Legarda: Talanoa Dialogue Gives Face to Climate Change

May 13, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda expressed her appreciation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) leadership and to Fiji for convening the Talanoa Dialogue at the 48th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany, stressing that it brought everyone together to speak of their country’s experiences and challenges in the fight against the adverse impacts of climate change.

“Having been part of the Talanoa Dialogue is a great opportunity, not only for me as Philippine representative, but for all of us to hear other voices in the climate conversation.  The dialogue brought together a mix of delegates from ministries, parliaments, civil society and the private sector, to practitioners in the scientific community and ordinary men and women from both developed and developing nations to reflect on their vulnerabilities and opportunities and to re-emphasize the kind of action and political will needed to address climate change,” said Legarda.

Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation, noted that it was interesting to know about the commonalities between countries, and equally inspiring to hear stories of gains made.

“Coming from a developing country with stories to tell like our experience from typhoon Haiyan, it is interesting to hear different points of view. With every story shared comes the realization that in another part of the world, another country goes through hurdles as we do. The Talanoa Dialogue has put a human face to climate change,” said Legarda.

“There were sharings like that of Malawi’s need for technical and capacity building. Bolivia has adopted a new law called Mother Earth, which would promote the vision of their indigenous peoples. This is not something new to the Philippines—the story of Malawi, even Bolivia—and the concerns are very similar because the Philippines is grappling with similar issues: on rights of indigenous peoples, the gender balance, resilient agriculture, among others. These are just some of the many stories that the Philippines can relate to,” she explained.

For Legarda, the Talanoa Dialogue Group Discussion is not just another venue to share, but also an opportunity to listen to other nations’ stories and to learn from their experiences.

“Our fight against climate change is a long-enduring fight. Having more dialogues like Talanoa helps us gather strength. Such sharing of experiences and climate action plans will establish a shared objective towards climate change adaptation and mitigation that is beneficial to everyone,” said Legarda.

“I hope that the lessons we have learned from each other would inspire us to further raise our collective ambition, ensuring that the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) would meet the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Together, let us act more aggressively against the climate crisis to preserve our planet as a sustainable and livable place with the benefits of a balanced and healthful ecology, not only for us, but for the future generations,” Legarda concluded.

According to the UNFCCC, Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling.

The Talanoa Dialogue was launched at the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) to the UNFCCC by Fiji, which presided over COP23 held in Bonn, Germany last November 2017.