TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Environment and natural Resources (DENR) based here is enlisting the involvement and cooperation of church people in climate change mitigation and adaptation advocacy campaign.

Leonardo Sibbaluca, DENR regional executive director, in an interview, said that together with the Climate Change Commission, the DENR-8 sponsored a one-day Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change participated by more than 200 church people from all over the region and other parts of the country. Sibbaluca said that the September 2 activity was just one among the series of regional and national dialogues on climate change which convened by the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, the Climate Change Congress of the Philippines, Climate Change Commission and the DENR.

“It aimed to provide the opportunity to bring together scientists, government experts and decision-makers, Catholic bishops and various religious congregations and ecumenical groups share knowledge, experiences and commitments in addressing pressing climate issues at the local, national and international levels,” Sibbaluca said. The DENR executive director said that his office is calling on the active participation and involvement of the church in pursuing programs and projects that would help mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
Sibbaluca pointed out that climate change has its causes and effects and how it impacts vulnerable countries like the Philippines and its people. “Global warming and climate change are environmental concerns which affect all of us,” he said. Former senator and now Commissioner of the Climate Change Commission Heherson Alvarez graced the interfaith dialogue with a presentation on the topic “Earth in Peril: A Climate change situationer”.

According to him, while climate change should be an issue of science and technology, it is likewise and issue of morality because of the various man-made destructive activities leading to climate change. Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro City, who also attended the said activity, discussed “How Faith Communities Can Lead the Secular Environmental Movement”. He emphasized that the environment is God’s gift to everyone, and that the church has a responsibility towards creation and integral human development, it was further learned. (RESTITUTO A. CAYUBIT)