Lumad youth demand halt to environment plunder

Features Philippines Oct 11, 2019 at 4:58 pm

0924-climate-gretaBy John Aaron Mark Macaraeg

MANILA — Hazel Grace or Bebang to her friends, 16 years old, travelled all the way from Talaingod, Davao del Norte to join the Global Climate Strike’s week-long protests at the University of the Philippines in Diliman.

Her community, which lies in the Pantaron mountain ranges, has been home to rich wildlife including the endangered Philippine Eagle. Because of its untouched natural resources, mining and agro-industrial companies have been carrying out projects that have flattened the mountains. These have already resulted in the displacement of over thousands of families of Lumad, Manobo, Mansaka, and Monday. Up to now, they are continuing the struggle their ancestral domain.

“We, the youth, must not relax and be contented that the world awaiting us in the future would be already decimated and lifeless,” Bebang read in a declaration to fellow youth during the kick-off event of Global Climate Strike in the Philippines.

Bebang and her classmates from Salugpongan Ta ‘Tanu Igkanogon Community Learning Center, Inc. (STTICLCI) were joined by millions around the world who marched and shouted to save their home—our planet.

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