The island-province of Guimaras was declared 100% coal-free by Greenpeace International.
Governor Samuel T. Gumarin and Sangguniang Bayan Member Jimmy O. Gajo received the Seals of Climate Leadership during a program yesterday, February 24, 2018 held at Barangay Suclaran, San Lorenzo town hosted by the municipal government and the team from the said NGO.
“We want to show the world that we don’t need dirty energy to power development. The people of Guimaras have embraced renewables over dirty, polluting energy. We want to show that a sustainable development path, powered by renewable energy is not only possible, but more viable. And we hope that our humble example will resonate to other provinces and to the world,” Governor Gumarin stressed, receiving a loud applause from the Greenpeace team.
Guimaras was recognized for catalysing a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action by embracing renewable energy and its commitment to promote climate justice, ecological integrity and sustainable development.
More exactly, it was recognized, together with the Phinma Energy Corporation, for the establishment of the 54-MW Wind Farm in the province.
“As Governor of this Province, I am committed to uphold to the development vision of the Province, a place that is safe, healthy and have a better quality of life for every Guimarasnon and for the future generation,’ he said.
In his speech, he cited efforts of the local government unit in combatting climate change and in support to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as the Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) Program which was adopted as the key developmental strategy under the Priority Development Agenda 2017-2022; the enhancement of the provincial vision which eyes the island as the agro-eco-tourism capital of the region and other local policy support.
“Our best practices exhibit partnership and collaboration of all the tiers of the governing bodies down to the grassroots with supporting policies and local laws such as the anti-plastic ordinance, thrust on organic farming, greening program, promotion of indigenous materials for sustainable livelihood and renewable energy, among the many others,” he further mentioned.
Meanwhile, Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by: Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.
The team’s ship, Rainbow Warrior, docked in the port of barangay Suclaran, San Lorenzo.
The said docking and beach landing form part of Balangaw: The Climate Justice Tour-Rainbow Warrior Ship Tour 2018-Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippine Leg from February 14 toMarch 5, 2018.
In the name of climate justice and liability, the journey visits areas that have experienced the brunt of climate change impacts and acts as global platform for climate change justice movement.
“Kailangan po nating manindigan. We need to stand up for Mother Nature because we need to be able to hand down a healthy and sustainable planet for our future generations,” said Mr. Yeb Sano, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
Further, he linked their vision to the vision of Guimaras.
“Our vision is the same as the vision of the Province of Guimaras. Nakita naman po natin that renewable energy is powering this part of the world and Guimaras is leading the way, he cited.
“Ito pong ginagawa ng Guimaras makes us proud being Filipinos and ito po ay isang halimbawa ng isang matibay na paninindigan which is the kind of leadership the world needs right now,” he said.
After the declaration, the guests and officials signed the manifesto of support to the advocacy of Greenpeace and a coal-free Guimaras Island.
The Rainbow Warrior is set to visit Tacloban from February 25 to 27