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Climate and Environment

Environmentalists, science workers back ‘green’ Robredo-Pangilinan tandem

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Environmentalists, science workers back âgreenâ Robredo-Pangilinan tandem
Climate activists demonstrate outside of the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow on November 12, 2021.
AFP/Andy Buchanan, file

MANILA, Philippines — A coalition of environmentalists, engineers and scientists pledged their support for Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, saying the tandem offers a clear agenda to combat climate change and address the country’s environmental problems.

In a manifesto of support released Wednesday, a group of green advocates and environmental rights defenders collectively known as Berdeng Kakampinks said the tandem of Robredo and Pangilinan offers a "competent, responsive and firm leadership" amid the continued deterioration of ecosystems and increasing vulnerability of communities to climate change.

Jaybee Garganera, the national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina and co-convenor of Berdeng Kakampink, said environmentalists joined the chorus of various sectors backing Robredo and Pangilinan because the tandem has a coherent green agenda and a commitment to appoint a pro-environment DENR chief.

"We believe that the Robredo-Pangilinan administration will make good on its promise to promote people’s participation, that Robredo’s People’s Council will have a voice and a space in the table on decision and policy making,” Garganera said partly in Filipino during a briefing held ahead of Earth Day.

The coalition also believes that Robredo and Pangilinan, if they win in the crucial May elections, will work for policies against destructive practices, be guided by a covenant promoting the protection of the environment, and defend the dignity of protectors of nature.

"We need a leadership that has a good grasp of the experiences of people on the ground and values the preservation of the environment for the next generations—principles that VP Robredo and Sen. Pangilinan stand for," the manifesto read.

Another group of environment and climate campaigners called EnviRobredo believes that electing Robredo and Pangilinan is the "best way" to achieve a climate-resilient Philippines, its convenor Jonas Marie Dumdum said.

EnviRobredo has a separate manifesto which called on candidates and the public to intensify conversations on environmental defense and climate justice, environmentally destructive projects, biodiversity conservation, and just transition to renewable energy.

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of human-induced climate change, which disproportionately affect the poor.

The country’s rich biodiversity is also under threat due to deforestation, illicit wildlife trade, illegal fishing, and ecologically destructive projects. 

Scientists and engineers, too

The science, technology and engineering community also expressed support for the campaign of Robredo and Pangilinan, citing their programs for the advancement of research and development in the country.

They also cited the vice president’s COVID-19 response program, relief operations and other initiatives despite her office’s meager budget and little support from the Duterte administration.

"Supporting the candidacy of Robredo-Pangilinan is a stand towards a dynamic, vibrant and competitive S&T ecosystem," their manifesto read.

"Most importantly, it is also a promotion of a pro-people science and technology that serves the interests of our people and that will usher the country into having industrial growth and development."

The groups will hold a “Pink Earth Day” on Saturday, which aims to conduct cleanups and house-to-house campaigns across the country. 

 

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