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360° perspectives on Climate Change and Sustainability

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So thank you Athena. What do you think of the international systems and negotiations for adressing climate change? Well I think 2010 is a critical year specially for this country Mexico you are hosting the biggest climate negotiations called COP16 in Cancun is a very big challenging year, I think there is hope that somehow, at least conversations around international finance and the architecture of the post 2012 financial mechanism will be resolved in Cancun Do you think those are the main issues? Financial and architecture? I think the two major issues are international financial mechanisms and also deeper emission reductions from the part of developed countries, those are the two things that will help to address the major barriers around climate negotiations. I undersand, Which stakeholders should be included and perhaps are not? Well, right now governments representatives are the main people involved on the negotiations and to a certain extent NGO´s and civil society groups are involved, but I think many governments can do more to include indigenous people communities, women, youth, the labor sector I think these are very important constituencies and stakeholders that could push governments towards successful outcomes for COP16 Great, What do you think of our relationship, as culture with the environment, what we do collectively to the environment? Well I think a culture defines, you know, countries and individuals behavior, and the whole issue of consumption people have very serious and deep and irrational consumption patterns, but If people really care about the environment You need to shed some of those consumption values and make sure that people live simply and according to their means and ends. Exactly, Do you think that perhaps the church and the media and also private sector play a role here? The NGO´s? absolutely, I mean climate change, as everybody is saying, is the biggest, most important environmental threat facing humanity, Its not just about a country like Mexico, or mine, The Philippines so is a problem of all countries of all people of the world, so in order to address such a big global problem, all stakeholders should be involved The media has a very important role in one raising the alarm and communicating the sense of urgency so that governments and other shareholders will move The private sector has a very important one because a lot of the aspects related to the problems that caused climate change, indirectly or directly are supported by the private sector so there has to be a change on how private sector and investments are in the next ten years and private sector is a big source of finance and investments for clean technologies for resilient low carbon technologies and policies in developing countries. Great, what about churches and religions, the spiritual view Well I come from a very catholic country, the Philippines and I think the church and faith based organizations play a major role, one in communicating the sense of urgency and protecting God´s creation, second I think the catholic church and faith based organizations care a lot about communities and people and I think at the end of the day, any international process should really be about protecting life and its integrity That´s beautiful now, how do you live nature, which are your favorite places? Well I’m from a country with seven thousand one hundred islands, so I’m an Island girl I love the simplest things you know going to the mountains or going to the beach or a lake preferably with no resorts, and too much commercial development. How do you feel there? I feel like a very small kid you know we call it communing with nature just being with nature enjoying the water and the beaches and taking really long hikes to the mountains my children are really young and I want them to grow old 10, 15 or 20 years from now into a environment that is still relatively clean and safe. Ok, ok, great; Do you have a thought on our lack of integration as individuals, regarding our mind, our body and our spirit and our collective relationship with nature, do you think that if something is broken at the individual level, will it show on the environment? What do you think of this? Absolutely, You know, I got involved into the environmental movement because I was helping indigenous women on protected areas of the Philippines protect the environment and the products that they produce and I have so much high regard for indigenous communities, because I think that they are the best stewards of this earth, and I think a lot of individuals should learn from indigenous tribal communities, one because they don’t have this sense of commercial consumption and two they don’t care about material things, they care about primarily about the environment, I think a lot of human beings could learn from the values and how indigenous communities value and treasure their ecosystems and maybe we´ll have a, safer, healthier planet for all. Aho I hear you, and last what are your consumption habits? Do you separate your trash? Absolutely, Do you save water and energy? Yes, I try to, if available take public transportation and we have a project in the Philippines that promotes the use of electric Jeeps? Like small buses, and electricity comes from biodegradable waste And my kids are taught from very early to recycle and use whatever it is they can reuse and recycle... And try and save water and energy, as much as we can... Great, thank you, Athena, that was all.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes
Country: Mexico
Language: English
Producer: Clima Integral
Director: Pablo Quiroga
Views: 119
Posted by: climaintegral on Sep 22, 2010

Interview to Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros
Senior Associate at WRI’s Institutions and Governance program

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