PASAY City, March 18, 2016 – Climate justice advocate Brother Jaazeal Jakosalem of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects (OAR) has brought home the first ever Green Ring Award for his “Outstanding Work Towards Solving the Climate Crisis.”
“I am humbled for receiving the award in the midst of dedicated environmental activists and the 700 new ‘Climate Warriors.’ I felt small, because I am aware of their amazing work for the Earth,” he said in a message to CBCP News.
Handing him the award was no less than former United States Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, founder of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), in a ceremony held Wednesday, March 16, at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.
Better known as “Bro. Tagoy,” Jakosalem was recognized for the grassroots work he and his team have done in the service of climate change education.
In 2010, he took part in Gore’s TCRP training in Beijing, China.
According to him, this training emboldened his advocacy and encouraged him to deepen his understanding of the climate crisis to be able to come out with alternative solutions.
“From then on, the TCRP presentation became an instrument of reaching to young people and communities for life-learning,” he shared.
Since 2010, the Recollect friar has been at the frontline of climate change awareness in Southern Negros, especially in the remote areas of Bago and Murcia, among others.
“Until today we are promoting this grassroots awareness, and we are even more emboldened by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’; working on giving workshops and conferences about the encyclical around the country,” he shared.
Journey for planet continues
Jakosalem and his associates were also among those who actively pushed for the 850,000-Catholic climate change petition for COP21 in 2015.
In gratitude, he went on to thank The Tsinelas of Hope team, DIHON artists, Heartanonymous, CSEC-R, and others who mentored him and who support his fight for the climate justice.
“This is our journey for the planet, let us be together on this – offering our lives for God, earth and humanity,” he added. (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)