020. This is a living laboratory for native trees and biodiversity conservation. Volunteers can visit Buhay Punlaan to help nurture the seedlings, at the same time, learn about the different Philippine native tree species and how these can effectively sequester green house gases and help communities adapt to climate change from an array of other ecological benefits our forests provide.

Commitment to Mother Earth

De la Paz stressed the need to take action. “Climate change is here and it will take more than 1 hour of “darkness” to reverse this trend. Ultimately, the real challenge lies in our commitment to live an ecologically friendly lifestyle which will be quite a feat given all the conveniences that technology has and can offer. Thus it is imperative that we try even if it’s one hour at a time, everyday of our lives.”

HARIBON FOUNDATION
2/F Santos & Sons Bldg.,
973 Aurora Blvd., Cubao,
Quezon City 1102 Philippines

Contact: Lodel D. Magbanua, Campaign Officer
campaigns@haribon.org.ph
Tel. Nos.: + 63 2 434 46 42
Mobile: + 63 922 815 19 38

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