Mitigating the challenges of climate change is a 24/7 job

In the year 2010, 11 October to be exact, I was commissioned to write and publish a book titled, Redefining Development: The Living Advocacy of Senator Loren Legarda. This undertaking was a joint project of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction, Asia and the Pacific and my communications company, Seagull Philippines, Inc.

There is no escaping the reality that our environment is changing rapidly along with the rapid climate change. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/MARKUS SPISKE

Writing this book was an educational journey for me as we endeavored to inform and inspire world leaders, policy and decision makers and the citizenry on where we are now and what can be done by government, business and civil society to reduce disaster vulnerability and build community resilience to the undesirable effects of our changing climate.

There is no escaping the reality that our environment is changing rapidly along with the increasing rapid climate change. This includes pervasive disaster and climate change risks brought about by poor urban governance, vulnerable rural livelihood and ecosystems decline that further deepen poverty. But the thesis of this book, as explained by Senator Legarda, can be controlled and their ill effects minimized if we change our ways of thinking and doing sooner rather than later.

This informative book challenges environmental advocates to rethink development and our contemporary approaches to socio-economic development towards a more holistic approach to sustainable human development characterized by quality living and green growth. In this book, we acknowledge the important role governments play where the poor, the needy, the unlearned are the most vulnerable. The former United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon describes this reality as the definitive challenge of our time which is climate change.

Today, we realize that this enormous problem encourages present and continuing action beyond boundaries of race, creed, gender, ideology and culture with one purpose in mind and deed — a green and sustainable world for humanity.

Last 28 June 2023, I was invited by Climate Change commissioner Albert P. Dela Cruz, Sr. to be a consultant pro bono. My specific role is to disseminate valuable information on steps to mitigate climate change beginning with the youth, the households and the community at large. This is a big challenge but I humbly accepted the appointment knowing the enormous need for information to be cascaded to all the sectors of society nationwide.

The National Economic Development Authority invited me to be one of the mentors to work with the youth in celebration of the 2024 National Innovation Day this 22 April for a whole day of workshops across industries, government and the academe. I am so looking forward to this event as I want to challenge and excite the youth to prove that they are the hope of our motherland. I am so positive that we will succeed in this objective. I shall encourage NEDA to compile all our workshop presentations into a workbook that can be disseminated and given to all schools both public and private nationwide. This project can be a joint undertaking and partnership with the Climate Change Commission. Knowledge is power and if we are able to harness and provide the youth with all the information they need, I know we will succeed one day at a time.

Together, we can challenge the global community to save Mother Earth and to preserve humankind. Let us act together as one with abiding faith and great hope before it is too late.

The author is one of 100 Most Influential Global Filipinas for her books and advocacy work. She was recognized as one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS). As a social historian, she has written 46 coffee table books in the last 25 years found in select libraries around the world.