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Flicker of HOPE: A Mini Documentary on SUSTAINABILITY

Stories of communities, local government units, and organizations leading the way for clean energy, sustainable urban mobility, and waste management solutions were featured in the Climate Reality Project Philippines’ mini-documentary “Flicker of Hope.” 

Narrated by House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Climate Reality Leader and United Nations Global Champion of Resilience, the documentary was created in partnership with Solar Hope, Light Of Hope PH, MNL Moves, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, 350 Pilipinas, and First Gen Corporation.

“The word “flicker” refers to an unsteady movement of a flame or light that causes rapid variations in brightness. In the context of our #EarthDay2021 celebration, the flicker of hope refers to stories of innovative actions on the ground that need to be replicated and scaled up to help restore our planet,” Nazrin Castro, Philippines Branch Manager of Climate Reality, said.

For clean energy solutions, the documentary put the spotlight on social impact startup Light of Hope PH and non-profit organization Solar Hope, which are both working to uplift the lives of off-grid communities by providing them access to renewable energy.

Light of Hope started in 2017 with the Solar Night Lamp in a Bottle Project, which provides solar lamps made out of upcycled PET bottles, small solar panel, battery, and LED bulb. “We were able to serve 1,400 family beneficiaries, upcycled 2,800 PET plastic bottles, and help reduce and avoid 182,000 kilograms of carbon emissions per year,” Climate Reality Leader Jovie Gil Montajes, Founder of Light of Hope, shared in the documentary.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Montajes shared that they developed the CloudGrid Project to better serve communities in need. The CloudGrid version 1 prototype, which is equipped with a smart meter inside that directly communicates to the CloudGrid sever, is capable of providing electricity to power LED bulbs and charge mobile devices through solar energy.

Montajes said that their goal for 2021 is to build and deploy 500 to 1,000 CloudGrid units, which will directly benefit 2,500 to 5,000 people and potentially offset 65,000-130,000 kilograms of carbon emissions per year.

Solar Hope, meanwhile, has been working since 2019 not only on deploying solar home systems to unelectrified communities but also on capacitating beneficiaries on sustainable livelihood development.

“Electrification reduces poverty,” Climate Reality Leader Mark Napao, Founder of Solar Hope, said explaining that the provision of solar home systems is just one of the many steps they are taking to support the sustainable transformation of their beneficiary communities.

To date, Solar Hope has electrified 264 homes. The organization continues to solicit support to fund solar home systems and their outreach activities.

For sustainable urban mobility, the documentary featured the workplaces (Pasig Transport, Government Service Insurance System Pasay City, and The Medical City Ortigas), commercial establishments (SM Mall of Asia, SM Marikina, and Bonifacio High Street), and local government units (Pasig, San Juan, and Marikina) that won the first-ever Mobility Awards—a platform that seeks to prioritize the needs of 88% of Filipino households in Metro Manila who do not have cars and provide them with reliable, sustainable, and inclusive mobility programs.  

The winners of the first round of Mobility Awards have implemented urban mobility solutions that ensure safety for active mobility, including installation of dedicated bike lanes and new LED lights on sidewalks, passing of bike safety ordinances, and provision of bike parks, among others.

“If we want to make our cities bike-friendly, what every city needs to realize is you have to first really accept that active mobility is something possible,” Robert Anthony Siy, Head of Pasig Transport, said in the documentary. “The most important thing for cities is to believe that a better world for cyclists and pedestrians is possible,” he added.

For waste management, the documentary featured the eco-bricking initiative of Barangay Agusan Canyon, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, which was awarded as the winner of First Gen Corporation’s Create for the Climate Campaign.

According to Agusan Canyon Sangguniang Kabataan Chair Yendi Cachapero, they embarked on an information, education, and communication campaign about eco-bricking and waste management. She shared that they also organized an eco-bricking competition for the youth.

Cachapero also underscored the importance of community leadership and involvement in waste management solutions. “We learn that if we’re going to take lead, they will follow,” she said.

The documentary said that these stories of urgent, viable, and scalable grassroots climate solutions on energy, urban mobility, and waste tell us that the reasons for hope have never been greater. “We can survive the environmental and climate crises— if we listen to science, if we learn from one another, and if we seize this moment to turn the overwhelming support for climate action into policy wins and systemic changes,” it concluded.



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