Environmentalists launch ‘Climate Walk’

Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - October 3, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Environmentalists yesterday launched the “Climate Walk” spanning 40 days from Manila to Tacloban, the city seriously damaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Dubbed as  “A People’s Walk for Climate Justice,” participants who gathered in Rizal Park in Manila will walk 1,000 kilometers in 40 days to arrive in Tacloban on Nov. 8, exactly a year since the super typhoon made landfall.

The walk was launched a week after two landmark events in New York: the People’s Climate March, in which 400,000 people marched to call for urgent climate action, followed by the United Nations Climate Summit, where over 160 world leaders announced their commitment to solve the climate crisis.

“This walk is about fighting back. We need to unite as a people and demand a climate treaty that will give justice and compensation to countless families, communities and municipalities that are being severely affected and devastated by climate change impacts. We must reclaim our people’s rights to a safe, secure and sustainable future,” said Von Hernandez, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Meanwhile, Nityalila Saulo, musician and core member of the artist group Dakila – also a participant – said the importance and urgency of addressing climate change demands more than action.

“We need to fundamentally change the way we live, and the way things work in our planet. We need to galvanize public actions toward solutions to fight climate change,” she said.

People who are deemed most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – farmers and fisherfolk – as well as members of youth, faith groups and the public in general are invited to join the walk, which will traverse parts of Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Samar, and Leyte.

Hernandez said on Nov. 8, the participants will cross San Juanico Bridge toward Tacloban City. The walk is also expected to continue on to communities in Cebu, Negros, Panay Island, and Palawan, or the provinces that were also heavily damaged by Yolanda.

“Climate and disaster resilience toolkits, a set of resources which can be used to enhance community planning for climate change and assist in the protection of communities from climate disaster risks, will be handed over to LGUs and communities in the areas reached by the Climate Walk. Along the path of the walk, events will also be held in select towns to highlight the different issues of climate change affecting these areas, including (but not limited to) deforestation, mining, and renewable energy,” Hernandez said.

Participating civil society organizations also urged the current administration, as well as global leaders, to take concrete action in solving the climate crisis.


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