Press release – February 5, 2016
QUEZON CITY, 5 February 2016— Today, a coalition made up of over 40 national and local organizations launched the Green Thumb Coalition and challenged 2016 presidential candidates to put socio-environmental issues at the heart of their electoral platforms.
The coalition, made up primarily of environmental groups and frontline communities (1) and with the combined support of 10 million, came together to raise awareness on naturally interrelated environmental issues that are connected to social matters like poverty and corruption. The coalition aims to get the commitment of national and local candidates to embrace a green agenda, and hold newly elected public officials accountable on their positions and commitments to their environmental mandates.
With the 2016 elections coming up, the Green Thumb Coalition will engage with political aspirants and the voting public by raising the debate on nine (9) key environmental issues at the national level. These include: 1) biodiversity and ecosystem integrity; 2) natural resource and land use management and governance; 3) human rights and integrity of creation; 4) climate justice; 5) mining, extractives and mineral resource management; 6) energy transformation and democracy; 7) sustainable food sovereignty; 8) people-centered sustainable development; and 9) waste.
ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. Chairman Gina Lopez, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Naderev “Yeb” Saño, Alyansa Tigil Mina Head Jaybee Garganera, Convenor for the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) Gerry Arances, SANLAKAS Representative Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, SANLAKAS presented the coalition’s plan of action which was inspired by the member coalition’s previous campaigns on issues such as climate change, waste management, working for indigenous people’s rights.
Also present during the Green Thumb Coalition launch was popular actor and environment advocate Enchong Dee who will be enjoining the youth and the “millennials” to actively participate in the discussion of issues posed by the Coalition.
The Green Thumb Coalition will soon hold a series of forums nationwide leading up to the May elections to raise awareness among the voting public to choose the right leaders who will champion the environment and share plans for a greener economy. The Coalition is scheduled to be in the provinces of Batangas, Palawan, Zambales, Sorsogon, Mindoro, Tuguegarao, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Samar, Leyte, Cebu, SOCSARGEN, Davao, Zamboanga and CARAGA to formally introduce the group’s green electoral campaign to the local communities.
“Elections are not just about personalities and politicians, but is an opportunity to enjoin people to act collectively on important issues like the environment and the climate,” said Gina Lopez of Bantay Kalikasan. “We aim to raise the discourse on the environment among the national consciousness during and after the election period.”