HAPI-Bacolod joined a host of other climate-conscious groups for “Istorya Klima: A Dialogue on ‘Solve Climate by 2030’ and Discussion on Local Climate Solutions” last April 9. “Solve Climate By 2030” is a global initiative kickstarted by the Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College to spark conversations about climate solutions. Since their first event, more than 50 countries through at least 100 schools and universities have organized their own talks. In the Philippines, The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) joined the call and held a webinar last April 7.
The initiative also involves a call for schools and universities to campaign for #MakeClimateAClass and inspire students to participate in discussions about climate solutions. A social media strategy is also recommended to help spread the word about the call.
In solidarity here in Negros Occidental, HAPI-Bacolod joined the Youth for Climate Hope, Linghod, Youth Empowering Youth Initiative, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement-Negros, Siliman University Environment Committee, and Sangguniang Kabataan Villamonte to hold “Istorya Klima”. (“Istorya Klima” is a Hiligaynon term for “Talk about Climate” or “Climate Talk”, localizing the campaign.)
Almost 50 participants gathered to join in the discussion inside Zoom, mostly students from different schools and universities all over the Philippines. There were also professors and teachers actively participating in the event as well as youth from different environmental groups in Negros. The event was also shared live on Facebook.
The event was facilitated by moderators Joshua Villalobos of the HAPI Scholars and current HAPI-Bacolod Environment Committee Head. He was joined by Coleen Awit, who currently serves as the USLS-USG Secretary, Katipon Chairperson of YEY Initiative, and Convenor of Y4CH and Linghod.
The first speaker was Krishna Ariola, Convenor of Y4CH and Linghod, who presented the Current Climate Situation. Ms. Ariola explained the definition and understanding of the climate crisis, the basic science behind it, and the havoc that it causes. She also informed us about how the Philippines is the third most vulnerable country to typhoons and natural disasters. She also pointed out the effects of the climate crisis and how we as youth and ordinary citizens could prevent it.
“The Importance of #MakeClimateAClass“, our second Topic for “Istorya Klima”, was tackled by Griderick Alila, Community Organizer of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement. Mr. Alila tackled the possibilities and government considerations for making climate a class. Forum aside, the campaign calls for the institutionalization of climate in the Philippine school curriculum in order for young students to understand the climate crisis. This could be done by urging our politicians and legislators to bring it up on the table as a strategy and prioritizing it as policy. Alila mentioned that this mentality should be localized and extended to the community.
The third speaker, Ms. Maria Theresa Robles of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources of Negros Occidental talked about Identifying Climate Solutions for the province, addressing the climate crisis through local solutions. Ms. Robles motivated participants to speak up against those who pollute and destroy our environment. Ms. Robles also discussed renewable energy that the provincial government is also planning to develop in Negros, as well as solid waste management, the closure of dumpsite, etc. Finally, she also mentioned the importance of environmental laws as a guide for us to follow for a green future.
This is just a short summary of what the speakers presented and talked about during “Istorya Klima”. You can still watch the full and recorded Zoom discussion through our HAPI Facebook Pages to not only witness, but also be educated at the same time.
After the discussion (which, by the way, was also held on the Philippine Day of Valor), an Open Forum was held to engage or answer questions for enlightenment and clarification from the audiences. A lot of participants gave their kudos and appreciation for making the event “Istorya Klima” successful. Others also expressed their commitment to continue the campaign #MakeClimateAClass to solve climate by 2030.
We at HAPI-Bacolod would like to urge everyone to take part in climate action. To our representatives in the government, you must prioritize the lessening of our carbon emission and environment restoration, which will sustain human lives and our environment as the next generations are born. We, the youth, are the future of our nation and we will continue to fight and protect our planet so that our sons and daughters, our grandchildren, and all those who are next in line could live in a peaceful earth.
FB Live Link to Istorya Klima: https://fb.watch/4TB9e_S5lI/