Welcome to our Series „Humans of Climate Action“. This series is dedicated to uplifting non-European climate activists.
This interview is with Ivana, from Quezon-City, Philippines.
Ivana is active with the Climate Reality Leaders.
You can read the German translation of this interview here.

(c) Ivana Joaquin

1.) Can you tell us something about yourself?

Hi! My name is Ivana Joaquin. I’m Filipino, and am an architecture student from the University of the Philippines – Diliman.

2.) Can you tell us a bit more about your personal motivation?

I like believing that the world is capable of being better in a holistic manner through the intervention of tangible solutions. To aid in this intervention, one must admit to seeing the problems and then actively work on mitigation—be it in the form of education, innovation, support, or the like. I believe that our goal is achievable and a worthwhile endeavour.

3.) What is your role in the climate movement?

As a student, I focus more on advocacy work, awareness spreading. I’m a Climate Reality Leader, and, therefore, a trained presenter for The Climate Reality Project by Al Gore. In my environmental organization University of the Philippines Haring Ibon, we have local projects (like CLEAN UP, BOTE, Environmental Workshops, and Birdwatching) which we use to engage our community and learn about Philippine biodiversity, the state of our environment and how to take care of it, and the importance of interconnectedness together.

4.) What is the movement like in your country?

A part of our movement is spearheaded by our indigenous peoples. They are a big part of the awareness spreading, and keeping our wildlife and forests protected. The movement is steadily gaining momentum with advocacy work and sustainable solutions by our youth and professionals.

5.) What do you love about your region?

The Philippines has a lot of rainforests, mangroves, and beaches. I grew up going to local beaches over holidays and breaks, so beaches hold a special place in my memory. I believe that Filipinos are adaptive, and do our best to make the most out of the resources we’re given. I really admire this aspiration to be resilient.

Skecth of Quezon-City

6.) What is the most serious environmental problem in your region?

I think that the climate migration and solid waste management problems are the most serious ones in the country. There have been efforts to help reduce these, but there’s still much room for improvement. The social housing situation, enforcement of environmental laws to protect both people and natural habitats, and the like—all of these can be improved.

7.) What is the most successful campaign you participated in or heard about?

Recently, I’ve been looking into regenerative practices. I believe that “Regeneration Philippines” by the Filipino League of Organic Municipalities, Cities and Provinces (LOAMCP) and their collaboration with Regenerative International (RI) is a good effort that promotes sustainable farming practices. We also have bioremediation and phytoremediation efforts in communities where its use is applicable. These may improve the ecosystem of the communities, and, therefore, improve the overall quality of life of the families who live there.

I find actions like these empowering and inspiring. They remind me that action is possible and that goals are better achieved when you work on them as a community.  

8.) What are your talents and abilities in a fight for a better world?

I try to have as much educational discourse as I can with people who share my aspirations. I am able to gain and contribute to environmental consciousness this way. Personally, I believe that the ability to reach out and ask about how you can help out is a super power. I muster a lot of courage to allow myself to be open and listen and share my resources with others.

9.) What is your vision for the planet, the nature and us humans in 2050? Do you think it’s realistic?

I would like to see a world that puts a premium on interconnectedness. Sustainable practices and development, better collaboration with environmental professionals, going back-to-basic and studying the mutually respectful relationship indigenous communities have with the environment, and the like have the potential of being normalized. I do believe that these are realistic. Our planet needs healing. As people, as caretakers, we should take it upon ourselves to start the healing process.

10.) Anything else you want to tell us?

It’s lovely to keep in mind that every step you take to create positive change is a step worth taking. It starts with one thing, so let’s start.

You can follow Ivana on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivanamjoaquin/

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