A LONG journey for change.
Beginning on Thursday (the International Day of Non-Violence), climate activists set out from Kilometer Zero in Rizal Park, Manila for a 40-day, 1,000 kilometer journey that will bring them to Super Typhoon Yolanda’s Ground Zero in Tacloban City by November 8, the first anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda’s historic landfall.
Various non-government and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace gathered at the Luneta on Thursday morning as part of efforts to raise public awareness for the need for climate justice.
Among those present was actor Dingdong Dantes, who is also a commissioner-at-large for the National Youth Commission, and folk musician Noel Cabangon.
Upon reaching Tacloban City, advocates said they will continue the walk to Cebu, Negros, Panay Island and Palawan - provinces that also bore the brunt of Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan). As part of the Walk, participants will distribute climate and disaster toolkits to local government units and communities. There will also be events to highlight issues related to climate change, like mining, deforestation, and renewable energy.
“The Climate Walk is dedicated to all people in the Philippines and around the world who confront the reality of climate change. It aims to empower communities and help them become resilient to the impacts of disasters and climate change,” Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Saño said.
According to the Climate Walk website, the event is a ‘free walk.' The organizers will not be collecting money from participants who wish to join it but encouraged individuals joining to raise Php 500/day (US$10) to cover their personal expenses which will include food, water, shelter, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Participants will also need to bring camping stove, cookware and eating utensils since they will prepare their own meals at camp sites. Core Walkers will be pitching camp in churches, public schools, and city halls.
Since the daily distance of the walk will range from 25km to 45km, participants have been required to take a physical exam and to submit a medical certificate from a cardiologist.
Climate Walk participants were divided into three categories - Day Walkers who will meet the main group at designated start point join for a day; Weekend Walkers who will volunteer for 2-3 days, and Whoalker who are committed to walk from Manila to Tacloban.