Out to push a strong statement on clean energy while Bohol is obviously trying to position itself into tapping an additional source for its growing industries, 11 eco-advocates start off an epic journey of 99 kilometers in three days to dramatize the call towards 100% clean energy for Bohol.
“This is also to echo a global call of the people’s pilgrimage for 100% clean energy,” the group through its spokesperson Liza Macalandag said.
The three-day pilgrimage dubbed Bagtas Lunhaw: Bohol Climate Walk 2015 started at the Tagbilaran Plaza Rizal last Friday at 3 oâ€™clock in the afternoon, where the small group of known Bohol environmental advocates started off with the reading of their mission, and a few body stretching exercises.
In the signed position statement, the walkers said they are advocating for Boholâ€™s conversion to renewable sources of energy.
â€œItâ€™s time to transition to clean energy alternatives that could meet all our energy needs without the danger of running out or harming all life on the island. Solar, wind, or hydro, Boholâ€™s potential for a clean and efficient energy system is boundlessâ€, the statement says.
â€œWe call on the government and the private sector to support and invest in 100% clean energy.â€
This expedition is registered with the Peopleâ€™s Pilgrimage, a worldwide movement of people â€“ of all faiths and none â€“ who are taking their own journeys, big and small, to visit the places at the heart of the climate crisis at risk or affected already, or places that demonstrate inspiring solutions for a fossil-free future.
Admitting no politics, the walks remain independent and non-aligned, mostly self-funded, and partially supported by friends of the Bohol Climate Walkers, their statement said.
The BaktasLunhaw is in solidarity with similar walks calling for climate action currently going on worldwide to coincide with the start of the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP21, the annual meeting of all countries for the climate, which, this year, takes place in Paris, France on November 30 to December 11.
In the Philippines, apart from Bohol, climate pilgrimages are also done in Negros Island, Cebu, Albay, Manila, Mindoro and many others.
Fearing for the option to put up the easiest to set up energy sources, eco-walkers said coal is the dirtiest energy source, and whatever anyone would have us believe, the coal fuel cycle is among the most destructive activities on earth.
Coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of manmade CO2 emissions. The burning of coal endangers our health, pollutes air and water, harms our land, and drives global warming, making coal the greatest threat facing our climate, they asserted.
The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Islands like Bohol stand to lose so much as the changing climate exposes us to rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions, bringing in stronger and more frequent typhoons and heat waves, they asserted.
But all hope is not lost. Renewable and sustainable energy sources are available to help us meet our energy needs without danger of running out or harming all life in the island. Solar, wind, or hydro, Boholâ€™s potential for a clean and efficient energy system is boundless. The energy choices we make today significantly determine the future of our home. Itâ€™s time to transition to clean energy alternatives, according to their signed statement.
“We particularly urge local governments in Bohol to make bold political decisions and commit to reducing emissions through climate-friendly policies, and in partnership with the private sector, invest and implement innovative solutions that promote clean energy and efficient consumptions. We also call on the Boholano community in general to foster sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles,” the group urged.
They eco-advocate walkers have set sleepover stops in Loay on the first day, in Garcia Hernandez on Day 2, November 28 before getting to Bohol’s newest beaching capital Anda on Sunday evening.
Along the way, brown bag sessions on climate crisis, the climate talks and papal encyclical Laudato Si are held.
Organizers in Bohol also hope that the walk would enlighten local officials to choose the right energy for Bohol, who is now poised to plan an inland energy source owing to past experiences.
Now largely dependent on Leyte’s hydro power interconnection, Bohol learned a hard lesson in 2013 when typhoon Haiyan knocked offÂ power towers, completely putting Bohol in total darkness for days.Â Â (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)