ENVIRONMENT Secretary Roy Cimatu, guest speaker for the 34th anniversary of Cordillera Day, said that climate change has a more devastating effect than the pandemic we are facing now.
Cimatu, ironically, wasn’t able to attend because of COVID-19 protocols but had Cordillera DENR director Ralph Pablo read his message.
“We now face several crises, two of them affect us all – the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. Governments across the world are rightly focused on addressing public health, bringing back and stabilizing economies,” he wrote.
“But if we want our nations and communities to recover sustainably, and more resiliently, we must do it through green recovery. Why? Because whether we speak of public health, economy, livelihoods, and people’s lives, everything boils down to our ecosystems and resources,” Cimatu said.
He said that the lull caused by the pandemic could be an opportunity for Cordillera’s leaders “to build a cleaner, greener, healthier, and a more climate-friendly environment.”
Putting money into the green revolution is the best way for the region, Cimatu said.
“But the starting point is to have our stimulus package tied to a green transition. This means promoting green finance; creating green jobs; aligning local stratagem against the climate crisis with our national and global action plans; and strict implementation of environmental legislations, among others,” he said.
“Autonomy, as many of you believe, is key to Cordillera’s sustainable development and progress,” Cimatu added.
“In the past 34 years, we have seen how the region strove towards the idea of autonomy, and I hope that you carry on. I hope that you overcome the challenges ahead because this autonomy movement of yours is not only central to the political situation of the Cordilleras, but will have a massive impact on your culture, environment, and socio-economic growth.”