CEBU CITY, May 3, 2014 – Young people may be the hope of tomorrow, but their work of saving the environment starts now.
This is what Commissioner Nadarev “Yeb” Saño of the Philippine Climate Change Commission stressed in his keynote address at the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP) 11th National Leadership Conference (NLC), urging participating student leaders to “act now and be the make a difference” for the environment.
Social media advocates
“There is still time, but the time to act is now. We are at war and we cannot afford to lose, and we can win this,” said Saño.
He expressed joy that SCAP chose to tackle climate change because the youth play an integral part in saving the environment.
“Every single act you do, small acts of kindness and love, you make a difference and when combined with others, we make a greater difference,” he added.
Aside from the urgency of the climate change issue, Saño also talked about how young people can use social media networks to share the environmental advocacy.
“We need real people and real ties to save the environment. Confronting climate change means building a better nation,” he added.
Saño said social media as very effective in reaching the goals of such an advocacy.
Understanding climate change
While Saño admits that saving the environment starts at the personal level, he also believes that a solution must be collectively initiated by all sectors through cooperation.
“When we change the climate, we change everything,” Sa?o added.
According to him, climate change is not the problem but the symptom of many other problems. He stressed that human activities accelerate climate change and its effects.
Saño said in terms of transportation there must be a “shift from roads to rail, efficient transport, and pedal power.” He advocates for the use of public transport than private vehicles and for the promotion of a culture that uses more bicycles with a better policy on bike lanes.
Saño pointed out that people must address root causes, adapt and be resilient, address poverty, and promote environmental sustainability. But an important factor to consider, Sa?o said is that “we need national solidarity…Everyone has a part and we cannot solve this if we act separately.”
The 11th NLC is hosted by the SCA Archdiocesan Council of Cebu which runs from April 30 to May 4, 2014 at the Talavera House of Prayer, Basak, Cebu City with the theme “SCAn Ako, LA’yko (Leadership in Action Youth Ako” with thes sub-theme, “Renewal of the Laity. Paramount is Climate Change. (Mark Vertido)