Philippines joins the global call for Arctic protection

Manila/Davao, April 20 — Filipinos showed their support for the environment by participating in Greenpeace’s Global Day of Arctic Action –  a united movement that seeks to have the Arctic declared as a global sanctuary.

Today, more than 10,000 people from over 280 cities across the world are expected to come together to form human banners which will all say ‘I ♥ Arctic’. From Buenos Aires to Bangkok, Montreal to Manila, people will be united and demand that political leaders protect the fragile Arctic environment on this Global Day of Arctic Action.

“Millions of people are demanding that the pristine Arctic be protected through a total ban on oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean,” said Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director for Greenpeace International. “Our dependence on dirty fossil fuels is mistakenly associated with progress and prosperity, but it brings with it the destruction of both environments and economies. Another way is possible. It is possible, and our political leaders can do this now.”

Two separate ‘I ♥ Arctic’ events were held in the Philippines. South of Manila, some 200 Greenpeace volunteers, supporters and students formed a human banner in the Lyceum of the Philippines Cavite Campus. Down in Davao, another 200 student volunteers from the University of Southeastern Philippines- Obrero Campus also took part in the fun solidarity event.

“Protecting the ice means protecting us all. The Philippines today showed its solidarity with the rest of the world by declaring their love for the Arctic,” said Amalie Obusan, Regional Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “Since the start of Greenpeace’s Arctic campaign back in May 2012, many have expressed their support to help save the melting North Pole. So far, we have more than 8,000 Pinoys who have signed our Save the Arctic petition. Clearly, there is already a growing concern among Filipinos on the ill-effects of climate change which we are already experiencing in this part of the world.”

In London, a 4D projection mapping that will transform an iconic building into the pristine Arctic will take place; in Rio de Janeiro, the Sugarloaf Mountain will serve as a “heart’ backdrop for the Arctic; while in Washington DC, hundreds of people will form a big human heart in front of the Capitol building which houses the US Congress.

Hundreds of pictures from the I ♥ Arctic events will be collected and consolidated into a book that will be hand-delivered to Arctic foreign ministers convening at an Arctic Council meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, in May. Greenpeace says that no one nation should own the Arctic or be allowed to exploit the melting ice, a crisis created by climate change, for more of the very fuels that caused the melt in the first place.

“After returning from the North Pole just a week ago and having experienced the fragile beauty of the high North first-hand, seeing this global mobilisation of people gathering in the joint call for Arctic protection fills me with gratitude and hope. Now it is up to the decision makers in the Arctic Council to listen to an ever growing global movement and to create a global sanctuary at the top of the world.” said Josefina Skerk, an Arctic youth ambassador and member of the Sami Parliament.

Skerk recently returned from a week-long trek to the North Pole with Greenpeace. They lowered the names of nearly three million people, and a Flag for the Future onto the seabed at the North Pole.

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