Published on 5 March 2020
The tiny, remote island of Suluan, in the Philippines, was first to be hit by deadly super typhoon Haiyan. Now, a movement of women – survivors and island protectors – fight against climate change, leading the drive towards renewable energy.
Suluan was once dependent upon centuries-old coconut trees to farm, but Haiyan wiped out the vegetation. Island life is now deeply linked to the sea.
Because of the women’s association, this island is known. Our stories are being used to influence others.
She now lives next to the skeleton remains of her former house.
‘Fisherfolk have become more observant of the weather and we have a hard time getting a catch. But we still fish and carry on with daily life because we don’t have a choice. If we stop doing it, how can our children survive?’
A collection of over 7,000 islands, the Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to the climate crisis, with little standing between islanders and the sea.
Lacking access to mainland electricity, Suluan was once dependent on dirty fossil fuels. Haiyan was a catalyst for the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) to integrate renewable energy into disaster response, and rebuild safer, more sustainable communities.
Through solar training, these women prepare and respond to disasters. Despite bearing the brunt of climate change, they're taking the lead in protecting their island and their livelihoods.