Peace and Security in the Pacific
“We used to have super storms every four years and these are the storms that you don’t forget. And then since 2005 we now have super storms every year, so that’s the impact [of climate change]. And then last year you have Yolanda, which is not a super storm it’s a perfect storm,” said Antonio Tujan Jr.
Mr Tujan is the International Director for a Civil Society Organisation – Ibon International – in the Philippines. During the Policy Forum on Development meeting held in Brussels earlier this year, he spoke about peace and security in Asia.
“Asia is a very challenged continent when it comes to peace and security. There are several conflict issues, there are wars going on,” explained Mr Tujan. This has brought peace and security to the top of the development agenda for many civil society organisations in the Pacific and Asia, and they are pushing for a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to address this.
But “for the Philippines and also around Asia, the question of peace and security is also a question of climate,” added Mr Tujan.
The effects of the increasing super storms are ‘horrific’ and threaten both peace and development. Many lives have been lost and those that are left behind life has been disrupted. For example, health and education infrastructures are damaged, while many people are left homeless.
“For Pilipinos we do understand climate change very well. But I don’t think that many people care about climate change or don’t realise the impact that it presents,” noted Mr Tujan.
In the following video Mr Tujan looks at the sources of conflict in the Philippines and the Pacific and discusses how we can increase European citizens’ awareness of climate change.
Mr Tujan concluded his interview by sharing a recent story that has marked both him and the Pilipino press. Earlier in the year a transgender individual was in a bar with a serviceman in Manilla, Philippines. They left to a motel, where the transgender individual was mutilated and then murdered by the serviceman in a crime of passion.
“It’s not a violence against a woman per se. But for a Philippine society it has been presented by and promoted by women’s organisations. Never mind that it is not a woman. But it expresses the form of sexual violence that mainly women in Asia or Philippines are experiencing,” concluded Mr Tujan.
This video was originally published as a blog. You can view it here.