Legarda Gathers Environmental Advocates at Summit of Conscience for the Climate, Cites IP Group as Champions of Resilience

October 8, 2015

Leaders and representatives of faith-based organizations, environmental groups, civil society, the academe, and government agencies will gather at the Senate of the Philippines tomorrow, 9 October 2015, as Senator Loren Legarda convenes the Summit of Conscience for the Climate. (Please find attached program for list of speakers)


“Why do I care and how do I show that I care? These are the questions that speakers and participants will reflect on as they share their personal stories, beliefs and commitments in protecting the environment and caring for our planet,” said Legarda.


“As leaders, ministers and representatives of UN member states prepare to debate, argue or agree at the climate negotiations in Paris in December, we need to take time to reflect on why we need an ambitious climate deal in the first place and what can we do to make it successful and how can we personally contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation,”she stressed.


At the Summit, participants will be encouraged to sign the Call to Conscience for the Climate, a document that will be presented to each Head of Delegation attending the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21)  to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December. It encourages leaders and representatives to come to the conference “primarily as a conscious human being not just a representative of a Government or agency.”


Ifugaos to be cited as Champions of Resilience


Taking place within the Summit is the recognition of the Ifugao community as Champions of Resilience. This is in line with the celebration of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (observed every October 13), which has a theme “Knowledge for Life”.


The Ifugao community will be commended by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) as Champions for DRR for keeping their traditions alive and preserving their disaster risk management practices.


Dr. Jerry Velasquez, UNISDR Chief of Advocacy, and Senator Legarda, UN Champion for DRR and Climate Change Adaptation, will present the citation to the Ifugao people through their representatives, Ifugao Province Governor Denis Habawel, Dr. Serafin Ngohayon of the Ifugao State University, and the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo).


The ceremony will be followed by a performance of the Hudhud Chants, which symbolize special episodes in the life of the Ifugaos such as sowing and harvesting of  rice, funeral wakes, and bone-washing rituals.


“The Ifugao community is blessed to be the custodians of the Hudhud Chants, one of UNESCO’s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and the Rice Terraces of the Cordilleras, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ifugaos’ love for their heritage and dedication to preserve their traditions are important elements of maintaining the harmony between man and nature. Their formula for resilience is embedded in their culture and age-old traditions,” said Legarda.


60 Solutions against climate change


Senator Legarda and the French Embassy will also launch a photo exhibit, “60 SOLUTIONS against climate change” by GoodPlanet Foundation head Yann Arthus-Bertrand.


The exhibition aims to highlight solutions to global warming and opportunities to innovate as part of climate change adaptation through 21 photos by Arthus-Bertrand from his famous “Earth from Above” series.


The exhibit will be displayed until October 23, 2015 at the 2nd Floor Hallway, Senate of the Philippines.


Livestreaming and Social Media


The Summit of Conscience for the Climate can be watched live through this website: http://www.senate.gov.ph/videos/livestream.aspx on 9 October 2015, 9:00am to 12:00nn.


Everyone is encouraged to join the “Why do I care?” campaign and share their personal reflections through this website:http://whydoicareph.lorenlegarda.com.ph/ or through social media by using #whydoicarePH.


This event, organized by the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which Legarda chairs, in partnership with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the French Embassy in Manila, is the first of a series of similar summits to be held in different parts of the country—particularly in schools, universities, cities and municipalities.