MANILA, Nov. 8, 2016 – A total of 137 Filipino youth from different parts of the country issued an official statement on climate change on the 3rd anniversary memorial Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that devastated parts of the Visayas in 2013, ahead of the 22nd Conference Of Parties (COP 22) in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Led by Climate Reality Project Philippines, the young leaders gathered during the Youth Beyond Paris and Future Negotiators’ Training held in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, from September to October 2016.
Not just a mere paper
Dubbed the “2016 Philippine Youth Statement on Climate Change”, the document will be submitted to Philippine negotiators and other youth delegations at the ongoing COP22, from Nov. 7 to 18.
“The statement is not a mere paper with words. It carries the aspiration of the Filipino youth of their future. It carries the dream of millions [of] Filipino people, that should never be taken for granted. This statement is a reflection of voices being threatened by climate change, and the only solution is climate justice. This paper upholds our right to develop and most of all, live,” said Ruzzel Morales, representative from the Visayas.
The youth statement emphasized “the Philippines’ extreme vulnerability to climate change as well as the need to properly address the plight of communities such as women, children, people with disabilities, indigenous groups, and the marginalized rendered twice vulnerable by the devastation of such natural calamities. The document also recognizes that the employment of the human rights approach to the negotiations is an imperative for securing the most ambitious commitments from all parties.”
The statement also demanded that parties at “the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change seek to address the worsening effects of climate change through the immediate ratification of the Paris Agreement in light of the goal to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The youth also stressed the need to strengthen existing mechanisms on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, technology transfer, capacity-building, and finance” to help climate vulnerable countries such as the Philippines cope.
Filipino youth also reiterated that the future of the Filipino youth is “non-negotiable”, calling on the Philippine government to strongly consider the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Presently, there are 10 out of 33 certificates of concurrences for ratification that have been submitted to the Climate Change Commission as of Nov. 3, 2016. These government agencies include the Department of Education; the Department of Social Welfare and Development; the National Economic and Development Authority; and others.
Headed by Country Manager Rodne Galicha, Climate Reality Project (CRP) Philippines is also guided by Policy Research and Advocacy Director Beatrice Tulagan, who also leads the Philippine youth delegation in Morroco. CRP Philippines is under the bigger non-profit organization involved in education and advocacy related to climate change established in July 2011 by Nobel laureate Al Gore. (Carl Jamie Simple S. Bordeos /CBCPNews)