Climate crisis remains the biggest threat to children’s future with loss of lives, missing out on school, diseases, and hunger and malnutrition due to food insecurity, according to Save the Children Philippines.
At the global Earth Day celebration, the child-rights organization said that limited mobility with the community quarantine help prevent spread of coronavirus, at the same time helped reduce carbon footprints and improved air quality.
Atty. Alberto Muyot, Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children Philippines said the COVID-19 pandemic opens opportunities to re-think of ways to protect nature and secure our children’s future.
“Children suffer the worst impact of the climate crisis, including deaths from extreme weather events such as typhoons, flash floods and severe drought,” said Atty. Muyot, adding, “it is ironic that children suffer the most being the least responsible for climate change.”
The Philippines ranked second in the Global Climate Risk Index in 2020, next to Japan after it was hit by Typhoon Mangkhut -the most powerful typhoon recorded worldwide in 2018. It has affected 250,000 people and killed 59 people.
Jonathan Valdez, Climate Resilience and Environmental Sustainability focal person of Save the Children Philippines, said children who comprise almost half of the population face negative impact of disasters and climate change – leading to morbidities, mortalities, and unsafe living and learning environments.
“The limitation of some human activities has immediate effect to our environment – significantly reducing air pollution and minimizing waste generation. This proves that the 'new normal' under this crisis also bring opportunities as we move forward. It teaches us values that we can act as one and even individually in big and small ways in protecting our environment,” said Valdez.
Save the Children Philippines believes that while we continue to reduce the risks of infection and prevent further spread of the coronavirus, our collective actions in moving forward should lead to more sustainable solutions and shift to environment-friendly ways of living.