Filipino youth joins global movement for climate action

Filipino youth joins global movement for climate action

Hundreds of young people join the launching of Laudato Si Generation – Philippines at the Quezon City Memorial Circle June 22. COURTESY OF LAUDATO’ SI GEN – PILIPINAS

By Roy Lagarde

June 23, 2019

Manila, Philippines

Church leaders and green advocates are banking on the youth to work on ecological issues, especially climate change.

Hundreds of young people gathered at the Quezon City Memorial Circle over the weekend and called attention to the world’s environmental problems.

The call highlighted the launching of the Philippine chapter’s “Laudato Si Generation”, which is the youth branch of the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

Columban Fr. John Leydon of GCCM Philippines said the local chapter is the response of young Filipinos to the global call “to move young people for the earth”.

“We need the youth, the planet needs the youth,” Fr. Leydon said. “Without the youth, nothing’s going to happen.”

The creation of Laudato Si Gen – Philippines, he said, is also “very significant” because the country one of the world’s vulnerable places to climate change.

“People will listen to the youth because they are looking into the future,” said Fr. Leydon.

The launching was highlighted with a Mass presided over by Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona of Caceres, who heads Caritas Philippines.

It also coincided with the third fourth anniversary of Laudato Si, the papal encyclical letter which was pivotal in building the momentum for the historic Paris Agreement.

In his homily, he urged the youth to make their own history by joining advocacies for the betterment of the community and not to let their lives be a “blank page”.

“Get involved advocacies especially on the one which is so important to the heart of God: love, care and protection of mother nature,” Tirona said.

Launched during the World Youth Day in Panama in January, the global youth movement called on church and political leaders to take climate change seriously.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila earlier called on young Filipinos to join the movement and be oriented with the need to care for the environment.

“Let us take care of our environment and the world we live in which will be inherited by the future generation,” he said.

Laudato Si’ Gen already has thousands of members worldwide, primarily between the ages of 15 to 30. It holds regular webinars and members can join working groups focused on outreach, spirituality, communication and activism.