Rainbow Warrior joins Philippines communities in their call for Climate Justice

Press release - February 14, 2018
Manila, 14 February 2018 - Almost one month before the start of hearings in the unprecedented climate change and human rights inquiry in the Philippines, the Rainbow Warrior, the most iconic ship of global environmental campaigning organization Greenpeace, and one of the most energy efficient ships on the high seas, is docked in Manila to amplify the voices of the climate impacted.

“We welcome the Rainbow Warrior to the Philippines to join our voices with other communities from around the world. We know that our voices will be louder together,” said Isagani Serrano of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, a petitioner in the climate change and human rights inquiry.

Fellow petitioner, Veronica “Derek” Cabe, a community organizer and anti-coal activist from Bataan, said “Climate change affects everyone on the planet, yet those least responsible for it are bearing the brunt of its consequences. Those in power are not doing enough, so citizens and communities are coming together to claim back their power and assert their rights! We are demanding that the world’s big polluters clean up their acts and embrace real solutions.”

The ship is in the Philippines to provide a platform for communities who are already dealing with the impacts of the climate crisis, such as Indigenous Peoples, farmers, fisherfolk, youth, grandmothers, and others. Their call is for fossil fuel companies and governments to stop business-as-usual, since they are failing to respect and protect their rights to life, to health, to their culture and way-of-life, to livelihood and an adequate standard of living, and to a stable climate and healthy environment.

Balangaw: The Climate Justice Ship Tour in the Philippines is part of the Rainbow Warrior’s 5-month “Climate Change and People Power” tour of Southeast Asia. It will be docking in Manila on February 14-18, Guimaras on February 24, and Tacloban on February 28-March 4, before sailing to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

In Manila, the ship tour will highlight efforts of people who are reclaiming their rights to safe and ecologically sourced food, rights to resilient and thriving oceans, and to witness how the people are taking their power back by telling stories of survival and hope. In Guimaras, the tour will shine a spotlight on a future powered by renewable energy and our capability to move away from coal. The last stop will be Tacloban in Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Samar, Biliran) the region hardest hit by super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) - the deadliest storm to ever make landfall, where the local Waray-waray people are reclaiming their lives and telling their stories to hold the big polluters accountable.

“Last year, I traveled thousands of kilometers to the Arctic to bear witness to Norway’s attempt to drill for more oil, for more of the same thing that is causing this climate chaos. I look forward to welcoming the Rainbow Warrior to hear our stories and our hopes and to bear witness in our quest for climate justice. The world’s biggest producers of carbon continue to line their own pockets at the expense of people and the environment. They need to take responsibility and change the way they do their business in order for the world to survive,” said Haiyan survivor, writer and environmental activist Joanna Sustento.

This March, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) of the Philippines will be launching public hearings, first in Manila, to be followed by similar hearings in the U.S. and UK, as part of its investigation into the responsibility of the world’s carbon majors for human rights violations stemming from climate change.[1]

Community representatives from other countries, who are also fighting to reclaim rights threatened by climate change, will also be joining the ship tour activities. They include: Ingrid Skjoldvær, head of Nature and Youth, an organization, along with Greenpeace Nordic, that has brought a climate case against the Norwegian government; George Nacewa of the Pacific Climate Warriors in Fiji, and; Kelsey Juliana of Our Children’s Trust in the US.

They will be exchanging stories with their Filipino counterparts, as well as sharing their experiences to audiences during the ship tour as “living books” for a planned human “LIVErary” that the people of Eastern Visayas are setting up with the participation of Greenpeace and its partners.

“The Rainbow Warrior will be connecting people and their stories, as well as surfacing stories yet untold, about the impacts of the climate crisis on our rights as human beings. Like the balangaw (a Filipino term for “rainbow”) they are diverse and they herald hope. This is the beginning of a journey of justice, where the rights of future generations and of communities made vulnerable by climate change are the centre of our concern, rather than the bottom lines of fossil fuel companies.” said Desiree Llanos Dee, Climate Justice Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines.

For more information on “Balangaw: The Climate Justice Ship Tour ” visit www.greenpeace.org.ph/balangaw

Notes to Editors:


Relevant documents and additional information on this inquiry in the Philippines is available at: http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/press/releases/Worlds-largest-carbon-producers-ordered-to-respond-to-allegations-of-human-rights--abuses-from-climate-change/The-Climate-Change-and-Human-Rights-Petition/

Media Contacts:

JP Agcaoili, Media and Communications Manager, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
| +63 949 889 1334

Angelica Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines
| +63 949 889 1332

Katrina Eusebio, Communications and Digital Support Officer, Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines | | +63 999 229 6451

For photos and videos:

Grace Duran-Cabus, Photo Desk, Greenpeace Southeast Asia
| +63 949 889 1335