Environmental News: Ahead of UN Special Rapporteur visit, Kalikasan calls on Marcos Jr. admin to act on climate and human rights

As United Nations Special Rapporteur on Climate Change and Human Rights Ian Fry prepares for his official country visit to the Philippines, environmental and human rights groups urged the UN team to “conduct a thorough, impartial investigation” into the reported environmental and human rights violations that have taken place under the Marcos Jr. administration.

Environmental News: Ahead of UN Special Rapporteur visit, Kalikasan calls on Marcos Jr. admin to act on climate and human rights

“The visit of Special Rapporteur Ian Fry marks a critical moment in bringing our fight for climate justice and human rights to the international level,” said Jon Bonifacio, national coordinator of the environmental group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE). “A thorough investigation into the situation of climate change and human rights in the Philippines will undoubtedly reveal that Marcos Jr.’s aspiration to portray himself a climate advocate internationally is nothing but mere posturing.”

The UN visit, lasting from November 6 to 15, marks the second time a UN Special Rapporteur has been permitted by the Marcos Jr. administration to make an official country visit. The Special Rapporteur’s focus areas include climate change-related displacement; climate change legislation and litigation; business and human rights; protection of environmental defenders; and climate change-related loss and damage.

While President Marcos Jr. has repeatedly recognized climate change as a priority issue in his speeches, groups like Kalikasan PNE have been critical of the administration’s policies, noting “the continuation of policies of plunder” under the Marcos Jr. administration. The group cited the fact that controversial projects such as the New Manila International Airport in Manila Bay and the Kaliwa Dam project affecting Rizal and Quezon have pushed through, despite the fact these may potentially worsen climate change impacts.

Kalikasan PNE also noted the government’s lack of response regarding the continuing trend of attacks against land and environmental advocates. A recent report from international human rights watchdog Global Witness ranked the Philippines as the deadliest country in Asia for land and environmental advocates for the 10th straight year.

Alongside Philippine UPR Watch, a network of organizations focused on following UN processes related to the Philippines, Kalikasan PNE called on the Marcos Jr. administration to act immediately on these issues. Proposed action points include implementing a nationwide moratorium on massive coastal reclamation, repealing legislation such as the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 and the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, and establishing legal mechanisms to ensure accountability from private project proponents.

“We hope that the Special Rapporteur’s visit will result in pushing the Marcos administration to repeal its draconian policies and change ecologically-destructive programs,” said Clemente Bautista Jr. of Philippine UPR Watch. “Now more than ever, we must push back against any attempts of the government to escape accountability in the face of our continuing human rights and climate crisis.” #


Jon Bonifacio
National Coordinator, Kalikasan PNE
secretariat@kalikasan.net / 0939 913 6943

Clemente Bautista Jr.
Spokesperson, Philippine UPR Watch
International Officer, Kalikasan PNE
enteng@kalikasan.net / 09171372939]