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Indigenous, urban poor kids form ‘human tree’ to promote climate justice


Photo: Save Our Schools Network
Photo: Save Our Schools Network


Children from various indigenous and urban poor communities on Wednesday participated in a human formation of a tree in Quezon City to promote climate justice.

In observance of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, different groups organized the Children for Climate Justice event at the Sunken Garden in UP Diliman.

The activity aimed to provide a venue for children and youth to express their concern and grievances over the violations on their rights, as well as the threats against the environment.

Children's group Salinlahi’s secretary-general Eule Bonganay said the human formation activity is to give light to “environmental plunder.”

“Such include the intention to exploit the rich natural resources of Mindanao’s Pantaron Range through submitting it to big mining companies,” he said in a statement.

Due to this, the Lumad and nearby communities will consequently vanish, Bonganay added.

He also cited the Kaliwa Dam project as an example of environmental plunder, saying it will harm the Dumagat and other nearby IP communities.

Association for the Rights of Children in Southeast Asia  (ARCSEA) President Libertad Dipon said the event provided an opportunity for children to exercise their rights and participate in issues that are important to their sector.

“They were able to call for states, including the Philippines, to declare a climate emergency that would expedite a comprehensive climate adaptation and resiliency package—which will provide long-term ecosystems protection and restoration, disaster risk reduction, and economic and social protection—and to address the human rights implications of the climate crisis,” he said.

The Children for Climate Justice was led by the Save our Schools Network with its member organizations and collaborators Salinlahi, Climate Strike Diliman, Sandiwa Network of Advocates for National Minority Rights, Climate Change Network of Community-Based Initiatives (CCNCI), and ARCSEA. — Joviland Rita/BM, GMA News