Friday, May 23, 2014

Stewards of Creation — Commissioner Yeb Saño Talks on Climate Change

Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Nadarev "Yeb" Saño
Last May 23, 2014, at the height of the sweltering summer heat, the parish of SLRP, through the initiative of the Catechetical Ministry, welcomed environmentalist and the Philippine Commissioner on Climate Change, Naderev “Yeb” Saño, who gave a talk on the current state of our environment. He talked at length of the slow and irreversible damage that man and his “industrial progress” have wreaked on Mother Nature, its geographical structures, the fragile ecosystem and its flora and fauna.

He made special mention of the state of the environment in the Philippines which he still considers one of the best and most beautiful places on earth. He warned of the terrible damage climate change has done to the country – the devastation of lives, homes and livelihood of millions of Filipinos caused by the onslaught of Yolanda, the most powerful typhoon the world has ever had up to this time; the depletion of the forests which is home to many endangered animals endemic to the country; and the destruction and pollution of our seas and rivers that threaten our dwindling marine resources. He explained how the population of our national bird, the Philippine Eagle, in the wild is an indicator of the health of our forests.

He also mentioned the various programs of their agency, such as mass education, environmental campaigns for better protection and consciousness of our surroundings, rebuilding of damaged ecosystems and the reduction of global carbon emissions. He warned that if we do not act now to arrest this destruction of our planet, we shall see and experience stronger typhoons, massive flooding, and devastated lands.

He asked the audience to make a difference and help turn around the impending catastrophe. He enumerated several actions we can do on our own like cleaning up our mess (i.e. collecting and segregating our garbage), protecting the environment (i.e. not burning trash, not polluting our waterways) and promoting love of nature (ie, treeplanting, stopping the kaingin system, hunting, and cutting trees).

Commissioner Yeb is one who is passionate about the environment. We remember him as the Philippine delegate who was teary-eyed when he delivered a passionate speech at the UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland last year and went on a fast. He says his once a month fasting for the environment has made him a better climate negotiator.

For those who would like to know more of Commissioner Yeb's advocacy and programs, here's a link to Fast For The Climate website


Commissioner Yeb Saño and wife Eunice with Father JB and SLRP parishioners
Activist songwiriter and singer Joey Ayala provided the front-act


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