PH org lauds DiCaprio for defending nature, pleading vs climate change | Inquirer News

PH org lauds DiCaprio for defending nature, pleading vs climate change

/ 03:52 PM March 01, 2016

A national organization has lauded “The Revenant” star and Oscars 2016 Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio for advocating action against climate change in his acceptance speech during the 88th Academy Awards.

The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines Northern Mindanao Sub-Region (RMP-NMR) expressed gratitude to DiCaprio for “talking about the need to protect our environment” and “for acknowledging that man can only survive if he lives in harmony with nature.”

READ: Leonardo DiCaprio wins as Best Actor


“We are happy that you chose to talk about important issues that affect the larger part of humanity. We are happy that a big celebrity like you has chosen to defend the environment instead of encouraging its devastation through mindless consumption and extravagance promoted in the culture of today,” RMP-NMR said in an open letter posted on its website.


“You spoke of leaders ‘who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations.’ We congratulate your effort to link with the Pope, one of the most steadfast leaders in this crusade for the environment,” it added.

RMP-NMR is an organization which is inter-diocesan and inter-congregational in character, composed of religious men and women, priests and lay people who “live and work with the peasants.”

In his acceptance speech, DiCaprio urged people to take action and “work collectively together” against climate change, calling it the “most urgent threat facing our entire species.”

“Climate change is real. It is happening right now… Let us not take this planet for granted; I do not take tonight for granted,” he said.

It was the first Oscar and sixth Academy Award nomination for the 41-year-old actor, who was previously nominated in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” “The Aviator,” “Blood Diamond,” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

READ: DiCaprio happy leaders taking climate change more seriously


RMP-NMR also brought up the plight of indigenous peoples in the country in their message to DiCaprio, expressing dismay over the Philippine government for supposedly refusing “to take the side of the poor communities who have the most difficulty in recovering from any disaster” even in the wake of climate change.

“In international platforms, our government has spoken of erecting structures that are supposed to give us resiliency – and yet its development policies continue the plunder of our natural resources. We see many influential leaders in the world who refuse to acknowledge the value of nature over financial profit,” the organization wrote.

“In our remote communities, the government has sent its armed forces in the guise of going after armed rebel groups. But we have seen several dislocations of civilians, of indigenous communities who were the ones targeted by the bullets paid by our taxes. These indigenous communities have been fighting against the entry of plundering companies into their ancestral domains and had consequently been branded enemies of the state,” it added.

Nevertheless, the group praised DiCaprio for giving a voice to government leaders who speak for “those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by greed.”

“Mr. DiCaprio, we believe that when you uttered your words you had these downtrodden people in your mind and heart. We look forward to your further campaigns for the environment and with the peoples who guard them. Maybe one day you will also find time to see the how indigenous peoples in the Philippines live their lives valiantly protecting the environment which they know is their life,” it added. CDG


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