Oxfam Pilipinas staff joined the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and other organizations in a tree planting activity in Cotabato City last Thursday to commemorate World Humanitarian Day.
The activity emphasized the importance of advocating and acting locally on climate emergency, starting with reclaiming forest cover. It also conveyed a message of unity and to urge climate action for those who need it the most.
Besides civil society organizations and local government officials, indigenous peoples groups and community members joined the 8-kilometer trek to and from the planting site.
The Oxfam contingent was headed by Emergency Response Officer Abie Ayao and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) Advisor Esther Magdayo. Also present at the event were Oxfam partner United Youth of the Philippines-Women (UNYPHIL-Women) and other members of the Mindanao Humanitarian Team.
The World Humanitarian Day activities in Mindanao involved walking, hiking, mountain climbing and tree planting through the Bangsamoro Convergence Team Integrated Greening Program particularly with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Interior and Local Government, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform, Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority and Bangsamoro Information Office, in collaboration with the local government of Maguindanao and Datu Odin Sinsuat, and with the assistance of World Food Program.
The event was attended by 21 humanitarian organizations and around 70 Mindanao Humanitarian Team participants.
Oxfam joined organizations all over the world in #TheHumanRace, a worldwide climate action challenge to bring the demands of climate-vulnerable people to the forefront of the UN climate summit (COP) in November. The campaign is a call for world leaders to follow through on a decade-old commitment of $100 billion per year for climate mitigation and adaptation in impoverished countries.
The Philippines is among the most affected and climate-vulnerable countries in the world.