Global Climate Strike: Justice for slain environmentalists pressed
MANILA, Philippines — Pro – environment and youth groups demanded justice for the harassment and death of environmental defenders on the first day of the Global Climate Strike.
In a joint statement Friday, several youth organizations called for accountability on the harassment of environmental defenders.
“We are here to demand accountability from the national government for the continued harassment and violence faced by environmental defenders under the current administration. Last year alone, 30 land and environmental defenders have been killed under this administration,” Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas said.
Ecological Justice League of Youth Leaders’ (EJL) Madelene De Borja said the “Philippines ranked as the most dangerous place for advocates of environmental and land rights,” citing the 2019 Global Witness Report in the same statement.
Despite this, De Borja vowed that “the youth will not be discouraged from defending the rights of the people and the environment.”
The groups made the call on the first day of Global Climate Strike, a week-long initiative by youth groups worldwide demanding an end to the age of fossil fuels in light of the ongoing climate crisis.
“As the youth of the world ushers in an end to the age of fossil fuels, we remember the people whose lives were laid down as a foundation for the fight against coal, especially here in the Philippines,” said Power for People (P4P) Coalition Convenor Gerry Arances.
Earlier, activists from climate-impacted communities and environmental organizations Greenpeace also staged a protest to mark the first day of the Global Climate Strike.
The Global Climate Strike runs from September 20 to 27 worldwide./gsg
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