Filipino representatives of faith-based and civil society groups addressed the Filipino community in Madrid, Spain on the climate emergency.
Jaazeal Jakosalem, an Augustinian recollect currently based in Madrid, spoke on behalf of the climate pilgrims on the importance of their participation in the ongoing UN climate conference (or COP25).
“We are here today not only to attend the conference, but bringing the voices of those suffering from disruptions by the climate emergency,” he said.
Jakosalem also stated that the Filipinos victimized by typhoon Kammuri (Tisoy) are a reminder “for all of us on how we deal with the environment nowadays.”
Fr. Mark Angelo Ramos, SVD, who presided over the mass, talked about the significance of the Laudato Si’ for inspiring climate action. Released in 2015, Pope Francis’s second encyclical firmly placed the Roman Catholic Church behind the environmental movement and spurred Filipino religious leaders to actions for a more sustainable planet.
“This is reminding all, Catholics especially, sa kahalagahan ng pagproteka sa ating environment,” he said.
Rodne Galicha, Executive Director of Living Laudato Si Philippines, also emphasized the role of Philippine civil society organizations in the climate talks, serving “as advisors of the Philippine delegation and influencers through mobilization, lobbying and side events”.
He added that “the experiences on sectoral community-based climate action and policy reform works of the civil society have been the bases and strength of its genuine voice in the course of the negotiations”.
The group of pilgrims who also met His Eminence Carlos Osoro Sierra of the Archidiocese of Madrid, includes Yeb Saño, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Climate Reality Leader Philline Donggay, Lou Arsenio (and her husband) of the Ministry on Ecology of the Archdiocese of Manila and John Leo Algo of Climate Action for Sustainability Initiative (KASALI).