The Climate Justice Caravan aimed to create awareness among the people and government officials in high risk areas on climate change and climate justice started today in Cagayan Valley and tomorrow in Zambales.
The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) composed of 42 organizations and members advocating for the protection and rehabilitation of the country’s ecosystems organized the caravan. According to the Coordinating Committee of PMCJ led by the Freedom from Debt Coalition's Executive Director Milo Tanchuling, the caravan will start from two (2) high risk areas: today in San Mateo in Isabela; and tomorrow in Sta. Cruz in Zambales. The two groups will converge in Manila on December 9.
The caravan that will start tomorrow in Sta. Cruz, Zambales was organized by Defend Zambales with the support of the Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz, Zambales. The province of Zambales was chosen because of the massive environmental destruction brought about by the ongoing numerous mining operations in the province.
Climate justice is a vision to dissolve and alleviate the unequal burdens created by climate change. As a form of environmental justice, climate justice is the fair treatment of all people and freedom from discrimination with the creation of policies and projects that address climate change and the systems that create climate change and perpetuate discrimination.
In a statement issued by the PMCJ, it said “Today, Climate Justice is most urgent, because the climate impacts are becoming more apparent in the Philippines and in other countries like Thailand, China, Russia and the United States of America. Climate impacts will worsen if the Conference of Parties (COP) will continue without clear political commitment based on scientific prescription.”
COP is the governing body of the Convention on Biological Diversity and advances implementation of the Convention through the decisions it takes at its periodic meetings. The Convention on Biological Diversity is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. It also recognizes that biological diversity is about more than plants, animals and microorganisms and their ecosystems – it is about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air and water, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment in which to live.
In the Philippines, the PMCJ pointed out that, “…there is a continuous devastation brought by climate change and yet the people affected still have little or no understanding of the right solutions and the political obstacles that are derailing genuine efforts. It is essential for the affected and vulnerable communities to understand the true nature of the issue that they are facing…”
It went further by saying that “…the Climate Justice Caravan will seek to raise local issues, heighten understanding on climate justice and jumpstart coordination between grassroots organizations… The chosen… areas will play a role in building the climate justice movement locally. Heightening their awareness on climate justice and linking their local struggle to the climate crisis, local organizations can understand the root causes of their disposition on the climate crisis. Accountability from local industries and high emitting countries especially financial institutions that fund carbon inducing projects that aggravated climate change is imperative especially to these vulnerable areas.”
Benito E. Molino