Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo on January 14 signed a covenant with civil society organizations to ensure environmental protection as the government’s priority should she win the presidency in the elections.
Robredo and representatives of various organizations agreed that the country must act on the “deteriorating state” of its ecosystem and biodiversity areas, and that there is “an increasing vulnerability of our communities to climate change.”
The Vice President expressed her commitments to advance environmental protection and stressed that there is “a need to mainstream” the movement to the general public.
“There is no question about the real situation of our environment and the things that we should do… We can agree on that. I am more concerned about how to communicate it to the people so that they will understand and act on it,” she said.
Dubbed as “Green Covenant,” the agreement stated that Robredo and the groups will jointly work “to ensure that government policies and programs do not support destructive environmental practices” to protect the rights and life of the vulnerable community.
Under the accord, Robredo and the civil society groups concurred into a “special commitment to a people-centered sustainable development that ensures food security, human rights and preserves our country’s biodiversity, natural resources, and ecological landscapes for the welfare of all.”
The covenant aimed to strengthen the ‘10-point Green Agenda’ that was presented to Robredo by the groups that support her bid for the presidency.
Jaybee Garganera, national coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina and lead convenor of Green Thumb Coalition, said the prayer of pro-environment groups is a future government that will lead its people in the preservation of ecological integrity and preventing further environmental destruction.
The ‘10-point Green Agenda’ includes “providing quality, relevant and accessible education that integrates Sustainable Development” and the inclusion of Laudato Si in the curriculum of the education system.
Laudato Si, which was published in 2015, is Pope Francis’ second encyclical that discusses the ‘Care for our Common Home’, laments environmental degradation and the climate crisis, and critiques consumerism and irresponsible development.