August 11, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 12 August 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center held a “Kaalamang Klima” webinar-workshop for the participants and youth partners of the Klima Film Festival (KFF) to deepen their understanding on climate change concepts and community-based climate action in the Philippines.
The webinar-workshop, which was conducted online, gathered members of the 56 teams that registered for the KFF, representing at least 13 regions, as well as representatives of the KFF’s 18 youth organization partners, on August 11, 2020, Tuesday, 10 AM – 12 NN.
The esteemed members of the CCC’s National Panel of Technical Experts, Dr. Laura David, Director of University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, and Dr. Rodel Lasco, Executive Director of the OML Center, gave in-depth presentations on the science on climate change and the ways to address climate impacts.
Dr. Lasco discussed the physical science of climate change, particularly the rise of greenhouse gas emissions and why climate change adaptation and mitigation are crucial to stabilize emissions and address their warming effect on the planet. He also underscored the importance of incorporating science into the works of the KFF participants.
“We need science. We need to understand the science. As you prepare your films, as you do your craft, be creative about your filmmaking and make sure you embed the right science in those films,” said Dr. Lasco.
Dr. David discussed the effects of sea level rise on our fisheries sector and coastal communities and highlighted the importance of our mangrove forests as a natural buffer to adapt to its effects.
“Just like in the COVID pandemic, one thing can stop the entire thing. So, what we have to do is identify what we can stop. We cannot stop the sea level rise. But, if we stop building things where mangroves naturally adapt, we can help stop the “cascade” effect. It's not the only solution, but it's one of the small solutions. As filmmakers, you have to highlight those what humans can actually do. We cannot stop sea level rise, but we can help nature adapt,” said Dr. David.
Known climate activists and advocates, including Ms. Joanna Sustento, Public Engagement Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines; Ms. Marinel Ubaldo, Founder and President of Youth Leaders for Environmental Action Federation; and Mr. Rodne Galicha, Executive Director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines also joined the online event, sharing their experiences in raising climate awareness and leading climate initiatives on the ground.
“Real life stories are just as important as climate science. Science presents the facts and the figures, while stories reveal the heart and soul behind the statistics. There is a need for collecting and connecting people's stories, as well as surfacing stories yet untold, on the impacts of the climate crisis and their rights as human beings," said Sustento, as she recalled her tragic experience when Super Typhoon Yolanda hit in 2013.
“Apathy and denial will not bring back the lives of those who have perished because of climate disasters. This is just a beginning, and we, as youth, have a lot of time and power to do something and to change this path that we're already in. We still have a long way to go but we should not stop because the future of all of us depends on our decisions now,” said Ubaldo, who is also a survivor of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
"Young people, you are not the future of our country anymore. You are the now. Secure your present. Learn from the lessons of the past to face the challenges of today. And with your zeal and vigor, you are the now, shaping the future you wish," said Galicha, as he encouraged more young people to speak and step up for climate.
Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, in his keynote address, committed to provide support and open more avenues for youth engagement in climate action.
“We shall help you communicate climate change effectively so that you can inspire others, especially our national and local leaders, to heed the science and make risk-informed decisions for the sake of our people, nature, and planet. We shall empower you to use your creative talent in promoting sustainable lifestyles, supporting renewable energy, and advancing climate change adaptation and mitigation in your own communities through the powerful and influential medium of film,” said Sec. de Guzman.
Towards the end of the program, the KFF youth organization partners jointly delivered a message of support to all the KFF participants.
Ms. Maricres Valdez Castro, Miss Universe Philippines 2020 - Muntinlupa City, and Mr. Val Amiel Vestil, Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists, moderated the event.
The Kaalamang Klima Webinar-Workshop is also being conducted in harmony with the global celebration of the International Youth Day.
On June 30, the CCC launched the Klima Film Festival, with the view of mainstreaming climate change through science-based short films, while harnessing the skills and talents of young filmmakers, aged 16-22 years old, in climate action. The KFF is organized in collaboration with the OML Center as part of its Balangay Project.
For more information about the Klima Film Festival, visit the Facebook Page of the Climate Change Commission at facebook.com/CCCPhl, or its website at climate.gov.ph/events/klima-film-festival.