The Climate Reality in the Philippines

THE CLIMATE REALITY LEADERSHIP TRAINING EXPERIENCE

           My experience in the three days training of The Climate Reality Leadership Training last March 14-16, 2016. The first day was an exciting day for me because this training was an international one and my very first international conference. I like meeting other people, especially from other countries because I usually learn from their stories and experiences. I was also thrilled when I found out that Al Gore was the main presenter of this training. The first time I saw his video “The Inconvenient Truth” I was still in grade school. His video about climate change got marked in my mind and changed my point of view about the environment and my future.

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I never thought it would be possible for me to see him in person and actually witness his presentation live. I felt it was really a pleasure meeting people like Al Gore standing up in his work and perspective about climate change. I am also lucky to meet other Climate Reality Corps teams such as president of The Climate Reality Corps himself Mario Molina and Vice president of the Climate Reality Corps Ken Berlin.

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Mario Molina                                                  Ken Berlin

I came to this training not only as Elda Rhea Olimpo of Baguio City but I came to this training to represent our organization the Cordillera Conservation Trust. I am confident and proud to share about the work of CCT.

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Before the Training starts we were arranged by groups with similar working backgrounds. Each group has an assigned mentor. Our mentor was Zsolt Bauer from Hungary. He is the Head of Communication and PR of the Regional Environmental Center in Hungary, Europe.  I am fortunate to have Zsolt Bauer as my mentor throughout the three days training because he was really approachable and helpful during the training. I was happy to have a conversation with my mentor regarding my work and what CCT has been doing in the past years and other platforms for the next years’ work. He mentioned about Europeans are crazy about riding their bicycles because public transportation are too expensive in their country. According to Zsolt, in winter people love to ski in the mountains and in summer the people carry their bike going up the mountain and enjoyed long downhill rides. He also shared some of his experiences and observations in their country that he was hoping that other continents would also practice. This is to bike to other villages or other places and letting the locals cook for your food. In Europe they called it Environmental Tourism. This is designed for countries or places where their main industry is tourism. I shared him one of our programs, specifically the landscape walk project. Which would develop Trekking/ hiking from village to village.

20160316_095607 With my mentor Zsolt Bauer

The Climate Reality Project Training was one of the most interesting trainings I have attended as it was an international event with many different personalities with very interesting backgrounds and work experiences. It was eye opening as to what is really happening in our world today. What human beings are doing in this world not thinking about what kind of future is waiting for us if we continue the kind of lifestyle that we have. I was amazed of Al Gore’s standing up on what is right and sharing what he knew and what he is still finding out about what is happening in our world.
I think that this training has changed me a lot in the sense of looking back at what I have known before and trying to see what could be waiting for my future. I was inspired of Al Gore and other Climate Reality Leaders in fighting and defending mother earth from people’s selfish and wicked actions. I admire that they have traveled the world to share the word about climate change and also educating people how to be a climate reality leader and how to be an effective climate activist.

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During the training I met some millennial’s. They were asking why they have to carry the burden of protecting and conserving the environment now? What did the older people do about it? Why we are the one who suffers? These questions sound like they are blaming the older people for not having a good future with the environment today. My perspective about this thought is that it is not about blaming or pinpointing whose fault it is but we should all work together to save what is left in our environment. As an environmentalist it is an everyday battle doing your best to protect, conserve or even share the word about what people should be doing to be able to protect our forests. People usually laugh at us even receive negative reactions but as AL Gore emphasize this kind of battle “I believe that we will win this” even though a lot of people laugh and do not want to work with us in making the world better. But the truth is you don’t have to be an environmentalist in profession to feel the obligation of doing the right things but it’s everybody’s obligation to protect mother earth. This is simply showing respect in our own home. Let us not wait what will happen if we don’t act now. Let us not wait nature’s revenge on us human beings. Be a climate activist and one of the few people trying to save earth, our home.

Throughout the training I was overwhelmed with new information and ideas that every time I came home to my sister’s apartment at the end of the day I was very much excited to share what I had learned from the training. I was able to see small things bigger. I was able to overcome my fear of standing up for what I believe in about protecting the forest but this training is more of an awakening of not to be afraid and not to be ashamed because we know we can win this war with climate change. We human beings must be afraid of nature’s revenge. Climate change is a war caused by human beings and not a natural phenomenon that is part of the nature’s cycle. I hope people will start thinking about the future and fear Nature’s Revenge on us because of how we treat Mother Nature, our home.

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I am Elda Rhea Olimpo “elda the explorer”, Coordinator and Education officer of the Cordillera Conservation Trust. Inc., Forest  Builder and Climate Reality Leader.