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Cebu News

International lawyers, youth leaders converge on Bantayan for Earth Day Group threatens to sue agencies of the Phl gov’t

Ferliza C. Contratista, Gregg Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - On Earth Day tomorrow, April 22, around 15 to 30 youth leaders from all over the world will converge in Bantayan Island, Cebu to launch a series of socio-political and legal actions to compel the present generation to sit and listen to the issue on climate change.

They will be backed up by a team of environment and litigation lawyers from around the world to send out a Nationwide Notice to Sue to the Philippine Climate Change Commission and other concerned agencies, announcing their plan to initiate legal actions unless the law is implemented.

Dubbed as “A Global Legal Action on behalf of the Youth and of Future Generations,” the said international event will be held on the beach of the School of the SEA (Sea and Earth Advocates) in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island.

“Climate change is an issue of inter-generational justice. Our generation today is suffering from the actions of past generations. And what we are doing today will inflict a profound damage to future generations,” said lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr., the founder of the School of the SEAs.

An internationally acclaimed environmental lawyer, Oposa said that frustrated by the failure of the present generation to take meaningful action to address the climate crisis, the young people of the world will “take the law into their own hands.”

“It is now time to use the power of law to protect our right to a safe climate. One action will become many,” Oposa said.

For ground-level action, Oposa said that Filipino youth leaders will launch the filing of petitions for the “Road Sharing Movement”.

This Movement calls for the Philippine Government to transform the road and transportation system from the present car-based system to one that is “more fair and more people-friendly.”

Using a little known law on people’s initiative, Oposa said that young Filipino leaders, backed by their lawyers, will file petitions to directly propose to their local governments the passage of an ordinance.

 The proposed ordinance calls for the sharing of the road space: at least one half of roads will be used only for path-walks and bicycle lanes, and the other half for a good public transport system.

The team of youth leaders and their lawyers will also send out a Nationwide Notice to Sue to the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Transportation and Communication, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Some  of the international participants have already arrived last Friday and were oriented to the School of the SEAs.

Yesterday, youth representatives and their lawyers had a hands-on and ground level activities such as edible urban gardening, making and deployment of fish condominiums in the marine protected area, coral planting, delineation of protected area and biological survey, reef restoration and fish survey.

Today is the preparation of the action plan and other documents needed such as letters to Congress, legal and para-legal petitions, notices to sue, media advisories, and others.

Also tomorrow, there will be filing of letter petition by citizens and children, backed up by their lawyers, in the town of Sta. Fe and submit it to Sangguniang Bayan in a ceremonial event. (FREEMAN)

A GLOBAL LEGAL ACTION ANTONIO OPOSA JR. BANTAYAN ISLAND CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION NATIONWIDE NOTICE ON EARTH DAY OPOSA PHILIPPINE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION
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