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Support to Environmental Defenders in the Philippines

The Czech Embassy in Manila through the TRANSITION programme of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic supported in 2020 the project of Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines  entitled „Defending the Rights of Environmental Defenders in the Philippines“.


Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines (CEC) together with partner environmental defenders' organization had achieved many goals through the Czech-funded project, which CEC completed in September 2020. It increased capacity in launching environmental campaigns through the Environmental Campaigners’ Course (EnviCore). CEC also managed to increase public awareness with more than 500 participants in Zoom and more than 9,000 in Facebook livestream in the webinars who came from different sectors and organizations. There were almost a 1,000 publications printed and e-book versions were sent out.

The Environmental Campaigners’ Course (EnviCore) was a 2-day training held online on September 26-27, 2020 focused on basic ecological principles such as ecological processes and the balance of nature, climate change and training for environmental defenders.

Round Table Discussion on the Environmental Defenders Bill with environmental organizations and law groups was conducted on September 29, 2020 online with the aim to discuss the development of the bill, present third draft of the bill, encourage comments and to gather support from participating organizations.

Policy Dialogue on the Environmental Defenders Bill was held on June 18, 2020. It included discussion on the context of the drafting of the Environmental Defenders Bill (advancements in policies such as the rights of nature, right to clean, healthy and sustainable environment, including of provisions on environmental defenders etc.).

CEC held Environmental Heroes Awards (Gawad Bayani ng Kalikasan or GBK) on September 28 via Zoom and Facebook livestreaming with more than 700 viewers. In 2020, CEC gathered 21 nominees for the Individual Awards Category and 16 nominees for the Organizational Awards Category. The Awards Committee decided to have two Most Distinguished Awardees which are both post-humous. The first is Regina Paz “Gina” Lopez who led the rehabilitation and environmental awareness programs of the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. – Bantay Kalikasan. The second Most Distinguished Awardee is Robert Verzola who focuses on advocacy for social justice and social and ecological transformation. There were three Organizational Awardees - Nagpakabanang Mananagat sa Tigao, Organizational Awardee and the United Organization of Didipio Residents.

The Webinar on the Human Rights and Environmental Defenders in the Philippines, held on August 10, 2020 on Zoom and Facebook, discussed the struggle of environmental defenders in the Philippines and the experience of the local communities, particularly mining operations in South Cotobato, in the Typhoon Yolanda affected-communities, and the reclamation project in Manila City.

The project also included the publication of „Defending the Defenders“ which was distributed to the members of the Environmental Defenders Congress as well as other organizations and individuals. It included the state of environmental defenders in the country including the challenges that they are facing and the ways they were addressing these, including influence of COVID-19 pandemic and Anti-Terror Act, which showed its impacts on environmental defenders.

Link to the website: www.cecphils.org


Support to Environmental Defenders in the Philippines