“Support our young climate scientists and leaders”

November 2, 2021

MANILA, 02 November 2021 —The 68th episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” highlighted the exemplary innovation of young Filipino scientists and advocacy campaigns of young leaders on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The online conversation conceptualized and hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, with Atty. Ipat Luna and CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera as co-hosts, featured guests including Mark Kennedy Bantugon, Inventor of Pili Seal and James Dyson Awardee 2021; Naiah Mendoza, Co-inventor of Project FEET and World Robot Olympiad Canada 2020-X Awardee; Adelle Yuson, a physicist from Central Mindanao University; and Marinel Ubaldo, a Climate Reality Leader and the Advocacy Officer for Ecological Justice and Youth Engagement of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines.

Legarda urged the national and world leaders to support young scientists, youth leaders, and young environmental innovators who are working on disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and environmental sustainability, and hear their voices in calling for climate justice.

“I hope that the youth’s presence in Glasgow will really deliver the message of climate justice. We did not cause it, we are 0.3% emitter in global greenhouse gas emissions in the world, but we bear the brunt. But we must not wallow in pity or poverty, because we can do something, not just to mitigate or to reduce our use of fossil fuels, but also to adapt. As Global Champion for Adaptation, my advocacy is to share climate-adaptive practices to the youth, to the agriculture sector, to the business and industry sector, and to everybody,” said Legarda.

The first three guests shared their outstanding innovations, most of which are made from waste materials.

“I want to share not only my invention, but most importantly, its authentic message and intention in sustainable advocacy. I want to introduce a new perspective that a specific waste material, like Pili Tree resin, can give a new function which is beneficial to our community,” said Bantugon.

“Yung project FEET po, more than creating it for the sake of winning the competition, mas importante po na makatulong tayo sa ibang tao at sa ating mundo. Kaya palaging pinaaalala sa amin na everytime na may sasalihan kami, hindi lang dapat mag-isip para sa sarili lang namin, habang bata pa ay magtulungan tayo para in the future, mapigilan natin yung damaging effects ng climate change na nakakaalarma po talaga ngayon,” said Mendoza.

“Being exposed to various experiences allowed me to strive for sustainability, and being a physicist, I am proud to say that from climate to energy, physics has been key to the most pressing issues. I hope that our researchers and scientists would be able to get out of the lab and make it happen for people to enjoy and help make this world a better place to live in,” said Yuson.

Ms. Ubaldo, meanwhile, shared her experiences in mainstreaming climate change issues in her hometown in Samar and their organization’s advocacy in fighting for climate justice.

“In our manifesto during the Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition in Milan, we are requesting countries to ensure the systematic and meaningful engagement by scaling up capacity-building programs and dedicating funds to support the youth participation in decision-making at the multilateral, national, and local levels,” said Ubaldo.

As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, “Stories for a Better Normal” aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.

This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation. ###