Philippine activists, today, began a 40-day ‘Climate Walk’ aimed at spurring action on climate change as they urged governments to ‘walk their climate talk’.
From the starting point at ‘Kilometer Zero’ in Rizal Park, Manila, the group will walk 1,000 kilometers to arrive in Tacloban, ground zero for Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), on 8 November, exactly a year since the super Typhoon made landfall.
People will still remember the chilling speech given by Philippine’s climate change commissioner Yeb Sano at the opening ceremony of last year’s UN climate conference, just days after Haiyan devastated his country.
His hunger fast during the conference sparked a worldwide protest that continues, with activists from around the world coming together on the first day of each month to fast, in a bid to urge world leaders to act on climate change.
Today, Sano joined activists from across the Philippines to undertake the march – calling on governments to do their fair share to keep global warming below dangerous levels, and ensure a safe and prosperous planet for Filipino communities and others most vulnerable to climate change.
The Climate Walk is dedicated to the people in the Philippines and around the world who confront the reality of climate change. It aims to empower communities and help them become resilient to the impacts of disasters and climate change.
The route will take participants across Metro Manila, Laguna, Batangas, Bicol, Samar and Leyte.
It will pass through areas susceptible to disaster risks, as well as “model cities” or communities that have instituted best practices in disaster management and climate resilience.
Held on the International Day of Non-Violence, today’s send-off was attended by climate change commissioner Heherson Alvarez, actor, National Youth Commission commissioner-at-large Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III, running priest Fr. Robert Reyes and representatives from a broad group of civil society organisations.
The walk comes just a week after the People’s Climate March in New York – where some 400,000 people marched to call for urgent action on climate change – followed by the UN Climate Summit, where more than 160 governments announced their commitment to solve the climate crisis.
Von Hernandez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia said:
This walk is about fighting back! We need to unite as a people and demand a climate treaty that will give justice and compensation to countless families, communities and municipalities that are already being severely affected and devastated by climate change impacts. We must reclaim our people’s rights to a safe, secure and sustainable future.