Empowering the Future: "ClimaTalks" emphasizes youth leadership in climate action

November 29, 2023 Wednesday

QUEZON CITY, 29 November 2023— As the culminating event of the 16th Annual Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week, sustainability advocates and passionate youth leaders gathered for "ClimaTalks: Youth in Climate Action," a forum which emphasized the crucial role of youth in responding to the urgent call for climate action.

Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of CCC, highlighted the youth's significance in strengthening governance, urging them to voice concerns and propel the climate agenda forward. 

Held on November 24 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Quezon City, Secretary Borje stressed: “Activities like these, focusing on the youth, are critical to ensure that the entire process of governance continues to be strengthened, especially in the Philippines. We are not just teaching the youth; the youth have something to teach us and everyone. Because you are the youth, you are in a special position to express your thoughts, articulate your desires, and advance the agenda, expanding the scope of discussion. You will be the ones to inherit what we are doing.”

“This is not merely a matter of passing on a piece of paper; it is an exercise that challenges the will and intellect of the Filipino youth to identify, analyze, assess, articulate, and strategize for the future. These are skills that we urgently and critically need to instill in the youth. The challenge for the youth is to think critically, think strategically, and think towards the future. Do we want a Philippines that is great?,” he stated.

The forum drew engaging messages and insights on immediate climate challenges.

Mr. Jose Uy III, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Affairs of Nestle Philippines, recognized the indispensable role of youth in climate action and provided a platform for them to showcase their innovative ideas. He asserted, “We want to give you a platform to share your concerns about what’s happening to our community and our environment.”

Lester Dellosa, Founder and Creative Director of CICCADA, underscored the need for resolute climate action in an enlightening speech. He stated, “As we witness the alarming degradation and global warming escalate to global boiling; we can never go back to business as usual practices; we demand resolute climate action.”

Mr. Nigel Anthony Tan, a fellow from Climate Tracker Asia Inc., discussed the importance and challenges that biodiversity and ecosystems face. He urged collaboration, saying, “We all have different priorities, but through working together, we can find a solution that not just settles on a compromise but works for the benefit of all.”

Ms. Christine Jodloman, Director for Programs and Development at AGREA, highlighted the critical role of agriculture in climate action, emphasizing, “Ensuring our food security through positive production, equitable and humane livelihoods, and resilient food systems can be our collective climate action.”

Mr. Ralph Eric Bernardo, Circle Manager of the Mayumo Rover Scouts, shared their holistic approach to climate action, calling for unity: “Now, it is evident that in order for us to make meaningful change happen in our conquest against climate change, we will need all hands on deck.”

Congressman Joey Salceda, a champion for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, applauded the commitment shown during the week-long event, emphasizing the importance of youth participation: "It warms the heart that our efforts to fight climate change continue... We have to forge a future on the dreams of our youth."

National Youth Commission Chairperson Ronald Gian Carlo Cardema highlighted the significance of the event in mobilizing the youth for nation-building. He shared, "...all issues of Filipinos are also issues of the youth."

ClimaTalks provides a platform for resource persons and participants to mutually grasp the importance of the youth's role in shaping discussions for a sustainable and resilient future. It reaffirms the joint commitment of the government, private sector, and youth advocates to tackle the urgent challenges of climate change.

For more information about the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit the website of the CCC at https://climate.gov.ph and https://facebook.com/cccphl.