Hisgutanang Klima sa Mindanao: Climate issues and initiatives in the Davao region

By Marisol Tuso


I would like to thank everyone for the successful launch of my column last month, especially to my fellow Climate Reality Leaders in Mindanao.

For those who are not able to read the first release, this is a space for discussion of the 148 Climate Reality Leaders on the island on their climate stories and initiatives. We will also be featuring meaningful climate action of individuals, organizations, government agencies, local leaders, and private organizations in Mindanao.

This month, I am happy to have met the leaders in the Davao region. The region has 45 leaders coming from different sectors and majority of them belong to the youth sector.

Davao City is one of the Most Bike-Friendly Cities in Mindanao, having won silver in the 2021 Nationwide Mobility Awards. Natoy’s Best Bibingka, also in Davao City, garnered bronze for the Most Bike-Friendly Establishment in the region. These recognitions amplify the efforts of the local government and private sector on sustainable transport, particularly on providing space, facilities, and infrastructure for a bikeable city and establishment.

Davao region, however, is facing climate issues that need to be resolved by enforcing national and local policies and ensuring the cooperation of all sectors in the community.

In Davao City, the local government is targeting to fully implement the “No to Single-Use Plastic Ordinance of 2021,” which regulates the sale, distribution, and use of single-use plastic in the city. Moreover, the city also hopes to attain its goal for low-carbon development as supported in its Local Climate Change Action Plan. 

Other climate-related issues in the region include flooding, inefficient waste management, poor coastal resource management, water insecurity, and other environmental degradation such as mining, deforestation, and destructive agriculture practices.

It takes a holistic approach to address these problems that do not only contribute to but also are exacerbated by the climate crisis. Aside from local government units, national government agencies, private sectors, civil society organizations, and communities must also be involved and empowered to act.

It is inspiring to note that Climate Reality Leaders in Davao have, in one way or another, pushed the conversation forward and initiated solutions in their own capacities or through the respective organizations that they work with. 

The top Acts of Leadership (AOL) that they have initiated for their communities include sharing climate-related information on social media, participating in events, and performing direct public outreach.

Some of our Climate Reality Leaders in Davao are helping academic institutions finalize their research on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. Some have also participated in petition signing for environmental concerns, community service such as coastal clean-up, knowledge and capacity development activities, and volunteering for environmental organizations.

Climate Reality Leader Errol Merquita from Davao City served as a resource speaker during an online discussion, where he presented about climate change adaptation and mitigation. Though Errol finds measuring the impact of the knowledge he shared during the webinar a challenge, he highlighted the need to continue our efforts on climate education. “What is important [is] we do not stop,” he said.

On the other hand, Climate Reality Leader Daphnie Johane Lapiña from Davao de Oro has also continuously shared climate-related stories on her social media accounts. She joined petitions for environmental calls and other community actions. Daphnie said that she will continue to support and conduct activities for the youth sector.

In the next article for this column, we will feature Northern Mindanao and discuss the pressing climate issues and discuss what our Climate Reality Leaders in the region have done so far to help address them.



Marisol is the Mindanao Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She has been working in the development sector for 16 years. She is a specialist in training, institution and community development, information, education, and communication (IEC), and gender and social inclusion. Aside from being a broadcast journalist since 1997,  she also served as the Project Coordinator of the Global Fund for Malaria Component Project for 10 years and as Training and IEC Specialist of the Philippine Cold Chain Project. 


Hisgutanang Klima or “Climate Discussions” is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 100 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Mindanao.

It is one of the monthly columns launched by The Climate Reality Project Philippines to elevate the climate discourse and strengthen climate action across all regions in the Philippines.