Statement from the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity

As friends and family of those whose lives have been uprooted by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), we are deeply saddened by another tragedy in the saga of natural disasters in the Philippines. We are hopeful that communities here in the US and around the world will come together to support disaster relief in the Philippines and real solutions to end this cycle of crisis.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries, witnessing a frightening regularity of devastating typhoons and super-typhoons like Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009, Bopha (Pablo) in 2012, and now Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Every year, thousands are displaced and countless lives are uprooted.

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the strongest typhoon in recorded history, may appear to be an isolated disaster, but it is part of a continuum of ongoing crisis rooted in injustice and environmental vulnerability. Tropical storm intensity is increasing due to oceanic warming of unprecedented rates, and poorer countries are bearing the brunt of climate change caused by decades of air pollution from industry of wealthy countries.

This week the annual United Nations climate summit (COP) began in Poland. Philippines climate negotiator Yeb Saño urged bold international action to reduce emissions and commit to climate financing: “Let Poland, let Warsaw, be remembered as the place where we truly cared to stop this madness.”

“We cannot go on like this. It cannot be a way of life that we end up running always from storms,” Saño said.

FACES is beginning a climate justice campaign to connect groups in California to groups in the Philippines who are developing climate resilience programs. We already see farmers implementing sustainable agricultural practices, local communities co-managing natural resources, and states like California taking leadership in greenhouse-gas reduction. In this moment of tragedy, we also find hope.

We ask you to join us in donating to groups who are helping affected communities with disaster relief on the ground and building long-term resilience:

This event has revealed the real impacts of climate change being felt now, in the Philippines and all over the world. FACES calls our allies to support long-term community capacity- and resilience-building in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) as we work together to build solutions to this cycle of environmental crisis.

In Solidarity,

FACES Board of Directors

Media contacts:
Adrien Salazar
Mari Rose Taruc