The Center of Environmental Concerns – Philippines Inc. (CEC) participated in the 53rd session of the United Nations Human Rights (19 June – 14 July 2023) in Geneva, Switzerland. CEC submitted an intervention in partnership with the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches (CCIA-WCC), during the Interactive Dialogue of the Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and Human Rights.
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and Human Rights
UN Human Rights Council, Fifty-Third Session ; 19 June – 14 July 2023
Commission of the Churches on International Affairs,
World Council of Churches (CCIA-WCC)
Intervention by Ms. Lia Mai Torres – Alonzo
The Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches, in partnership with the Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines supports the recommendations of the report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of climate change.
The Philippines is one of the most affected by extreme weather events and most vulnerable to climate-change-driven disasters. Like other countries in the Global South, livelihoods most affected by these are those related to agriculture and fisheries, and the negative impacts are often drivers of outmigration.
Currently, there are no existing policy instruments in the Philippines, like many countries, that directly address climate change-induced migration. We are ill-equipped and poorly prepared to face internal migrations and disruptions due to climate change, much less the possible influx of climate refugees from neighboring countries. Can the Special Rapporteur advise us how we can ensure that States accept recommendations in the report such as the granting of special visas to climate refugees from outside our borders?
We believe, however, that while important, addressing climate displacement should not preclude addressing the issues and vulnerabilities that cause displacement and other disastrous impacts of climate change. This includes ensuring ecological balance by preventing environmentally damaging and destructive activities, gearing away from false climate solutions, shifting away from the neoliberal model that facilitates the hyper-extraction by foreign interests of our natural resources, and addressing systematic inequality and poverty that strips away our capacity to adapt to climate disasters.
Thank you, Mr. President!
Videos of the interactive dialogue: