NADEREV MADLA SAÑO
Climate Change Commission
A graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, he has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Philosophy and Community Development with focus on disaster management in relation to climate change. He also attended the College of Conservation Leadership in the Netherlands and the University College in Washington University.
He has been working on climate change issues since 1997, serving as part of the NGO delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is also a co-author of the paper "Perfect Storms: What the Philippines Can Do About Climate Change."
Previously, he managed projects on coastal resources and fisheries conservation, as well as environmental education, working for four years in advocating for sustainable marine tourism in Central Visayas, specifically Cebu and Bohol. He spent four years working with the local government of Lapu-Lapu City in establishing marine protected areas and setting up the city's coastal law enforcement unit. He was also part of the team that developed the wildlife eco-tourism projects in Donsol, Sorsogon and Pamilacan Island in Bohol.
He also worked for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Philippines) as head of the Climate Change and Energy Program, where he was also the national director of the Earth Hour, the most massive environmental movement in the Philippines. He worked with the WWF for more than 12 years, working on domestic and international issues that relate to climate change, clean energy, biodiversity, coastal and marine resources, tourism, and local governance.
He was appointed on February 15, 2010 and was sworn in as a Climate Change Commissioner on February 25, 2010.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi is his favorite quote. Born to a family of revolutionaries, he now steadfastly fights for the environment. “Yeb,” as he is fondly known to friends, does not believe in violent confrontations. He knows that peace is the only way to bring about an environmental revolution and help fight climate change. “It is all about spreading hope,” he says. “In the midst of all these trying economic, environmental and ecological changes, it is about hope in our future and in humanity.”
He wants to change people’s attitudes, shift their perspectives and encourage new ways of thinking to help promote sustainability, seek new solutions and innovations, and find revolutionary means to change the way the world does business. As an advocate for community participation and empowerment, he strongly recommends that we pursue solutions together with communities and other vulnerable sectors, and at the same time, adopt a paradigm that works in harmony with nature.
As an optimist, he still believes that the future holds a lot of promise, saying that climate change will be THE unifying factor for our fragmented nation. He goes on to say that “climate change is our opportunity to make the Philippines a better nation. Even if it is a huge problem, it still has a positive side to it because it can change the way we govern our country … It is our only chance. This is a war and we will survive because there is no choice.”
A devoted husband to Eunice Agsaoay-Saño (a keen environmental and community lawyer) and loving father to Yanni and Amira, Com Yeb is a father, a son, a brother, a free kindred spirit, a peace activist, an avid scuba diver, an environmentalist, and a climate change activist.
Follow Com Yeb at his blog: Climate Change Pilipinas (http://www.climatechangecommissioner.blogspot.com/)