Monday, October 24, 2011
MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 23, 2011) - Some 100 youth leaders gathered in Antipolo City in Rizal province for a conference on climate change and discussed basic science and ways to address the world-wide concern.
The climate change conference spearheaded by the provincial government and the Antipolo Youth Alliance, Climate Change Commission and The Climate Reality Project served as a venue for young people to talk about the climate realities.
"I hope someday, you will take active roles in the community in collective steps in combating the adverse effects of climate change by responsibly using your skills, zeal and creativity," said Governor Casimito Ynares III.
Ynares expressed optimism that the youth will serve as unique changing force to face the climate crisis.
Loraine Gatlabayan, Division Chief for Information and Knowledge Management of the Climate Change Commission, graced the event and emphasized the willingness of the Commission to support climate change initiatives of the youth.
"Youth climate advocacy is a priority of the commission. Therefore, we encourage other provinces in the country to replicate Rizal’s provincial climate change conference and the Climate Change Commission is willing to assist," Gatlabayan said.
Mark Lester Delgado, of the Antipolo Youth Alliance, said that a large percentage of Rizal population is composed of youths which can work together to take action and make a change for a better future.
"The young people of Rizal have significant roles to play in the climate issue because they are one of the most vulnerable yet active and dynamic to help building disaster resilient communities," he said.
Rodne Galicha, Country Manager of Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore’s The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), said: "While we are unable to blame the young people for this climate challenge, the crisis burns their future. They feel inconvenient and they see the need to act and pressure the elder ones to be true their commitments and responsibilities for the present and next generation, hence, climate justice for the young ones."
He said the young generation’s fresh understanding of the basic science of climate crisis and its impacts will lead to a unique force of change to make their future convenient in harmony with the environment.
Pebbles Sanchez, of the Climate Change Commission, said the youth conference served as a preparatory event for the upcoming national youth gathering geared towards the formulation of the national climate change youth agenda.
"This event is an opportunity for the young people to voice out their opinions, perspectives and sentiments on what has been happening and what needs to be done to solve the climate crisis," Sanchez said.
The Climate Change Commission and The Climate Reality Project along with other government agencies and non-government organizations will soon launch series of activities which will lead to a national event as part of the National Climate Change Consciousness Week by November.