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MANILA, 28 August 2020 — Young sustainability advocates shared traditional, home-based practices of thriftiness, consuming less, and reducing wastage, and encouraged younger generations of Filipinos to rediscover knowledge embedded in our own culture, during the 15th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways” with the topic “Practical Sustainability.” The online conversation hosted by House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda featured resource persons Ms. Carol Malasig, journalist and content writer of the blog ‘Almost Diplomatic’; Ms. Niña Opida and Mr. Josef Werker, co-founders of Humble Sustainability; Ms. Armi Millare, founder and creative director at Stoa Studios; and Ms. Aimee Oliveros, a Climate Reality Leader and owner of RE-Store MNL, a zero-waste store (Refill-Reuse-Recycle). Aside from sharing trends in Europe of people buying products made of abaca and rattan fibers, such as chairs, bags, and many more, Ms. Malasig also highlighted the the simplicity of sustainable practices ingrained in Filipino culture.  "As Filipinos, we can add another face to sustainability —  and that could be the Filipino mom. We don’t really have to look far para po makahanap tayo ng sustainable practices. Some of the Filipino practices are becoming a trend abroad like the use of bayong and recycling of fabric, and these products are being  sold much more than the production price. We can look back at how we were even generations before and be proud of where we came from," said Malasig. Ms. Opida and Mr. Werker introduced Humble Sustainability, a value-driven marketplace that they founded which helps people declutter their homes and offices by collecting items they no longer need and giving these a new purpose. They shared tips on decluttering and circular living. “The reason why we built Humble Sustainability is to make it hassle-free to everyone especially to those who don't know where to start. So, we really want to emphasize that shifting to a sustainable lifestyle or a circular living lifestyle doesn't need to be too drastic. Most important is the sense of community and belongingness, so we can help each other and lift each other up,” said Werker and Opida. Ms. Millare spoke about Stoa, her essentialist lifestyle brand which creates slow-made and handmade products. She also shared tips on mindful consumption and the essentialist lifestyle. “I guess the heart and soul of Stoa is a lot more about conscious sourcing. We really have to make sure, at least, that the products are organic because it's difficult to certify a farm, especially if it's a small farm. It's really expensive and small farmers can't afford that, but if you visit or do research, you'll find that they're doing sustainable farming practices and you'll get to help out their community,” said Millare. Ms. Oliveros’ RE-Store MNL, a humble zero-waste shop, sells affordable plastic-free, locally-sourced products, engages SMEs and sari-sari store owners to do the shift, and advocates for a comprehensive law against the production and use of single-use plastic. “The concept of RE-Store MNL is to sell essential non-food products using refillable litro bottles and  containers. It means that every customer has to bring her own container to purchase our products. We just refill it and that's how we operate as a business because we want to ensure that we limit the number of plastics that are being consumed or produced,” said Oliveros. Legarda noted that there is a need to recognize, rediscover, and continue the “old school” knowledge, attitude, and practice of sustainability in our own culture.  This includes growing your own food, eating less meat, using natural shampoo and cleansers, re-using bottles, containers and newspapers, reducing food wastes (making meals using left-overs), using hand-me-downs, turning old shirts into cleaning rags, and using recycled cans as early warning devices. “If each person will be mindful to do the things we do, it will create a ripple or tsunami effect. If the 108 million Filipinos, or even half, have our mindset, they would not be intimidated by the names of Republic Acts and the Sustainable Development Goals, but they will see [and appreciate] what we are doing,” Legarda concluded. 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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and the Mother Earth Foundation. 
August 27, 2020 Thursday
MANILA, 26 August 2020 —The 15th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” will bring viewers back to “old school” sustainability practices that promote environmental stewardship, putting a spotlight on the link between climate change and environmental issues and the consumerist culture.      The episode, hosted by House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 27 August 2020, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/.   Young Filipino role models and practitioners of sustainability will join the online conversation, including Ms. Carol Malasig, journalist and content writer of the blog ‘Almost Diplomatic’; Ms. Armi Millare, founder and creative director at Stoa Studios;  Ms. Niña Opida and Mr. Josef Werker, co-founders of Humble Sustainability; and Ms. Aimee Oliveros, a Climate Reality Leader and owner of RE-Store MNL, a zero waste store (Refill-Reuse-Recycle).   In previous episodes, the Stories online series tackled food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, youth climate activism, sustainable urban mobility, and planting native trees in order to teach citizens to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.   This upcoming episode will feature simple and doable sustainability practices that have been passed down through generations, including growing food at home, using natural shampoo and cleansers, re-using bottles, containers and newspapers, reducing food waste, using hand-me-downs, and turning old shirts into cleaning rags. Such  attitudes and practices of consuming less, reducing wastage, and thriftiness are basic principles in promoting the circular economy aimed towards reducing humanity’s carbon footprint.   Tomorrow’s episode is an opportunity to encourage younger generations of Filipinos to rediscover and continue traditional sustainable practices which are embedded in our own culture, especially with the economy moving towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.   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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
August 25, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 24 August 2020 — In order to encourage the public to embrace a greener and more economical lifestyle, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) is sharing green and budget-saving tips and practices to do at home, as we continue to grapple with this pandemic and climate crisis.   Through this campaign, the CCC puts the spotlight on practices that cause zero waste and the least possible harm to our climate and environment. As we prioritize health and safety measures in this COVID-19 era, the CCC urged households and organizations to consider the following ways to help in leading a greener, more economical, and more sustainable lifestyle and also help in saving the planet from the global climate crisis.   Prepare a list when buying. It’s important to list down all items you need to buy before going to the mall or grocery, so you avoid going back and forth through the aisles or purchasing items you may still have at home. You could also try the reverse method. List down items you still have or take photos of what’s inside your refrigerator or cabinet, so you know what else you need to buy. This would lessen your time inside the mall or grocery (and reduce risk of contracting COVID-19) and also save you time, effort, and resources for not having to go back for that particular item you forgot but need. Don't forget your eco-bag!   Grow your essential foods. While many households have started venturing into home gardening, this might be daunting for first-timers. So start small and grow only the foods that you regularly eat or can add to your dishes. For sure, you can manage a plant or two better than taking on a big gardening project. You may even ask each family member to grow and manage their own. In this way, you also make food gardening a family hobby and bonding experience, while saving money.   Collect and recycle water. If you have spare drums or any water collectors at home, it is time to use them in this rainy season. You may also recycle the water you use when submerging or washing fruits and vegetables. Collected and recycled water can be used to flush your toilet, water plants, or wash vehicles, but make sure to always cover them to avoid mosquitoes from breeding inside.   Avoid food waste. Make sure to prepare food and dishes that you and your family can finish. Refrigerate leftover food but make sure to eat them the next day or within the next few meals to avoid spoilage. You can preserve your fruits and vegetables by storing them properly or you can add them to your salad and dishes. Food scraps can be planted or composted.   Conserve electricity and avoid vampire power. Switch off lights and appliances when not in use. Also, make sure to unplug to avoid standby or vampire power which could account for as much as 10% of your monthly electricity usage. Convert fluorescent and incandescent lights to LED lights, which draw less power and are more efficient in converting energy into light. When you need to use a washing machine when doing laundry, you may cut your energy consumption by lowering the temperature of the water from hot to warm (or cold), washing in bigger loads, and opting for a clothesline if you have a sunny space to hang your clothes. Also considered to designate one day a week for laundry or ironing clothes instead of using the appliances daily. If budget permits, you may also invest in solar panels and save money in the long run.   Declutter and repurpose items. In order to create a cleaner and more breathable atmosphere inside your home or room, remove or dispose of items that you no longer need. You may recycle plastic bottles into planters. Items that can still serve their purpose, such as furniture, books, shoes, bags or clothes, can be sold online or donated. This could also make you reassess your past purchases and inform your decisions in the future. As they say, decluttering your home can also help declutter your mind, helping improve mental health.   Consider best mobility options and approaches. For closer destinations and depending on safety considerations, opt to use a bicycle or travel by foot to save on fuel and reduce your carbon footprint. This can also be a form of exercise. Schedule multiple errands to the same vicinity in one go, instead of traveling to one destination and back home and then traveling to another and then back home.   The climate body expressed that these ways of going green provides a great opportunity to transform daily habits, which may seem harmless but are actually harmful to the planet, into a more sustainable manner. This enhances the quality of our life by cutting our carbon footprint, reducing waste, saving money, and supporting our health. 
August 23, 2020 Sunday
MANILA, 21 August 2020 — Native tree experts and enthusiasts highlighted the importance of native trees in enhancing biodiversity and addressing climate change, as well as encouraged the public to plant more native trees, including fruit-bearing species, in idle and private lands as a commercial venture, during the 14th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways” with the topic “Planting Native Trees.” The online conversation hosted by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda featured native tree enthusiasts, including Atty. Asis Perez, Senior Legal Adviser of Tanggol Kalikasan; Dr. Ephraim Cercado, a medical surgeon and manager of the Philippine Native Tree Enthusiasts initiative; and Ms. Lee Ann Canals-Silayan, founder of Kaleekasann nursery, who willingly shared their expertise and knowledge on native tree species and their propagation.           Atty. Perez represented his organization Tanggol Kalikasan, composed of dedicated foresters and environmentalists focusing on forest rehabilitation, upland reforestation, and biodiversity conservation. He shared how tree farms promote ecosystems integrity and biodiversity and encouraged landowners to devote their idle lands to tree farms. “Over this period of 10 years, we have these takeaways: Unang-una po, napakaraming private lands ang nakatiwangwang, wala pong tanim at available for planting trees. Pangalawa, what we saw is pwede sa isang lugar madami kang puno na itanim. And we also realized na maganda ang family-based approach, kaya ang ginawa po namin, talagang pami-pamilya ang kinakausap namin and they are the ones whom we deal directly,” said Atty. Perez. Dr. Cercado presented photos of various species of native trees that are used as timber or wood and discussed the economic comparison of several agroforestry crops versus native trees. “Philippine biodiversity has so much to offer, meron po tayong 3,600 tree species. We've been planting a lot of mahogany, gmelina, at falcata. Bakit po tayo nagti-tiyaga sa barya kung pwede naman tayong kumita nang mas malaki? Mas maganda kasi yung mao-offer sa atin ng native species. Kung tanim po tayo nang tanim ng puro exotic species, masisira po ang biodiversity hanggang sa microscopic level, at nagpro-promote po tayo ng mas maraming pandemic. That's why we need to plant native species,” said Dr. Cercado. Ms. Silayan shared her beginnings in growing native trees and maintaining her native tree nursery, Kaleekasann. She showed some of the trees good for urban landscaping, as well as her group’s advocacy in conserving and preserving the trees and biodiversity in Ipo watershed and other natural protected areas in the country. “Nagsimula lang ako sa pagpulot ng mga buto kung saan-saan—sa campus, sa park, sa subdivision, lagi akong nakatingin sa kung ano-anong puno na nakatanim sa paligid. At pupulutin ko sila, aalamin ang pangalan nila, at paano sila itanim. Karamihan sa mga seeds natin, simpleng patong lang sa lupa tapos hihintayin mong umusbong siya, pero may ilan na kailangan ng kaunting preparation. Makakatulong na mayroong libro tungkol sa propagation ng puno at magtanong online sa Philippine Native Tree Enthusiasts, pati sa aking Instagram and Facebook accounts,” said Silayan. Legarda noted that planting and maintaining green spaces have been vital in maintaining people’s mental and physical health through the COVID-19 pandemic. The planting of native trees should be prioritized in the tree-planting efforts of communities as these not only sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also helps restore the natural biodiversity of landscapes. “We cannot stop the global recession, and we cannot stop the global pandemic, but we can limit or turn around its impacts on our lives. If we have to pause and we have the great reset, we can seize the opportunity to change our ways and to focus on the good, to focus on the green, to focus on implementing all laws which are already there. So plant, plant, plant, collect water, promote a zero-waste lifestyle, and be safe, be positive,” Legarda concluded. 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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and the Mother Earth Foundation.
August 20, 2020 Thursday
MANILA, 20 August 2020 — To further encourage youth to actively participate in the Kilma Film Festival (KFF), the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has partnered with various youth-led organizations and conducted three KFF Youth Partnership meetings, which gathered a total of 18 youth organizations nationwide. The youth partnership meetings were held virtually using online communication platforms.   The KFF, a joint initiative with the OML Center as part of the Balangay Project, aims to reach out to various young filmmakers all over the Philippines to encourage them to tell stories of their own communities’ experience related to climate change. A call for youth partnership for KFF was announced last July 11 through the official social media accounts of the CCC.   The following national and local-based active youth-led organizations have expressed their interest to partner with the CCC:   2030 Youth Force in the Philippines Inc. (YFPH) is anchored on the 2030 Youth Force of the Asia-Pacific Region organized by the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Volunteers. It is a community of youth advocating for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.   Association of Young Environmental Journalists-Cagayan De Oro Chapter (AYEJ-CDO) is a non-profit, youth-led environmental organization working to engage and educate civil society on environmental sustainability through youth development and media training.   Cebuano Youth Ambassadors Inc. (CYA Inc.) is a youth-led non-government organization and a National Youth Commission-Youth Organization Registration Program (NYC-YORP)-accredited community youth-led organization based in Cebu. The vision of the Cebuano Youth Ambassadors is a future for all young people in Cebu which promotes a democratic, gender-sensitive, united, peaceful and prosperous society where young people can enjoy a full and abundant life enabling them to become active players in advocacy-driven programs and projects which fulfill their potential, hopes, dreams and ambitions, and are able to participate fully in the economic, social, cultural, spiritual and political life.   Davao Youth’s Environmentally Sustainable Advocacies Building and Empowering Lives or Project DYESABEL is a youth-led organization that serves as a platform for Bajaus (Sea gypsies or also Badjao), indigenous peoples, and the youth to lead and participate in environmental conservation initiatives such as Education, Livelihood, Scientific Research and Innovation, Formative Workshops, and Arts – for people and the planet.   Earth Shaker is an organization which aims to shake the appreciation of Earth Sciences in the society and empower citizens to make science-based decisions.   Gawad Laguna Inc. is a private organization with a primary goal to recognize and empower exemplary youths of Laguna.   Kidlikasan. Kabataan. Kalikasan is a pro-environment youth group creating solutions to have more youth interested in conservation. The group acts for awareness, behavioral change, and policy recommendations.   Lambak Youth – Youth for Region II is a youth organization focused on global issues and opportunities in these modern times--using the youth’s perspective to discover, reflect, and resolve challenges being faced by the community. This group also aims to develop the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Region II through collective efforts for common good.   National Youth Volunteers Coalition is a coalition of youth organizations and youth volunteers that promotes youth volunteerism.   Pag-asa Youth Association, Inc.-Brgy. Magsaysay Chapter is a youth organization that aims to empower the youth. The Pag-asa Youth Association of the Philippines, Inc. is a national association of barangay-based organizations of out-of-school youths between 15-24 years old assisted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Local Government Units.   Pangasinan Youth for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is a youth-led organization which aims to serve the people of Pangasinan through DRRM, Earth Sciences, and reliable information.   Project Mariknows is an organization that empowers maritime professionals and students in the Philippines as leaders in marine protection and sustainable development. It aims to educate about marine conservation and encourage engagement on the pressing issues of marine pollution, environmental impacts of shipping, and maritime security. It promotes the sharing of knowledge and skills to preserve and protect our ocean, maritime domain, and the marine environment while onboard and in port.   Rotaract Club of Metro Cebu – CIT University Chapter is a university-based organization under the Rotary International District 3860 and sponsored by Rotary Club of Metro Cebu. Rotaract Clubs provides an opportunity for young men and women to enhance their knowledge and skills for personal development, to address the environmental and social needs of their communities, and to promote better relations among all peoples worldwide through a framework of friendship and service.   Rotaract Club of Metro San Miguel is a community-based youth organization under Rotary International District 3770 and sponsored by Rotary Club of Metro San Miguel. Composed of diverse young leaders from San Miguel, Bulacan, RAC Metro San Miguel is committed to the advancement of their collective advocacies guided by the Ideals of Rotary International.   Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition (SKC) Philippines is a national youth-led NGO and a consortium of youth organizations representing more than 52,000 young people in the Philippines. Led by some of the most passionate and inspirational young leaders in the country, SKC aims to amplify the Filipino youth’s voices towards a stronger contribution to sustainable development.   The 2030 Project is a non-profit, youth-led, and volunteer-based initiative which aimed to create a network of youth leaders and youth-led organizations that develop projects aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.   WritEarth is a guild of young Filipino writers working together to educate one Filipino at a time on the current climate emergency by empowering their desire to act on it.   Youth Climate Navigators is a catalyst for innovative climate mitigation and adaptation mechanisms aiming to empower the youth community.   In recognition of their valuable efforts to further mainstream and influence climate action in their respective communities, these youth organizations were also invited to join in the Kaalamang Klima: Climate Change Webinar-Workshop designed for the participants of the KFF held last August 11, and delivered their message of support for all the entrants.    After the Kaalamang Klima workshop, participating teams of the KFF will now proceed to the next level of the competition – the climate film labs –  where they will be guided and mentored by climate scientists and film experts so that their short films are science-based.   The climate film lab will commence on September 7, 2020 through various online meeting platforms.   To know more about the Klima Film Festival, the full guidelines, mechanics, and submission requirements can be viewed at https://climate.gov.ph/events/klima-film-festival, or through the Facebook accounts of the Climate Change Commission at facebook.com/CCCPhl and the Oscar M. Lopez Center at facebook.com/OscarMLopezCenter.
August 19, 2020 Wednesday
MANILA, 19 August 2020 — For the 14th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” with the topic “Planting Native Trees,” native tree experts and enthusiasts will discuss how native trees have higher value both commercially in tree farms and for biodiversity and how they aid in addressing the adverse impacts of climate change.   The episode, hosted by House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, will air on Thursday, 20 August 2020, 10:00 AM via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/.   Notable Philippine native tree enthusiasts will join the online conversation, including Atty. Asis Perez, Senior Legal Adviser of Tanggol Kalikasan; Dr. Ephraim Cercado, a medical surgeon and manager of the Philippine Native Tree Enthusiasts initiative; and Ms. Lee Ann Canals-Silayan, Founder of Kaleekasann nursery.   In previous episodes, the online series tackled food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, youth climate activism and sustainable urban mobility in order to teach citizens to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient.   This upcoming episode will feature what native trees to plant, why native trees on idle lands will grow in value, and how to reduce costs per hectare in planting tree farms. It will highlight the role of native trees in sequestering carbon, providing oxygen, reducing risks from floods and landslides, and restoring the natural biodiversity of landscapes. If you have idle private lands, watch this to see what you can do with them towards a better normal.   Episode fourteen of “Stories for a Better Normal” series is also an opportunity to promote the greening of our urban spaces to support good mental and physical health during this COVID-19 pandemic.   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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
August 18, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 14 August 2020 — “All of us have an important role to play—including the youth, whose creativity and activism are fueling the global climate and environment movement at a scale we have never seen before. Providing this platform for the youth empowers them to effectively communicate the climate and environmental crisis effectively and to pursue their own climate action initiatives.” This was the message of Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, delivered by the CCC’s Strategic Partnership Division Chief Alexis Lapiz, during the sixth episode of Usapang Liguasan: Online Environmental Learning Sessions streamed via Facebook Live in celebration of International Youth Day. “Rest assured that we in the Climate Change Commission stand with you in upholding the Paris Agreement and its 1.5 degrees Celsius long-term temperature goal. Pursuant to our mandate under the law, we shall continue to bring everyone together to ensure a dynamic synergy as we pursue greener and more resilient pathways toward a sustainable future,” De Guzman added. This episode of Usapang Liguasan, with the topic, “#ASuLongKabataan: Youth Engagement for Local and Global Action,” promoted best practices and initiatives of young Filipino leaders, underscored the importance of engaging the youth in local and global action, and encouraged the Bangsamoro youth to initiate programs geared towards local and global environmental justice and governance. Asec. Victor Del Rosario of the National Youth Commission and Mr. Pieter Terpstra, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also delivered inspirational messages. Mr. Val Amiel Vestil, Founder and Executive Director of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists, and Engr. Ludwig Federigan, Officer-in-Charge of the Information and Knowledge Management Divison of CCC, presented on youth climate initiatives. “You're all ambassadors for the environment. You don't have to go through big things. You can take a small step to make changes in your life, for instance, choosing a more climate-friendly diet, consciously reducing your own carbon footprint, taking a bike instead of motorcycle and the bus, helping your communities, or growing your own food. There are countless ways that you can really start walking the talk,” said Terpstra, emphasizing how little things initiated by the youth can drive a huge difference in our country’s pursuit of sustainable development. “Gone are the days when we have to wait for policy-makers, academic institutions, lawyers, engineers, or scientists, to make real affective change - nasa atin na pong mga kabataan [ang pagkakataon]. We have so much energy, we have so many innovative ideas inside our heads and inside our hearts, and we think we cannot effect change, but the truth of the matter is we, the youth, are in charge of effecting real change,” said Vestil. The CCC said that it will continue to collaborate with the youth through its youth-oriented programs and projects to raise awareness, sustain movements, and innovate in all aspects of climate action in order to help achieve sustainable development and climate resilience for the country.
August 13, 2020 Thursday
MANILA, 12 August 2020 – In celebration of International Youth Day today, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the role of youth engagement in climate change action and vowed for strengthened and more inclusive partnerships with Filipino youth at all levels.   With the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action,” this year’s celebration aims to highlight the ways how engaging the youth at the local, national, and global levels enriches national and multilateral institutions and processes, and recognize the need to enhance their representation in formal institutional politics.   The CCC has always recognized the role of young women and men as essential partners of change, expressing that the government could further tap into the potential and skills of the youth to generate and amplify climate action from all sectors in the society. The United Nations defines the world’s youth as those aged between 15 and 24 years old, and estimates that they make up one-sixth of the human population. Many of these young men and women live in developing countries with their numbers expected to rise steeply.   As the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis have become more intense, the contribution of our youth in helping achieve sustainable development and climate resilience for the country and the planet are all the more valuable.   Current initiatives of the CCC in collaboration with youth organizations include the “Klima Film Festival,” which aims to raise climate awareness through the use of visual media and showcase the youth’s skill and passion on film-making, as well as the recent episode on youth climate activism for the online series “Stories for a Better Normal,” held in partnership with the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, and Mother Earth Foundation.                                                                 The climate body has also launched the search for Young Outstanding Climate Scientists jointly with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to support and mentor senior high school students on climate-related research and projects.   The CCC also has a standing partnership with the Information and Communications Technology Academy (iACADEMY), which has generated a print exhibition on climate action by multimedia arts students and a mentorship project for students to develop a mobile app to raise climate awareness.   For the CCC, addressing climate change arises from an intergenerational responsibility to protect natural resources. Engaging the youth, who are constantly finding new ways to build and sustain movements, raise awareness, and innovate in all aspects of climate action could sustain the momentum towards sustainable development and a green post-pandemic recovery.
August 11, 2020 Tuesday
 
August 11, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 12 August 2020 — For the thirteenth episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Easy Backyard Birding,” backyard birdwatchers and professionals will share their experiences and insights in bird watching, discuss urban bird biodiversity, and highlight the role of birds in our ecosystems, particularly as pollinators of plants. House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda will host the episode, which will air on Thursday, 13 August 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl. Members of the Wild Bird Club, including Mr. Mike Lu, a club founding member; Ms. Jelaine Gan; Mr. Bayani Barcenas, club secretary; Ms. Cristina Cinco, who is also a food entrepreneur; and Ms. Gina Mapua, an organizer of the annual bird fair conducted by the club, will share easy, replicable, and sustainable techniques of backyard bird watching. This upcoming episode aims to inspire young people to see the importance of birds in maintaining the balance of our ecosystems, as well as encourage urban dwellers to start identifying and protecting threatened species of birds and help conserve their critical habitats in urban areas. In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics on food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, and sustainable urban mobility in order to teach citizens how to be self-sustainable and self-sufficient. 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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
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.
August 11, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 9 August 2020 — The Climate Change Commission and its National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), in partnership with the Oscar M. Lopez Center, successfully convened the first of its two-part online webinar entitled “Taking stock: Why should we be concerned about the climate and sea level changes?,” which discussed knowledge on the current and future state of sea level change in the Philippines. The virtual forum gathered members of the academe and research institutions in the Philippines and abroad, government agencies, policy makers, and organizations  leading community-based initiatives, to assess the current science on sea level rise and to identify gaps in information gathering, monitoring and communication in the country. Facilitated by Dr. Carlos Primo David, chair of the NPTE, the forum aimed to share good practices, innovative technologies, and latest policy reforms on sea level rise. According to Dr. Rodel Lasco, Executive Director of the OML Center, the forum will be part of a multi-year comprehensive study assessing the potential or likely impacts of different climate change scenarios on sea-level rise and the associated hazards. The study will look at key hotspots as case studies in selected cities of the Philippines, and will include coastal mapping and decision-making tools. Highlights of the event were presentations by Dr. Benjamin Horton, Director of Earth Observatory of Singapore on “Mechanisms of Sea Level Changes: Global/Regional/National Perspective”; Dr. Laura David, Director of the University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) on “Current And Future Risks And Impacts of Sea Level Changes”; Dr. Fernando Siringan, Professor of UP-MSI on “Sea Level Rise from the Perspective of Marine Geophysics/Geology”; Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) on “Data Availability and Coastal Mapping”; and Dr. Ma. Laurice Jamero, Head for Resilience Collaboratory of the Manila Observatory on “Limits to Adaptation: Perspectives from Small-Island Communities.” Dr.  Horton introduced the South East Asia SEA Level Program (SEA2), an initiative of the Earth Observatory of Singapore which aims to understand and integrate the internal and external mechanisms that have determined sea level changes in the past, and which will shape such changes in the future. This research program impacts upon the ecological, ethical, social, economic, and political challenges specifically facing coastal regions. “This is a holistic program. We aim to understand what is happening on the solid earth, what this has to do with groundwater withdrawal, with tectonics. We want to understand an array of local, global, and regional processes in sea level. These will combine together with future projections of daily sea level and extreme events. It’s a holistic program where we look at the impacts of coastal adaptation measures. The Earth Observatory of Singapore wants to work with our partners in South East Asia to provide projections of sea level at the local scale, at decadal time scales, to make countries of Southeast Asia a safer and more sustainable place,” said Dr. Horton. Dr. Laura David presented data on Climate Exposure Clusters and Coastal Marine Habitat Distribution which shows that the entire Philippines will actually experience significant amounts of sea level rise, accounting for about twice to even three times that of the global average. She also discussed the declining mangrove forests of the Pacific Islands and resulting – increased exposure to storm surges, increased coastal sedimentation, decrease in biodiversity and biomass, and release of sequestered carbon. She also discussed the effects of sea level rise on the fisheries sector. “There are about 1.6 million fishers in the Philippines. Twenty-seven percent of them belong to the municipal fishery, or associated directly with the habitats of coral, mangrove, and seagrass. So if these (marine resources) start dying off, we’re talking about loss, not only of food availability for the entire Philippines, but of labor, of loss of livelihood for our fishers,” said Dr. David. Dr. Siringan emphasized the connection to sea level rise of groundwater withdrawal, and of aquaculture as an economic activity that provides benefits to the people but is also a threat and a factor. “It is essential that we know the direction, style, and rate of vertical motions of our coasts. We should minimize the local human-induced causes of sea level rise. There is a need to shift the focus of development to higher grounds accompanied by continuing efforts to protect our coastlines,” said Dr. Siringan.   Dr. Paringit shared that coastal communities are vulnerable to climate change, as he and his family personally experienced the challenges brought about by constant flooding in their area. He presented case studies of communities eventually adapting to sea level rise and land subsidence. “Marami pa akong nakikita na we need to work on, it’s not just the availability of the data but how it’s going to be analyzed, how we’re going to project scenarios in the near future and in the far future. We need the tools in order to make this happen. Over all, I wanted to see how data sets could be used to actually create scenarios on impacts to certain sectors or to certain areas in the environment,” said Dr. Paringit Dr. Jamero shared the experiences of the small island communities of Tubigon, a municipality located in the North Eastern side of Bohol. The area was severely affected by tidal flooding due to land subsidence that was, in turn, induced by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in 2013. She shared the strategies implemented such as to retreat as a way to adapt to relative sea level rise and its social impacts. “We should also take control of the narrative and shift away from sinking islands to resilient islands. We should stop thinking of island communities as a basket case and force them to relocate when they aren’t ready yet, and rather start to recognize how resilience has always been part of the island life,” said Dr. Jamero. The forum also featured responses from different stakeholders, including Dr. Eulito Casas, Associate Professor of UP Visayas Tacloban College; Atty. Josine Alexandra Gamboa, Manager for Government Initiatives of RARE Inc.; and Dr. Bjoern Surborg, Principal Advisor and Cluster Coordinator for Climate Change of GIZ Philippines. In his closing remarks, CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman emphasized the importance of convergence of different sectors in advancing climate research to help the communities survive and thrive. “This forum is one important step toward a broader cooperation across sectors on dealing with the increasing threat of rising sea levels to our communities. Rest assured that the Climate Change Commission shall continue to advance research on the slow onset impacts of climate change in the country. We shall also hold more online learning exchanges such as this — experts’ forums that inform and explain climate science to the public,” said Sec. de Guzman. This event is part of a series of the National Panel of Technical Experts’ Fora aiming to mobilize community-based climate action and mainstream climate change knowledge into development policies and practices. The full discussion of Taking stock: Why should we be concerned about the climate and sea level changes? can be accessed through this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ9Vr9Yduss&list=PLOWeRyX1mB4wObVtKi6DUhuq2EvEMQ4_E Part 2 of this online forum will be soon announced in the Facebook pages of the Climate Change Commission at facebook.com/CCCPhl, and the Oscar M. Lopez Center at facebook.com/OscarMLopezCenter.
August 08, 2020 Saturday
MANILA, 05 August 2020 — For the 12th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Millennial Farmers and Gardeners,” House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda will discuss with millennial farmers their stories and experiences in venturing into agribusiness and the importance of sustainable farming. The episode will air on Thursday, August 6, 2020, 10 AM, via Facebook Live at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Joining the online conversation are young farm managers and “agripreneurs”, including: Ms. Karmila Rose Dimamay, farm owner of Milay’s Garden in Tibiao, Antique and incumbent Board Member of the Province; Mr. Enzo Pinga, founder of Earthbeat farms in San Pablo City, Laguna; Mr. Raphael Dacones, chief farming officer of Teraoka Family Farm in Pangasinan; and Ms. Stephanie Mendiola, founder of Indie Farms in Silang, Cavite. Meanwhile, Atty Paula Aberasturi of Down to Earth PH will join as reactor.  In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics on food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, and sustainable urban mobility in order to encourage citizens to be sustainable and self-sufficient. This upcoming episode will focus on encouraging the younger generation to venture into sustainable farming and agribusiness as viable career options.  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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.
August 04, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 04 August 2020 – To facilitate discussions on the current and future state of climate and sea level change in the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and its National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), in collaboration with the Oscar M. Lopez (OML) Center, will conduct an online forum entitled “Taking stock: Why should we be concerned about the climate and sea level changes?” on 5 August 2020, Wednesday, 9:45 AM, via Facebook Live.   The online forum will examine how the impacts of climate change, specifically sea level rise, is affecting the Philippines as an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, with 822 coastal municipalities, and one of the longest coastlines in the world estimated at 36,289 kilometers.   Members of the NPTE who will join the virtual forum include Dr. Carlos Primo David, current chairperson; Dr. Laura David and Dr. Fernando Siringan of the UP Marine Science Institute; and Dr. Rodel Lasco, Executive Director of the OML Center.   Other leading climate experts and scientists who will also participate include Dr. Benjamin Horton, Director of Earth Observatory of Singapore; Dr. Ma. Laurice Jamero, Head Resilience Collaboratory, Manila Observatory; and Dr. Enrico Paringit, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development.   A distinguished roster of reactors from different agencies and organizations have also been invited. They are: Dr. Eulito Casas, Associate Professor from  UP Visayas Tacloban College; Atty. Josine Alexandra Gamboa, Manager of Government Initiatives of Rare, Inc.; and Dr. Bjoern Surborg, Principal Advisor and Cluster Coordinator for Climate Change of the GIZ.  CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Representative from the Lone District of Antique, and Representative Edgar Chatto, Chair of the House Special Committee on Climate Change, will deliver special messages.   Citing a report from the Partnerships in Environment Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), gradual changes in climatic parameters have a direct relationship to the rise of sea level, mean temperature and change in precipitation patterns will affect the health, food, water and livelihood of vulnerable coastal communities particularly those in low-lying areas.   To recall, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR5) cited that global mean sea level has increased by about 0.19 m from 1901 to 2010 at a mean rate of 1.7 mm per year. However, between 1993 and 2010, global mean sea level has been increasing at a faster rate of about 3.2 mm per year. Under the 1.5°C warming scenario, global mean sea level is expected to be about 51cm by 2100. Moreover, the global sea level is expected to continue to rise past 2100 even if temperature rise has been limited to 1.5°C before the end of the 21st century.   As of 2005, the total population in the country’s coastal areas was estimated at 43 million and majority are dependent on fishing as their main source of livelihood. Fisherfolk remain as one of the poorest sectors with poverty incidence at 41.2% and with the least resources to cope with the changing climate.   This upcoming online forum on sea level rise will feature a discussion on the observed and projected changes and impacts of sea level rise from the perspective of a climate scientist, a geographer, a geologist, an oceanographer and a social scientist. This will also present the current state of knowledge on the current and future state of sea level change in the Philippines.   The forum also aims to identify gaps in information gathering, monitoring and communication of sea level rise in the country and facilitate the sharing of good practices, innovative technologies, and latest policy reforms on sea level rise.   Interested participants are encouraged to register until August 3, 2020 through this link: https://rb.gy/tleik7. The forum will be streamed live on CCC’s Facebook Page at  facebook.com/CCCPhl.
August 03, 2020 Monday
MANILA, 3 August 2020 — For the 11th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” with the topic on “Youth Climate Activism,” House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, together with fellow Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders, underscored the critical role of the youth in climate action and shared their insights and experiences on how they are leading climate initiatives before and during this pandemic. Featured in last Thursday’s episode were youth Climate Reality Leaders Ms. Christine Paula Bernasor, Project Manager and Experience Designer from Talisay, Cebu; Mr. Johnny Altomonte, CEO and Founder of Verne Energy Solutions; Dr. Renzo Guinto, Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab; Ms. Ruzzel Morales, Committee Chairperson for Environment of the 12th National Youth Parliament; Ms. Jessica Wu, Co-founder of Lesstics; Mr. Carl Alonsagay, Project Liaison Officer of the ClimatEducate Project; and Ms. Hilary Hao, Business Development Associate of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.  Ms. Nazrin Castro, Philippine branch manager of The Climate Reality Project-Philippines also joined the online conversation as Legarda’s co-host. Mr. Ethan Spaner, Director of The Climate Reality Project’s International Program, also joined from their Washington, D.C. headquarters.  Mr. Spaner shared how The Climate Reality Project supports the community of Climate Reality Leaders in engaging world leaders, policymakers, experts, and advocates to find solutions to the global climate crisis. He also stressed the importance of youth activism in today’s global challenges. “Youth activism around the world is important to us. We are in full understanding that tomorrow’s leaders need to have the space today. But we’ve found out that the youth are already the leaders of today. We could learn a lot by listening to our young leaders in our country, especially the Filipino youth who are passionate and fighting for their lives. They give me hope,” said Spaner. Ms. Bernasor presented an overview of climate initiatives and activism online, and how the digital landscape is presenting various avenues to advocate for climate action even on a pandemic. She explained how social media and digital platforms should be utilized in terms of advocacy campaigns, including awareness raising and mobilization, especially in urging environmental protection and climate action towards sustainability. “We had gotten more reliant on digital platforms. It has become easier to convince the youth and everyone who are affected by the pandemic that we should care about our climate and environment. Climate activism does not need a big budget. It just needs you—quarantine or no quarantine! A small seed of action can grow into a rebellion,” said Bernasor. Mr. Altomonte shared how he decided to venture into renewable energy at a young age. He also encouraged the greening local government units (LGUs), which could help address other issues by the communities.  “The renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions will solve a lot of existing pain points for LGUs, such as clean water, access to energy, market access, employment opportunities women empowerment. Sustainable development is dependent on sustainable energy. It's really important even at the barangay level to start greening from an energy perspective because energy is the foundation from which we move forward. We can’t have a sustainable community without sustainable energy,” said Altomonte. Dr. Guinto, a medical doctor, expressed that the health system of the future must be universal, high quality, climate smart, and pandemic-resistant. He also said that health workers must be engaged as LGUs craft their Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs) and that climate change and health must be integrated into our education system. “Early on in my career, I already realized that my patients are not just the people, but it's also the planet. Both people and the planet are currently sick. As we talk about COVID, we know in the backdrop there is a climate crisis that is continuously happening. In an increasingly warming planet, the risk for infectious diseases becomes so high. There are old infectious diseases that we expect to reemerge and new ones to emerge,”  said Dr. Guinto, who also called for the flattening of our curve in terms of carbon emissions and ecological footprint. Ms. Morales discussed the importance of engaging the youth in crafting national plans and strategies and underscored the need for the government to step up its efforts on climate action. “The youth and majority of groups and communities have long been asking for an alternative to this current system. We know and feel that we deserve better. What we need is a balanced revolution. We need not only the youth to step up, but also the government. We are tired of token representation. We want action. The future is for the youth. We will claim it, no matter what,” said Morales. Ms. Wu shared her initiatives on zero waste and her advocacies on women and youth empowerment and youth, as well as the importance of recognizing the people’s connection with the environment. “We are not separate from the environment. All of us are interconnected. We should be conscious of the intergenerational responsibility in all that we do. If we do not act now, when?” said Wu. Mr. Alonsagay introduced the ClimatEducate, a youth-led climate change education project composed of students, youth advocates, young professional researchers and educators, which aims to promote climate change education in different schools and communities in the Philippines and in the global south. He shared how the project could complement and further integrate climate change and disaster risk reduction concepts into the K-to-12 curriculum. “One thing I realized in the last four years of providing climate awareness to schools and communities is that we cannot teach about the changing climate if we don’t make sure they know how to read and have food on the table. Climate change education should go along with the true aim of social justice,” said Alonsagay. Ms. Hao talked about climate change and nutrition, and encouraged fellow millennials to switch to a less-meat and plant-based diet to promote nutrition, while helping fight climate change. “Food is really something I'm passionate about. It’s something that should not be too difficult to incorporate in our life and has a positive effect on our climate. If we eat a more balanced diet, with more fruits and vegetables, it will actually give less strain on the planet,” said Hao. A Climate Reality Leader herself, Legarda encouraged the young leaders to pursue their passions and thanked them for taking an active role in helping implement environment and climate change laws, especially the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act and the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System Act. “To my fellow Climate Reality Leaders, push the way forward. Do concrete actions at home and within our communities. Engage other leaders, so all this talk will not go to waste. Our efforts at the local level is the most important. Put your initiatives online, so others may know what climate action means,” Legarda concluded. Climate Reality Leaders are individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields of discipline who have undergone training with The Climate Reality Project, which is founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, a climate activist himself who was awarded the Nobel Prize for the film “An Inconvenient Truth.” 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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and the Mother Earth Foundation.
August 02, 2020 Sunday
MANILA, 29 July 2020 – For the 11th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways,” Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders including House Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda will gather for a special episode on “Youth Climate Activism” and discuss how youth leaders are driving and sustaining their climate initiatives, even during the pandemic.  Climate Reality Leaders are individuals from diverse backgrounds and fields of discipline who have undergone the training of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), which is founded by former US Vice President Al Gore, a climate activist himself who was awarded the Nobel Prize for the film “An Inconvenient Truth”. Legarda recalled her visit with Al Gore in Tacloban in 2016 to talk to the families affected by Typhoon Yolanda, as well as the training of more than 800 aspiring Climate Reality Leaders, including herself, also in 2016.  In this upcoming episode, Legarda will be joined by youth Climate Reality Leaders Ms. Christine Paula Bernasor, Project Manager and Experience Designer from Talisay, Cebu; Mr. Johnny Altomonte, CEO and Founder of Verne Energy Solutions; Dr. Renzo Guinto, Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab; Ms. Ruzzel Morales, Committee Chairperson for Environment of the 12th National Youth Parliament; Ms. Jessica Wu, Co-founder of Lesstics; Mr. Carl Alonsagay, Project Liaison Officer of the ClimatEducate Project; and Ms. Hilary Hao, Business Development Associate of AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation.  Mr. Ethan Spaner, Director of TCRP’s International Program and Ms. Nazrin Castro, Manager of the Philippine branch of TCRP Philippines, will also join the discussion. The episode will air on Thursday, 30 July 2020, 10:00 AM, via Facebook at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/. Legarda, author of the Climate Change Act, noted that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes the role of youth as key actors in raising awareness, running educational programs, promoting sustainable lifestyles, conserving nature, supporting renewable energy, adopting environmentally-friendly practices, and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects. She also noted that, according to the UN Joint Framework Initiative on Children, Youth, and Climate Change, the youth constitutes the majority of the population in many countries and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness. She added that youth aged 15 to 24 years represent 16% of the world population and will reach 1.3 billion people by 2030. This upcoming episode will provide a platform for young Climate Reality Leaders to present insights and experience in helping solve the climate crisis and to call for urgent actions from the country’s leaders.  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 Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and the Mother Earth Foundation.
July 28, 2020 Tuesday
MANILA, 23 July 2020 — “We shall reimagine our relationship with nature by catalyzing structural investments and behavior change. We shall convert this health crisis into opportunities to accelerate climate action. We shall formulate responses to the pandemic through a climate lens,” said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu yesterday at the “Tatak ng Pagbabago 2020: The Pre-SONA Forum,” which was held in preparation for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.   The third part of the forum was co-led by the Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster (CCAM-DRR) Cluster, which is chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with the Climate Change Commission (CCC) as secretariat.   Sec. Cimatu presented the Cluster’s major projects for the past year focusing on scaling up community preparedness against climate hazards and disasters.   “No previous pandemic had a more dramatic impact in peoples' lives in the past century as COVID-19 has in a few short months. On the other hand, climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge we have ever faced,” said Sec. Cimatu.   “We were able to demonstrate to the whole world that if we act with the political will shown by this government in its fight against this pandemic, we can actually see the change we want. We are at the point where humanity is given a chance to stop and think and to choose how we rebuild, and we shall come out of this in such a way that we can collectively deal with climate change and disasters,” he added.   Among the highlights of the report were the response to the communities affected by the Taal Volcano earlier this year, the Boracay shutdown and rehabilitation, and the cleaning of Manila Bay.   Sec. Cimatu also mentioned the country’s success to secure an approval from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for a grant of USD10 million for the establishment of multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning systems nationwide. He also added that over Php 300 million-worth of climate change adaptation projects by several local government units had already been approved for implementation under the People's Survival Fund (PSF).   Other accomplishments by the cluster include:   Establishment of a Doppler radar in Bohol in 2019, bringing the total number of Doppler radars to 17 nationwide; Commissioning of two satellite telemetered seismic stations (raising total to 104), while nine active fault maps were generated; Establishment of a 1.7 km wastewater interceptor and a 2.5 km-long trashboom in Manila Baywalk, noting that coliform levels in the area declined; Planting of 1.704 billion seedlings in 2.031 million hectares, generating 5,004,336 jobs under the Enhanced National Greening Program; Rehabilitation of Angat Dam low-level outlet to serve as backup water discharge to ensure steady water supply, as well as the reactivation of 89 deep wells and installation of 46 groundwater monitoring in critical areas; Closing of 27 dumpsites and construction of 382 materials recovery facility (MRFs) and 22 sanitary landfills, noting that the guidelines for integrated management of municipal solid wastes through waste-to-energy facilities also took effect and that the wastes from South Korea without importation clearance were sent back; and Maintenance of 104 ambient air quality monitoring stations in highly-urbanized centers nationwide, noting that the Philippines had good air quality as levels of criteria pollutants were within standard in 2019.   Sec. Cimatu said that the CCAM-DRR Cluster shall prioritize actions and investments that will reduce long-term health impacts from and increase our resilience and adaptive capacity to both the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. He discussed the following strategies and priorities:   The 'Plant, Plant, Plant' program will be implemented for food security. More effective health care waste management shall be implemented to overcome large volumes of infectious and hazardous waste in hospitals. Storage, treatment, and disposal facilities in the country shall be increased to prevent zoonotic diseases. Surveillance and enforcement activities in degradation hotspots and critical ecosystems shall be enhanced. Research and development and utilizing natural resources for disease prevention and cure shall be undertaken. Reforestation and watershed management, forest protection, and agroforestry development especially in critical watersheds shall be strengthened. Family-based approach shall be adopted under the Expanded National Greening Program to provide livelihood opportunities. Increased demand for water during the COVID-19 pandemic shall be addressed by fast-tracking the development of alternative water sources. The capacities of the LGUs, especially the barangays, shall be strengthened. Data infrastructure and early warning systems in the NDRRMC shall be upgraded. Endeavor for a low-carbon pump to recovery by sustaining the investments on renewable energy and energy conservation programs to ensure continuous power supply amidst the pandemic.   CCC Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman also discussed the role of climate change adaptation and mitigation in pursuing a green COVID-19 recovery.   "Tulad po ng COVID, climate change is an urgent global concern. It is an existential threat; it is a life and death issue. Like our response to COVID, we must heed the science in responding to the climate crisis. Kailangan po nating ibangon muli ang ating ekonomiya mula sa dagok ng pandemya nang mas matatag kaysa dati. We cannot just go back to business as usual, vulnerable and defenseless against the next pandemic or global disruption. Mahalaga pong kaakibat po ng pagbabago at pagbangon ng ating bayan mula sa pandemya ang mabisang pagtugon sa climate change," said de Guzman.   President Rodrigo Roa Duterte concluded the program by delivering a message. On his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday, he will present a roadmap for the country to recover from the effects of the COVID-19.   "My fellow Filipinos, the accomplishments that we have just presented to you in this Pre-SONA Forum are the fruits of our collective efforts to foster real, lasting, and meaningful change in our country. Numerous trials have tested our resolve this past few years, but we always emerge victorious because of our unity and bayanihan as a people. As we look to the future with much hope and positivity, let us continue to work together to build a better and more prosperous Philippines and for ourselves and the next generation of Filipinos,” President Duterte concluded. 
July 22, 2020 Wednesday
MANILA 22 July 2020 – For the 10th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” on the topic, “Culinary Heritage (Part 2),” culinary heritage experts and advocates will underscore the continuing efforts to document and map out local Filipino food to revitalize culinary heritage in the Philippines.  The episode will air on Thursday, 23 July 2020, 10:00 AM, via Facebook at facebook.com/conglorenlegarda and facebook.com/CCCPhl/, to be hosted by House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda. Resource speakers include Chef Gaita Fores, 2016 Asia’s Best Female Chef and owner of several restaurants, including Cibo, Lusso, and Grace Park; food writer Ige Ramos; Rectito Melquiades, Coordinator of the Guiuan Recovery and Sustainable Group for Resilience in Eastern Samar; and Gatchi Gatchalian, restaurateur and President of the Davao Tourism Association.  Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), will be a reactor for this episode.  In previous episodes, the online series tackled topics such as food gardening, saving seeds, permaculture, good nutrition and diet, sustainable urban mobility, and culinary heritage preservation, which were all framed in the context of promoting sustainable and healthy lives, while helping families and communities address the climate crisis. The first part of the culinary heritage episode which aired last July 16 underscored the importance of preserving local food and culinary heritage through adaptive and sustainable diets. It also tackled the importance of celebrating the local food and culinary heritage of Filipinos and recognizing these as a form of art. It also called for the development of more sustainable and resilient food systems for healthier diets and improved nutrition of all Filipinos. In this upcoming episode, Legarda will deepen the discussion on regional foods and cuisines, as well as underscore how the preservation of local food and culinary heritage promotes agrobiodiversity, an important adaptation strategy in reducing the impact of climate change on food security. 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.      This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation and Slow Food Network.
July 21, 2020 Tuesday
MAYNILA, Ika-21 ng Hulyo 2020 — Ang ika-siyam na kabanata ng "Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Pathways" ay may paksang “Pamanang Lutuing Pilipino” mula sa iba’t-ibang mga rehiyon ng Pilipinas. Sa isang talakayang pinangunahan ni House Deputy Speaker at Antique Representative na si Loren Legarda, kasama ang mga dalubhasa at tagapagsulong ng pamanang lutuing Pilipino, ipinalabas sa pamamagitan ng Facebook Live ang kahalagahan ng pagsisinop at pangangalaga ng lokal na pamanang lutuing pagkain sa pamamagitan ng angkop na diyeta. Ang online na talakayan ay dinaluhan nina Gng. Luth Camiña mula sa Camiña Balay nga Bato sa Iloilo; Datu Shariff Pendatun III, chef at may akda ng “On The Cuisine of Muslim Mindanao"; Gng. Amy Besa, tagapagmay-ari ng Purple Yam sa New York; Gng. Louella Eslao-Alix, may akda ng mga aklat na may kinalaman sa pamanang lutuing pagkaing Pilipino; Chef Jam Melchor, tagapagtatag ng Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement at pinuno ng Slow Food Youth Network Philippines; at si G. Arvin Villalon, National Cultural Mapping Facilitator ng Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining (NCCA). Tinalakay ni Chef Melchor ang ibat’t-ibang mga uri ng mga pamanang pagkain dito sa Pilipinas na nakasaad sa ilalim ng Ark of Taste ng the Slow Food Network International. Binigyang diin din niya ang kahalagahan ng pagkilala sa gastronomy at Philippine Culinary Arts bilang bahagi ng National Arts.   “Napaka-halaga po na pinag-uusapan natin ang culinary heritage, dahil dapat maintindihan na ang pagkaing Filipino ay laging magiging bahagi ng ating kultura. Hindi lang ito pantawid gutom, kundi sadyang bahagi ng ating pagkatao bilang mga Pilipino,” sabi ni Melchor.   Ipinaliwanag ni Datu Pendatun ang kakaibang mga sangkap, pampalasa at pamamaraan sa pagluluto sa Muslim Mindanao. "Sa makatuwid, ang mga lutuing pagkaing mula sa Muslim Mindanao ay iba’t ibang sangay lamang ng iisang pinagmulan ng mga sangkap na ginagamit ng lahat sa loob ng rehiyon. Karamihan sa mga tao ay gumagamit ng niyog, habang ang ibang mga tao ay gumagamit ng galangal, karamihan ay gumagamit ng luya, habang lahat ay gumagamit ng sibuyas at bawang. Silang lahat ay mga kombinasyon o pinagsama-sama lamang kaya nga't kung paano lamang natin to gamitin ang syang nakapagbibigay katangian dito bilang tunay na kakaiba," sabi ni Pendatun.   Ibinahagi ni Gng. Besa kung paano ginagamit ng Purple Yam sa kanilang mga putahe ang mga produkto o sangkap na bihirang gamitin ng marami.   “Nag-umpisa kami dito sa Amerika, na-influence kami ni Alice Waters, noong 1980s. In-apply namin yung pagmamahal sa cuisine o pagkain, kasi ginawa ng mga Amerikano yun dito...Ganun ang ginawa namin para sa mga putaheng Pilipino at gayun din sa mga putaheng mula sa Timog-Silangang Asya. Lagi tayong nakatingin at lumilingon sa kanluran at hindi natin pinapansin ang ating mga kapitbahay mula sa Timog-silangang Asya kung saan meron talaga tayong pagkakatulad," sabi ni Besa. Ibinahagi ni Gng. Louella Eslao-Alix ang kakaibang kasaysayan ng mga Cebuano sa pagkain.   "Mangangalakal ang karamihan sa mga Cebuano dahil hindi kami maaaring magkaroon ng malalawak na sakahan. May kinalaman ang heograpiya at malaking bahagi ito sa pagpili namin ng mga pagkaing maaari naming kainin kung kaya't mas gusto namin ang mga pagkaing lamang dagat," sabi ni Alix. Ibinahagi ni Gng. Camiña ang lokal na mga sangkap na ginagamit sa mga pamanang putaheng Ilonggo na inihahain ng Camiña Balay nga Bato.   "Ang Iloilo ay isa sa mga pangunahing pinagmumulan at pinagkukunan natin ng bigas dahil ito'y sadyang lugar na pang agrikultura. Noong binuksan namin ang Camiña Balay nga Bato, gusto naming Ilonggo ang maging tema ng aming hapag-kainan at ang mga pagkaing inihahain namin ay mula sa pangpamayanang pakikipag-tulungan ng pamilya ay mga magka-kaibigan," sabi ni Camiña. Tinalakay ni G. Arvin Villalon kung paano sinisuguro ng Pambansang Komisyon para sa Kultura at mga Sining (NCCA) ang pangangalaga at pagtataguyod ng ating katutubong pagkain at pamanang mga lutuing pagkain. "Ang sining ng lutuing pagkain ay napakahalaga dahil nakapagbibigay ito sa atin ng kamalayan tungkol sa ating pagkatao, kasama ng pagpapatuloy ng ating lahi. Marami sa ating mga kabataan ay naghahanap ng mga bagay na mapaghuhugutan ng kanilang pagkatao. Pangalawa ay ang pagkakaisa ng lipunan na nagbibigkis sa mga tao. Kaugnay dito ay ang likas at maliwanag na pamana, kasaysayan, at mga kaugalian tulad ng paggalang natin sa mga naka-tatanda at pagka-malikhain," sabi ni Villalon. Bilang isang online discussion na nagpapalaganap ng kaalaman sa kalusugan, kalusugang pangkaisipan, pangkapaligiran, at mga kasanayang pagbabagay klima, ang Stories for a Better Normal ay naglalayong baguhin ang kaisipan ng mga tao, mga pamilya at mga pamayanan na magkaroon ng nakapag-papanatiling pamumuhay tungo sa mas malusog, mas ligtas at mas maayos na normal kesa dati nating nakasanayan. Ang online discussion na ito ay magkatulong na inorganisa ng tanggapan ni Deputy Speaker Legarda at ng Climate Change Commision (CCC), katuwang ang Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project-Philippines, and Mother Earth Foundation.
July 20, 2020 Monday
MANILA, 21 July 2020 — In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and limitations on face-to-face trainings and meetings, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) continues to provide capacity building for local government units (LGU) and other stakeholders on accessing the People’s Survival Fund or PSF, a national climate adaptation grant mechanism created by Republic Act No. 10174 which amended the Climate Change Act of 2009. By way of mentoring potential beneficiaries and partners, the PSF eLearning Program was developed to address the challenges of LGUs in accessing the climate adaptation grant such as lack of direct information on the process and requirements for PSF funding, constraints in terms of technical capacity to develop climate change adaptation projects, and the need for collaboration with community stakeholders. The second run of the PSF eLearning Program was concluded through a virtual culminating activity held on 24 June 2020. The online event is designed to encourage its students to share their experiences, learnings and feedback on the program. “Yung mga modules, very friendly and downloadable para madali lang siya i-access. Hindi kami mahihirapan maski isang island municipality kami. Nakuha naman naming ma-download at mabasa yung mga references na binigay sa amin,” said Mr. Glen Boyles from the island municipality of Carlos P. Garcia in Bohol, one of the students from PSF eLearning Batch 2. Graduates of the previous batches will still continue to receive technical assistance from the CCC through its PSF One-on-One Mentoring Program. The CCC is now accepting applications for Batch 3 of the Program, which will run from August-October 2020. Interested applicants must be working in the planning and development, environment and natural resource, climate change, and/or the disaster risk reduction and management offices or units in LGUs or community-based organizations. Registration must be done through the link: bit.ly/PSFeLearningBatch3Registration and a maximum of three participants for each LGU or organization. The deadline of registration is on 22 July 2020, 8PM, while the results will be posted on 29 July 2020. Only 50 applicants are selected per batch. For more information, contact the PSF Unit of the CCC at (02) 8450-5513, or send an e-mail to [email protected].
July 20, 2020 Monday