Going Green Peacefully towards a #BetterNormal

Their years of advocacies have truly gotten our attention! Yet, amidst their bold stance in promoting green practices, at the core principle of Greenpeace is non-violence and it is at the heart of everything they do.

Greenpeace stands for positive change through non-violent direct action to defend people and planet and to promote peace.

Yeb Sano, Executive Director for Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Way before Greenpeace was formally registered in the Philippines, they have contributed to safeguarding the Filipino’s constitutional rights to a balance and healthy ecology. They have been working with communities to champion renewable energy, combat illegal fishing and campaign for clean seas. All of these activities were to support and amplify the Filipinos’ call for climate justice and call for positive change.

Greenpeace, as a global community, exists to confront the most pervasive and most serious threats to the planet. Across the world, we defent the most important environmental boundaries, confront the power dynamics behind environmental issues, and work to shift people’s mindsets, in order to effect massive and transformative change.

Yeb Sano, on Greenpeace’s commitment to environmental justice

Greenpeace, along with their partners in the Philippines, has brought positive change in our attitude towards how we value of the environment. They have raised awareness about the problem on nucrear and plastic waste, the negative impact of coal-fired power plants and the plight of marginilized Filipinos such as the farmers and fisherfolk and how environmental injustice affects them.

These actions have contributed to bringing about systemic changes and public policies such as the Solid Waste Management Act, the Clean Air Act, local plastic laws and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles. Although much more needs to be done, collective action is already helping us achieve a more sustainable future.

Yeb Sano, on Greanpeace’s impact through the years that advanced the advocacy for environmental policies that promote sustainability

Today, one of the most pressing environmental issue is our dependence on fossil fuels. Some view that it is facing twighlight, accelerated by socio-economic disruptions like the Covid-19 pandemic. It is one of the industries most responsible for the climate crisis. Similarly is the issue on the single-use plastics, of which the Philippines is considered as one of the world’s biggest plastic polluter. We need to protect vulnerable industries like agriculture and fisheries that is currently faced with economic inequities.

Ecological agriculture and sustainable fishing practices that center on the growth and well-being of farming and fishing communities should be given support over corporate incentives.

Yeb Sano, on re-appropriating socio-economic support to vulnerable industries

Evidently, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to minds so many sustainability issues and has exposed the cracks in our current socio-economic systems. Like any chain, we are only as strong as are weakest link. The Philippines, of course, is more than familiar of our many weak links in our social safety net systems.

Strengthening our farming and fishing communities will not only ensure food security, but will help our economy bounce back. Local sourcing and distribution of produce will contribute not only to the strength and growth of these communities, but will help us develop more sustainable and self-reliant cities and municipalities that can better deal with pandemics and other crises.

Yeb Sano, on the need to strengthen local food sources as a strong foundation for food security and socio-economic stability
Greenpeace activists dressed as ‘Tuna Mascots’ visit the Japanese Embassy, seeking the country’s support for tuna conservation at the upcoming global summit on Pacific Tuna Fisheries. The activists hold banners reading “Japan help end overfishing”. Greenpeace is calling for marine reserves to be established in four high seas pockets known as the Pacific Commons and to be declared off-limits to fishing.

Amid the imminent risk of socio-economic decline, the climate crisis cannot completely take the back-burner. The Philippines remains to be one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change. It only takes one monster typhoon to hit the country and the country’s socio-economic condition will drastically decline. As such, Greenpeace in the Philippines advocates for long-term solutions rather than reactionary approaches to recurring problems.

Students belonging to the Leyte Kalipayan Dance Company perform dances and exhibition on stilts as Greenpeace flaship Rainbow Warrior docks in the port of Tacloban City, Eastern Visayas, Philippines. The Rainbow Warrior is in the Philippines as part of the Climate Justice ship tour.

The development of the Philippines should be powered by renewable sources rather than fossil fuels, which are only getting more expensive, as well as less viable. Renewable sources about and will not lonly lessen carbon footprints but will also help our country be more self-reliant.

Yeb Sano, on long-term and systemic approach to building the country’s resilience and sustainability

While there remains a push and pull in the fight against unsustainable practices, Greenpeace remains helpful with the attitude the millennials and the generation Z are exhibiting towards sustainability.

The youth represents the vigor of idealism and what we are witnessing in many parts of the world is a youth morement like never before. The youth are connected, many of them united in the vision of a more just, peaceful and green societies. The youth are speaking truth in the most powerful way. This courage is contagious and it gives us a glimpse into what bright future lies ahead if the youth prevail and sustain this momentum.

Yeb Sano, on being hopeful of the commitment of future leadership towards a more sustainable world

Greenpeace makes every effort to maintain its indepdence. They have successfully done so through the commitment of individual supporters and foundation grants for financial support.

Our independence is our biggest strengths. Our independence synergizes strongly with the mindsets of our supporters. We call on all people of goodwill to reach out to us and be part of changing the world. Taking action on the environment should be everyone’s priority.

Yeb Sano, on Greenpeace’s commitment to remain true to its mission

You can help Greenpeace by volunteering, taking online action with them or donating. You may visit http://www.greenpeace.org/philippines/act/ to know more about the various ways you can get involved.

Our battle against Covid-19 is not really a war with the virus, it is more of a war with ourselves. In the ecological crisis of our time, we have alienated ourselves from nature, from our indigenous communities, from biodiversity, from each other.

Yeb Sano, on the profound lesson learned from the Covid19 pandemic

Photo Credits: Greenpeace Philippines

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