Climate change and human rights forum

Filipina nun Sister Mary Francis Anover The Commission for Mission joined with St Albans Uniting Church to host a unique forum on climate change and human rights in June.

The forum brought together David Spratt, author of Climate Code Red, film maker Kim Nguyen, Charlie Ocampo of Act for Peace and Filipina nun Sister Mary Francis Anover (pictured), who discussed relief efforts and problems after Typhoon Haiyan.

Typhoon Haiyan was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded and devastated the Philippines on 8 November 2013. It was the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, with an estimated 6,268 people killed.

Sister Anover said she came to Australia to let the government know of alleged corruption regarding relief funds earmarked for victims of the disaster.

“We are worried about the failure of our Philippines government in response to the disaster and the rehabilitation after Typhoon Haiyan.

“We know very well that international donors like Australia poured millions of Australian dollars into the Philippines for relief.

“We can see that there is corruption of money given by international donors and agencies and countries. We want the Australian government and people to know about that,” Ms Anover said.

She also said Australian mining companies were causing rampant environmental vandalism in her country.

“In the case of mining, I spoke to the CEO of Xstrata and in the Australian Catholic Missions about the letter from our 20 Bishops in Mindanao who were also worried about the effects of mining.

“These companies are creating environmental degradation and displacing the indigenous people in Mindanao (the Philippines southern island) as well as the increasing number of human rights violations in that mining area,” she said.

The Commission for Mission’s Justice and International Mission (JIM) unit is currently working to create a Climate Change and Human Rights Network where Filipinos and other communities get together to raise the profile of these most pressing issues.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Berlin Guerrero, social justice officer at the JIM unit,
E: Ph: 0499 303 911

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