TWO MONTHS before the major climate change gathering in Paris, France highlights the role of civil society in climate negotiations in the Philippines and abroad through a Climate Week in Manila.
France, as the host of the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) this December, is responsible for facilitating negotiations and consultations between governments and other stakeholders in preparation for this conference.
Given this mandate, the Embassy of France to the Philippines will be organizing COP21: The Road to Paris Starts in Manila — also called Climate Week — from Oct. 5 to 11, with a series of activities involving various nongovernment organizations, experts, students, members of the academe, and artists.
COP21 takes its inspiration from the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change, an appeal directed to the international community to cooperate in addressing climate change and to support the conclusion of an ambitious, universal and legally binding agreement to limit the warming of the Earth to below 2°C, which was launched by French President François Hollande, along with President Benigno S. C. Aquino III, during his state visit to the country on Feb. 26.
Climate Week opens on Oct. 5 with a reception at the Alliance Française de Manille, during which a photo exhibit on the environment entitled Surface Tension: Perspectives on the Changing Landscape by artists Wawi Navarroza, Veejay Villafranca, and MM Yu will be opened. When Heaven Wept, a film by Film Development Council of the Philippines Chairman Briccio Santos on the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, will also be premiered at the Alliance Française de Manille cinematheque.
Conferences on COP21, climate justice, the preservation and conservation of culture and heritage, the role of media, and sustainable cities and energy transition will be held in various universities from Oct. 6 to 8. The public can participate in these discussions by registering through ClimateWeekPH@gmail.com.
Highlighting the role of art as an expression of their commitment for the climate and in inspiring others to take action, local artists will be given venues to exhibit or perform their craft at the Archivo 1984 Gallery and the Pineapple Lab Gallery in Makati from Oct. 6 to 10.
Various French films on the environment will be shown to the public free of charge on Oct. 6 and 7 at the Alliance Française de Manille.
A special exhibit entitled 60 Solutions to Address Climate Change by French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand will open for public viewing at the Senate of the Philippines from Oct. 9 to 23.
Climate Rhythms, a free concert featuring artists dedicated to the protection of the environment, organized in partnership with Dakila, will be held at the Rizal Park Open-Air Auditorium on Oct. 10.
To formally close the week-long event, the diplomatic corps, representatives from the government, civil society, media personalities, and environmental advocates will be invited to a symbolic cycling event called Bike to Paris on Oct. 11. Participants will ride their bikes from Kilometer Zero to the SM Mall of Asia Globe to symbolize the road from Manila to COP21 in Paris.
“During Climate Week, we want to engage everyone, and we hope that this would let Filipinos know that there is action happening at the local and global levels to save our planet. We invite everyone to participate in our activities, and we hope that this would inspire action as well,” said French Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Laurent Legodec.
For more details and for the complete schedule of activities, visit www.ambafrance-ph.org or www.facebook.com/FrenchEmbassyManila and www.twitter.com/FrenchEmbassyPH. For questions, send an e-mail to ClimateWeekPH@gmail.com.