November 15, 2021 Monday
MANILA, 16 November 2021 — In continuation of its COP26 Series, the 70th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” put spotlight to several organizations that are helping communities in the areas of water security, agriculture and food security, and waste and plastic pollution towards enhanced global climate action.
The online conversation conceptualized and hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, with CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera as co-host, featured guests including Jenica Dizon, Country Director of Waves for Water Philippines; Hazel Tanchuling, Executive Director of Rice Watch Action Network (R1); and Carlos Hechanova, co-Executive Director for Operations of makesense Philippines.
Ms. Dizon introduced Waves for Water Philippines, a humanitarian aid organization that focuses on providing clean water access to underserved communities.
“Ang climate change o ang sinasabing krisis sa klima ay primarily nararamdaman natin sa tubig. Either napakarami or binabaha tayo, or napaka-kaunti o meron tayong nararamdamang tagtuyot. Nakakaapekto ito hindi lang sa ating health o kalugusan, kundi maging sa ating pananim at food security. 'Yung kakainin natin ay maaapektuhan din. Kapag ang extreme weather events ay dumalas nang dumalas, maaapektuhan din ang ating mga trabaho, bahay, imprastraktura, pati na rin ‘yung pang-araw-araw nating pamumuhay,” said Dizon.
Ms. Tanchuling introduced Rice Watch Action Network (R1), a non-government organization that helps capacitate local communities and local government units through different projects and capacity-building activities, such as the Climate Resiliency Field School program, to promote sustainable livelihood and community resilience.
“We have the Climate-Resiliency Field School, at kakambal nito ang pag-capacitate ng local governments sa localization of climate services. We also assist in action community resiliency building and community organizing, at para ma-mainstream ‘yung climate-resilient agriculture in local government plans ay ina-assist din namin ang mga LGU in LCCAP formulation and enhancement, including ‘yung pagkakaroon nila ng agriculture and fisheries plans,” said Tanchuling.
Mr. Hechanova introduced makesense Philippines, an organization that promotes incubation and innovation for early stage social startups, especially in the field of plastics management.
“Ang pangarap namin is basically to see that every actor in the society is part of creating social and environmental change. Working on the climate emergency is not something that should be limited to certain organizations and certain actors. We should all be taking climate action together as a community, because it's a human problem,” said Hechanova.
Legarda lauded the climate initiatives of the guest organizations that are aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She underscored the need to carry out climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM), disaster risk reduction (DRR), and environmental conservation at all levels—from global down to national to local level and even to the smallest community—to ensure a more holistic approach towards resilience and sustainability.
"I'm proud that in my three terms as a Senator, even before the SDGs were implemented, the laws, programs, and policies that I wrote, implemented, and funded as Chair of the Senate Committee of Finance fall under the 17 SDGs. The challenge now is to make sure that we save a life, make sure that we roll it out to every LGU, and we make sure that every local chief executive understands all these laws, programs, and SDGs. Now is the time where we choose between extinction or survival," Legarda emphasized.
As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.
This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.