In the last 30 years, Climate Change has been at the center of discussions and debates in relation to its impact to the environment. While Climate Change is a natural occurrence that is estimated to happen every 30,000 years, the rise of heavy industrialization among first world countries has resulted in an imbalance on the natural processes of nature.

Changes in climate has disrupted the way of life of farmers and fisherfolk since the planting and harvesting seasons have changed and extreme sea water temperatures and lack of oxygen have resulted in massive fish kill. Even the ordinary folk have to contend with health issues and disasters brought about by the el nino and la niña phenomena. Violent typhoons have wrought havoc to the socio-economic development of many countries. Our fragile biodiversity may not be able to recover from these extreme conditions.

Corollary to Climate Change is the issue of Climate Justice. It has been a cliché that those least responsible for Climate Change experience its greatest impacts.

Climate Justice is generally used as a term for viewing global warming as an ethical issue and considering how its causes and effects relate to the concepts of justice. In Climate Justice, the focus is both on environmental and social justice.  The term is also used with reference to legal systems; where justice is achieved through the applications and developments of law in the area of climate change.

In the wake of massive destruction (which scientists say is the new normal) for every natural disaster that will hit the country, both the government and private sectors are working together to address the problem through policies and programs that seek compensation or funding for rehabilitation and survival like the Philippine Survival Fund (PSF) that became a law in year 2012.

While there have been a lot of initiatives, both globally and in the country, to bring to the fore the issues of Climate Justice, there is a dearth of information on the issues attendant to Climate Justice. Laymen have limited concepts of human rights, more so of climate justice as a human right. There is a need to further dissect the issues and understand how to leverage for either compensation or reparation. We need to be apprised of the Climate Justice programs already in place so that we can access them.

On November 12, 2015, the Justice Palma Foundation will be holding a forum entitled “Is climate justice a human right?”  The forum is an opportunity to enlighten the public on the meaning of Climate Justice and its implications to human rights.  The Forum will discuss the different laws, aspects and programs for climate change adaptation and mitigation.  It will be a 4-hour program which will have Senator Loren Legarda as keynote speaker; and reactors from the Climate Change Commission (Sec. Lucille Sering), from the Commission on Human Rights (Chair Jose Luis Gascon), from the business sector (Mr. Bonar Laureto of the Philippine Business for the Environment), and from the indigenous peoples community (Atty. Jennifer Tauli-Corpuz of Tebtebba Foundation).

The forum will be held from 1:00-5:00 pm at the 3rd Floor, SGV Hall of the AIM Conference Center Manila in Benavidez cor. Trasierra Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati.  The forum is free of charge but pre-registration is required due to limited seats.  You may pre-register at Climate Justice & Human Rights Forum Online Registration.

The forum is sponsored by the Climate Change Commission, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, and Aquabest.

For any inquiries, you may call our Project Coordinator Phillip Recentes at 09178593485 or Yolli Deveza at (02) 264-2528 or 09064651460.

Is climate justice a human right?