Ang Kalusunan: Climate leaders in action

By Aimee Oliveros

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Action is defined as the process of doing something, driven by an aim or an objective. When we talk of action, it is more about doing rather than just thinking or speaking. As I looked back on the last six months of this year, I met Climate Reality Leaders who are truly inspiring, not only in the extent of their experience and contributions to the climate space but with their enthusiasm and openness to learn and make a difference.

“We must act, and in every way possible, and immediately. We stand at the end of an era—the hundred years’ binge of oil, gas, and coal which has given us both the comforts and the predicament of the moment.”

– Bill McKibben

Within our community, I was fortunate to have met leaders who are activists who engage in conversations and challenge the status quo within their communities. I saw leaders using their platforms as content creators to weave amazing stories and artwork about their experiences and climate journey. It’s always interesting to hear and watch our leaders in action as communicators in their different media engagements and events to speak about climate solutions. 

I always look forward to our monthly regional meet-ups to learn about how leaders are organizing or building coalitions and movements, and advocating for their work. Building a community takes a lot of purpose-driven time and effort, and we are especially thankful for all the Climate Reality Leaders who are continuously mentoring other advocates and engaging their communities toward climate action. 

The Do’s and Dont’s 

As we celebrated International Literacy Day last September, we asked our Climate Reality Leaders what their recommended books are to start their climate journey.

 

Environmental Communication: Principles, Approaches, and Strategies
of Communication Applied to Environmental Management

by Dr. Alexander C. Flor

“This was our textbook in our Environmental Communication class when I was taking up my Master’s in UPLB. I learned the value of communication in environmental management through this book, hence, the beginning of my interest in environmental advocacy and later, my climate journey. To summarize, the book discussed the foundations of environmental communication, the different approaches, core messages, and strategies. It underscores the element of sustainability as it has adopted a deep ecology approach to environmental communication. It promotes rich concepts like enculturation as well as conflict management and social transformation, and these go beyond the usual, time-bound communication campaigns but relies more on the cultural dimension. If you’re a beginner in the movement, this book is a good start.”

– Rizza Estadola, 2021 Global Training

The Philippine Climate Almanac
by the Oscar M. Lopez Center

“It's a useful book for those who want to know and get familiar with the anomalies or observed changes in our climate pattern over the years. Using this climate almanac has been helpful for me in tracking the most remarkable typhoons or droughts that the Philippines has experienced. It is a useful reference also in knowing the various climate types in the Philippines and then comparing these climate types to the observations of the people now. By doing so, you will know in their narratives that climate change is really happening.”

– Samantha Geraldine De Los Santos, 2020 Global Training

Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis
by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and Milflores Publishing

“This book is a collection of stories through poems, essays, and arts about the climate crisis across the different continents. It is truly a wonderful book to draw inspiration from as we build and sustain our purpose and drive towards climate action."

– Aimee Oliveros, 2020 Global Training

The Highs and Lows 

This month, we continued with our regional hang-out with Climate Reality Leaders from CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and Bicol.

CALABARZON is home to around 280 Climate Reality Leaders, MIMAROPA with 20, and Bicol with over 60 CRLs. Each session is interesting and full of amazing stories from CRLs and how they are paving the way towards a better reality for all.

Bolaños Christian of Palawan (2021 Global Training) is a recent graduate and currently working on a CSR project focused on a holistic approach to the environment, community, and his workplace in the hotel industry.

Angelica Ferrer of Bicol and Bulacan (2021 Global Training) recently completed her studies and looking forward to more branch programs and to connecting with other Climate Reality Leaders.

Janine Vicente of Cavite (2016, Manila) is currently working on a water filtration program to create more awareness for the community.

Samantha Geraldine De Los Santos of Laguna (2020 Global Training) currently works as a researcher on climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies at the community level, specifically on nature-based solutions and disaster risk reduction nexus through rapid assessment of communities.

Rizza Estadola of Batangas (2021 Global Training) is currently engaged in a research project related to science communication and has recently signed up for an online course in ecosystem restoration to enhance her technical skills.

Evelyn Kim Lumbis of Bicol (2020 Global Training) is one of Climate Reality Philippines’ Energy Cluster Coordinators and taking up Environmental and Urban Planning as she wants to expand her knowledge about sustainable finance being connected with Land Bank of the Philippines.

Bernardo Sepeda of Cavite (2016, Manila) is currently active with his work in the academe through continuous education and consciousness building.

Joey Totanes of Bicol (2020 Global Training) just recently attended a regional development council workshop and was able to actively build partnerships with civil society organizations and non-government organizations in the community as well as work with other Climate Reality Leaders in the region.

During the pre-work activity, we asked our Climate Reality Leaders what they consider as top climate issues within their localities and there’s consistency on biodiversity loss, deforestation, solid waste management, and food and water security across all the regions. In CALABARZON, they identified opportunities to engage in climate action through integrating efforts on skills building on policy making. In Bicol, they identified opportunities for more youth engagement to build their climate knowledge, engagement with the indigenous people’s communities, and bridging branch programs into local government units.

It’s interesting to see how the next sessions would bring about more connections and collaborations. Watch this space and connect with us!

What’s in store for #LuzonLeaders?
 

Join our upcoming online regional hang-out on October 20, Climate Reality Leaders in Metro Manila!

We would love to hear from you! Do you have any climate questions but are too afraid to ask, or maybe a comment on our monthly column, just email at aimee.oliveros.ph@climatereality.com.   

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
 

Aimee is the Luzon Coordinator of The Climate Reality Project Philippines. She is a human resources professional with over 10 years of corporate work experience in different local and multinational industries. With her experience in organizational development, training and employee engagement, Aimee is deeply passionate about promoting learning and wellbeing. She is a Climate Reality Leader having joined the 2020 Global training which solidified her inner passion for community work and service. Being an advocate for the environment, she co-founded RE-Store MNL, a small shop promoting refill and reuse in Paranaque City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences at the University of the Philippines Baguio.

ABOUT ANG KALUSUNAN

Ang Kalusunan or the “Northern Part” is a space that aims to amplify the climate stories and initiatives of the more than 1,200 Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders in Luzon.

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.