January 31, 2022 Monday
MANILA, 31 January 2022 — Young Climate Reality Leaders shared their experiences in engaging with various communities and critical decision-makers as part of climate action during the 75th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways” with the topic “Young Climate Leaders Breaking Barriers.”
The online conversation conceptualized and hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda featured guests including Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay, Engagement Officer of the Climate Reality Philippines; Sara Jane Ahmed, Finance Advisor to the Vulnerable Group of Twenty (V20) of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF); and Carissa Pobre, Strategist for Creative Collaboration of Agam Agenda. Atty. Rachel Anne Herrera also joined in the episode as co-host.
Manaysay introduced MapaKalamidad.ph, a digital platform intended for vulnerable communities, government agencies with limited technical means, and individuals with modest means for data usage. MapaKalamidad.ph harnesses the power of social media and instant messaging platforms to crowdsource information about calamities and disasters at the street level
“Young people are still seen as passive victims during typhoons but we still have the strong potential to make collective capacity to drive solutions. We hope that MapaKalamidad.ph could really provide a concrete way to enhance the role of youth in educating, advocating, communicating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” said Manaysay.
Pobre introduced Agam Agenda, a dynamic, shape-shifting platform for creative, trans-disciplinary collaboration designed to grow and contribute to fluid networks of climate-aware writers, artists, scientists, youth, and campaigners. Their campaign “When Is Now?” is comprised of stories, poems, photography, and other forms of art that aim to spread awareness on the issue of the climate crisis and can be used as a platform to demand climate justice.
“We must win when it comes to the climate crisis, but first, we must write. Agam Agenda tells the stories of those who truly feel the impact of the climate crisis,” said Pobre.
Ahmed discussed her work as a Finance Advisor of the V20 Group. She is the first Filipino and Bangladeshi awardee of the Climate Breakthrough Project, given to changemakers and leaders with bold ideas that could quickly and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change. Her breakthrough strategy is the Climate Prosperity Plan (CPP), which aims to catalyze economic transformation through investments in financial and energy planning in the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries.
"The Philippines is actually one of the founding members of the V20 back in 2015. It aims to translate the political ambition in the Climate Vulnerable Forum to real economic outcomes. When it comes to climate change, we know that significant losses and damages are being felt as the result of extreme weather events, sea-level rise, and other issues that are brought about by the climate crisis,” Ahmed stressed.
As a climate reality leader herself, Legarda lauded the guests for continuously inspiring and motivating more individuals and communities to take urgent climate action.
"We can talk all we want but talk is talk. But to see lives change even the small purok or city, and a barangay, or school, that would be good," said Legarda.
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.