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Philippine activists start 1,000-km march against global warming

Advocates seek to 'galvanize public action' to force change

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

ucanews.com reporter, Manila

Updated: October 01, 2014 10:37 PM GMT
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Philippine activists start 1,000-km march against global warming

People take part in the 1,000-kilometer "climate walk", which kicked off Thursday in Manila (Photo by Nathaniel Garcia)

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Philippine activists on Thursday launched a 40-day "climate walk" to raise awareness about the impacts of global warming.

The marchers will trek 1,000 kilometers in 40 days from Manila to the city of Tacloban, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan in November of last year.

Yeb Sano, a member of the government's Climate Change Commission, said the march "aims to empower communities and help them become resilient to the impacts of disasters and climate change". 

"This walk is about fighting back," said Von Hernandez, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

"We need to unite as a people and demand a climate treaty that will give justice and compensation to countless families [and] communities that are affected and devastated by climate change impacts," Hernandez said at the start of the walk in Manila.

The Philippines' "climate walk" was launched a week after the People's Climate March in New York – where some 400,000 people marched to call for urgent climate action – and the UN Climate Summit met, with more than 160 world leaders pledging their commitment to solve the climate crisis.

The advocates called on governments around the world to do their share in keeping global warming below the tipping point "to save the Filipino people, and all others who are most vulnerable to climate change".

"We need to galvanize public actions toward solutions to fight climate change," Musician Nityalila Saulo said in a statement.

The walk will traverse parts of Metro Manila, the provinces of Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Samar, and Leyte before crossing into Tacloban City on November 8, the anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan's landfall.

Melvin Purzuelo, convener of the civil society network Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, said that while his group supports the climate walk's global call for action, "we also challenge the [Philippine government] to walk its own climate talk". 

"We hope that this initiative to roll out local climate plans will only be the start of concerted efforts to make local and national policies coherent, particularly in adaptation, energy, and finance," Purzuelo said.

Gerry Arances, coordinator of the grassroots group Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, said the government should demand significant emissions cuts from the United States and developed countries.



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