An artist’s collective in Quezon City is expected to produce short videos based on stories of people who live on small islands that are threatened by rising sea levels.

 

This was after Salikhain Kolektib received a P70,000 Umalohokan Grant from the Climate Media Labs, allowing the group to produce ten videos about the possible effects of climate change on small island communities. 

Named after town criers who spread the news in pre-colonial Philippines, the grant is expected to help Salikhain Kolektib and four other awardees to fully implement their campaigns and communications research plans, said the Oscar M. Lopez Center, which organized the Climate Media Labs. The team that most creatively and successfully executes their blitz campaigns and research projects on the most relevant issue of their community will ultimately receive a final grant of P150,000, the OML Center added. 

Salikhain Kolektib’s Sanga Pulo: Ten Speculative Climate Stories of Small Island Communities will “utilize storytelling as a device to concretize and imagine data from actual scientific research through scenario building,” the group said. “By understanding the experiences of people living on island communities and how they might be affected by climate change, we could determine who the most vulnerable people in this sector are and based the characters and the plot from that.”

By “interweaving” stories of the characters in each of the episodes, the videos will also emphasize significant vulnerabilities of small islands. These include “resource limitations, mainland dependence, lack of access to markets and technology, lack of alternative sustainable livelihoods complementing farming and fishing, direct exposure to climate-related hazards, lack of disaster risk assessment, and isolation during disasters,” said the group. 

Salikhain Kolektib, whose members are Ralph Lumbres, Juan Miguel Torres, Maricon Montajes, Ness Roque, Eric Sister, and Rye Tipay, will focus on communities on Sulu-an and Homonhon islands in Eastern Samar. 

Besides short videos, the group also plans to produce “a printable PDF education guide for each episode” for the education sector, “particularly for senior high school teachers teaching disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation in their classes,” the group said. 

“Through this project, we hope to bring focus to one of the most marginalized and vulnerable sectors to climate change. By doing this, we hope to highlight the gravity of the problem by showing real and dire possibilities that will happen in the future but are also already being felt in the present,” the group said. 

Other four Umalohokan grantees are Team Bicol Umalohokan which intends to focus on sustainable food production and consumption practices; Team Philstar.com G-Unit, which will help promote new, climate-resilient farming methods; Team DanTAOn, which plans to amplify the voices of communities most vulnerable to climate change; and, Team Bintuwak, which intends to preserve the knowledge and tradition of the Nabaoynon indigenous communities in Malay, Aklan. 

All five Umalohokan grantees belong to a larger group of ten teams whose members have all been given Umalohokan Fellowships. The Fellowships entitled teams to participate in the Climate Media Labs, a six-week learning program that sharpened their knowledge about the basics of climate science, climate change communications, among others. 

Developed with Climate Tracker, scientists and experts who delivered lectures for the Labs included Ms. Lourdes Tibig, the lead author of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate; Ms. Ma. Laurice Jamero, a contributing author of the recently released Working Group I report of the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC; and Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, the founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

All the Umalohokan Fellows were given certificates for completing the Climate Media Labs. 

“While the science on climate change in the Philippines has increased ever since our Center was established in 2012, appropriate action is still lacking,” said Perpi A. Tiongson, the OML Center’s Associate Director. “Communicating climate change and the potential for enabling action remain big challenges. The Climate Media Labs is one of the ways of helping provide context of the risks and impacts of climate change and of enabling action through documenting realities and surfacing stories of local experiences.”

The Climate Reality Project Philippines is a media partner for the OML Center’s Balangay Media Project.