Sama, Yakan youth pledge to save earth through advocacy PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 August 2014 14:33

ISABELA CITY, Basilan, — Twenty-eight college students and out-of-school youth belonging to the Yakan and Sama Bangingi indigenous people (IP) groups pledged, in a simple yet solemn candle-lighting ceremony on Friday their commitment to become advocates for climate change resiliency, mitigation and adaptation at the Querexeta Formation Center here after a two-day journalism seminar.

“We, the partakers to this climate change advocacy campaign launch have come to join hands together today with a firm and common intent to take forward as defense forces ready to shield our mother earth and our lives fom the serious and immediate dangers of climate change,” they pledged.

The seminar, jointly undertaken by the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP), Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and the United States Embassy aimed to promote inter-cultural understanding among the IP youth, and at the same time, raise awareness on the looming dangers brought about by climate change, and the need to advocate on mitigating its effects.

“The earth is indeed getting warmer due to man’s destruction of our environment,” emphasized NCIP-IX Regional Director Timuey Woy Lim P. Wong to the youth. He added that while promoting their culture through journalism, they can do more by sharing their knowledge on climate change to their communities, which, when the time comes, will affect everyone in the planet.

On July 31, “Nagbabago na ang Panahon, Panahon na Para Magbago”, a PIA-produced video documentary was shown to the participants to inform them on what caused climate change, the effects that the phenomenon is slowly but surely manifesting in all parts of the globe, and ways to be prepared when the disasters strike.

A set of officers for the “I am a Climate Change-Resilient Youth” for the Basilan chapter was elected. They are tasked to be community and school-based advocates on climate change adaptation, mitigation and resiliency. To date, a total of 150 youth IPs in the region were engaged for this movement.

In Friday’s feature writing workshop, the participants were asked to write a piece on climate change. Director Wong earlier pronounced that they will be coming up with a newsletter with the IP youth as contributing writers.