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Labor thinktank Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) battles head-to-head with other climate change adaptation teams nationwide in friendly competition at the 1st Albay Eco-Challenge on October 25.

The ILS team, with its Green Workplaces advocacy is composed of eight employees of the ILS who are all geared up to run, bike, swim and struggle in a battle of endurance and wits in a series of physical and mental challenges set at the country’s first National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation.

“The Institute is one with the nation in the search for practical solutions to climate change,” said ILS Executive Director Cynthia R. Cruz.

“Work, workers and workplaces are most likely to bear the brunt of climate change given the unimaginable damage to livelihood and property that recent natural disasters have caused.  Solutions to avert risks must be done,” Cruz added.

The Philippines ranks 4th in the Global Climate Risk index according to (who?). This is computed by (how?)

The Albay Eco-Challenge is organized by the Albay Center for Initiatives and Research on Climate Adaptation (CIRCA) in celebration of the 2nd anniversary of the National Conference on Climate Change Adaptation.  The event is designed to increase awareness on climate change and other important environmental issues.

During the National Conference in 2007, the Albay Declaration was unanimously adopted.  The Declaration vowed to promote social dialogue between workers and employers to realize potential for green and decent jobs thru positive support for workers and employers in the transition towards environmentally sustainable patterns for production and consumption.

Green Workplaces

Among the priority deliverables of DOLE in response to climate change is its Green Workplace Advocacy.  “We want to start greening our workplaces to increase workers’ productivity, ensure occupational safety and health, and promote decent work. We want a workplace that is environmentally sensitive, resource efficient and socially responsible,” Cruz said.

To jumpstart the Department’s advocacy, it has begun its greening efforts at home, right within its premises, with an Eco-Audit meant to gauge the green compliance of its offices.  In the coming weeks, DOLE will be mapping green industries to identify green jobs.  This will culminate with a National Green Jobs Conference in 2010.

A “Greener” Silver Lining?

Lessons were learned with the onslaught of the successive disasters to hit the country. “There is a silver lining since climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives and measures will now take center change,” said Cruz.

“This will spur technical innovation and market expansion or diversification which, in turn, will generate new business opportunities, and therefore, create jobs – green jobs,” she added.

According to a paper published by the labor thinktank, In anticipation to climate change there is foreseen to be economy shifts to new patterns of production consumption and investments.  Investments in transitioning the economy to “green” gives rise to a new demand for labor.  These green investments create measurable impacts on employment as these now become the new source of green jobs.

“Green jobs reduce the environmental impacts of enterprises and economic sectors, ultimately to levels that are sustainable, said Ms. Linda Wirth, Director of the International Labor Organization(ILO), Subregional Office for the Southeast Asia and the Pacific Manila Office, during the Working World Trialogues on Green Jobs in 2008.   “This includes jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity; reduce energy, material and water consumption through high efficiency strategies decarbonizes the economy; or minimize or altogether avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.”

The Green Workplace Advocacy is part of the six priority deliverables of the More than Jobs Campaign of the Department of Labor and Employment.  The six priority deliverables include Project Jobs Fit, Projec SPEED, Project Kabuhayan Starter Kits and Project Ready-Tech-Go.

Press Release
Linartes M. Viloria
Institute for Labor Studies, Department of Labor and Employment
Contact Nos.: (02) 5273490/5273452 /  Fax: (02) 5273491