LEGAZPI CITY (Oct. 22, 2014) — Over a thousand people participated in the Albay leg of the “People’s Walk for Climate Justice” Wednesday.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda welcomed them who have walked a distance of 500 kilometers and are now more than halfway in their quest to reach Tacloban City by November 8, the first anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda’s (Haiyan) historic landfall in the Philippines.
“Albay welcomes these climate advocates, our modern-day heroes who are raising awareness on climate change and are fighting the climate fight on behalf of millions of Filipinos who are bearing the brunt of extreme weather events that often cause disasters and human misery,” said Salceda.
A staunch supporter of the climate revolution and a champion for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation efforts, Governor Salceda spent his birthday by joining the climate walkers.
Hailed by the UN as the role model on good practices on disaster risk reduction program, Albay province consistently follows through with its goal of “zero casualty” in times of calamities whether it be from typhoons, landslides, floods, storm surges. This goal will again be put to a test with the pending eruption of Mayon Volcano.
The province is also lauded for its climate change adaptation (CCA) efforts, with Governor Salceda being the prime mover of the CCA program that led to a commitment between national and local government.
“Albay has a zero casualty policy as far as disaster impact is concerned. We have also created the institutional frameworks to deal both with climate change and disaster risks, and have set aside budgets to reduce future risks from the impacts of climate change, including through our work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Dealing with climate change and disaster risks is the responsibility of chief executives of local government and cannot be delegated or outsourced,” Salceda added.
Ron Villafuerte, a Greenpeace volunteer climate walker and a proud native of Bicol, called on the leaders of other cities to follow suit and transition to a more resilient, low carbon pathway.
“The Philippines can lead the climate revolution if we replicate the efforts and commitments done by Albay province to the rest of the country,” he said.
Now on its 21st day, the climate walk seeks to raise awareness on climate change by getting commitments from local policymakers and holding climate programs in communities, schools and local government offices, sharing stories of local folk on the ground and mobilizing people in demanding world leaders to take climate action and holding big industry polluters and their respective governments accountable for their contribution to the climate crisis.
“Imagine what the world would be like if we had more progressive leaders that value nature and the environment, to ensure a habitable planet for all their citizens. I dedicate this walk to support the call for climate justice because I refuse to succumb to a life that is doomed to the impacts of climate change,” said Villafuerte.
For more information on the Climate Walk: A People’s Walk for Climate Justice, go to http://climatewalknow.wordpress.com. - SunStar