Yeb Saño

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Yeb Saño

Naderev “Yeb” Madla Saño is a Filipino climate change commissioner, environmentalist, philosopher, nature lover, and peace activitist. He is the chief negotiator in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). He serves as the Chair of the UNFCCC’s Long Term Finance Work Programme.

He is married to Eunice Agsaoay-Saño, an environmental and community lawyer. They have two children, Yanni Lorenzo and Marianne Amira.


Contents

Education

Saño is a graduate of the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Philosophy and Community Development with focus on disaster management in relation to climate change. He also attended the College of Conservation Leadership in the Netherlands and the University College in Washington University.


Career

He has been working on climate change issues since 1997 as part of the NGO delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is a co-author of the paper “Perfect Storms: What the Philippines Can Do About Climate Change.”

He also managed projects on coastal resources and fisheries conservation and environmental education. For four years, he advocated for sustainable marine tourism in Central Visayas, specifically for Cebu and Bohol. He spent four years working with the local government of Lapu-Lapu City and established marine protected areas and set up the city's coastal law enforcement unit. He was also part of the team which developed the wildlife eco-tourism projects in Donsol, Sorsogon and Pamilican Island in Bohol.

From 2003 to 2004, he worked as a technical consultant at the Kho Agsaoay Benavidez Matammu Law Offices.

Saño also worked as head of the Climate Change and Energy Program of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines. He was also the national director of the Earth Hour, the most massive environmental movement in the Philippines. He worked with the WWF for more than 12 years. He worked on domestic and international issues which relate to climate change, clean energy, biodiversity, coastal and marine resources, tourism, and local governance.

Since February 2008, he is a cluster action officer of the SWITCH Movement, a social mobilization for climate change and energy.

He was appointed as a Climate Change Commissioner on 15 February 2010 and was sworn into office on the 25th. As a peace advocate for community participation, he urges everyone to pursue solutions together and at the same time, adopt a paradigm that works in harmony with nature. He wants everyone to shift their perspectives and encourage new ways of thinking to help promote sustainability, seek new solutions and innovations, and find revolutionary means to change the way the world does business.

He is also an optimist who believes that climate change will be the unifying factor for our fragmented nation. He says that “climate change is our opportunity to make the Philippines a better nation. Even if it is a huge problem, it still has a positive side to it because it can change the way we govern our country … It is our only chance. This is a war and we will survive because there is no choice.” 

Saño is the leader of the 50-strong Philippines delegation at the United Nations (UN) climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. He is currently in the limelight after he made an emotional speech in front of 190 countries. He linked man-made climate change to typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) which endangered Leyte and Samar provinces, as well as other parts of Eastern Visayas. He broke down in tears and declared that he would fast until the UN talks produced results. He urged governments' meeting in Poland to take emergency action to resolve the deadlocked climate talks.

"We cannot sit and stay helpless staring at this international climate stalemate. It is now time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway," said Yano in an article for the Guardian where he challenged climate skeptics to get off their towers to see the impacts of climate change firsthand.

He said that countries such as the Philippines do not have time to wait for an international climate deal, which countries have agreed to reach in Paris in 2015. He said that what his country is going through is a result of extreme climate event. This madness can be stopped right there in Warsaw. He added that typhoons like Haiyan and its impact act as reminders to the international community that people cannot procrastinate on climate action.

Yano said, "Science tells us that simply, climate change will mean more intense tropical storms. As the Earth warms up, that would include the oceans. The energy that is stored in the waters off the Philippines will increase the intensity of typhoons and the trend we now see is that more destructive storms will be the new norm."

He dared anyone who doubted man-made climate change to visit his country: "To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps, to the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, and the Nile where lives and livelihoods are drowned, to the hills of Central America that confronts similar monstrous hurricanes, to the vast savannas of Africa where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce. Not to forget the massive hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern seaboard of North America. And if that is not enough, they may want to pay a visit to the Philippines right now."

He added that carbon emissions reductions by developed countries would not be enough to avert catastrophe. "Developed country emissions reductions targets are dangerously low and must be raised immediately, but even if they were in line with the demand of reducing 40-50% below 1990 levels, we would still have locked-in climate change and would still need to address the issue of loss and damage."

He was agonizing over the fate of his relatives and had spent two days gathering the bodies of the dead. He asked people to sign a petition demanding progress and disappeared into the talks. About 200 people joined him on his fast.

After seven days without food, on 19 November 2013, he surfaced from the negotiations for a photocall to find that the petition he authored on Avaaz already has 650,000 signatures. His words were "It's a difficult time for the planet … we are deeply moved … I am standing here with hundreds if not millions of people … we are heartened … thank you … I am feeling well … I never used the word hunger … I don't think we should wait for the politicians … we need [to do] something urgently."

Members of the delegation said that they are 100% behind him as he helped put the issue on to the world stage and many people supported him in his cause. A member said that Saño is always in high spirits and energetic.

The goal of the said petition is to reach 1 million signatures which will be given to the negotiations at the international climate talks. He and climate activists are pushing for greater reductions in carbon emissions, as well as funds for countries vulnerable to dangerous climate change impacts. His petition has gathered support from major environmental organizations such as MoveOn and Friends of the Earth. American students from the Sierra Club, European activists and officials of major environmental groups like the Climate Action Network International have also joined Saño in solidarity.

Ashok Chandwaney, a Sierra club delegate, said that Yaño “inspires us to act; we fast in solidarity with him, because that's what we can do. We ask those who make decisions about climate -- here at COP 19, back at the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), and around the world -- to listen to him, summon their courage, and dial up their ambition for the work we must do."

Saño is also a visiting lecturer at the College of Social Work and Community Development and a technical consultant at the Ateneo School of Government.


Workshops and conferences attended

  • Lead Negotiator/ Head of Delegation, Philippine Delegation to the UNFCCC
  • UNFCCC Warsaw Climate Change Conference, 19th Conference of the Parties, 9th Meeting of the *Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Warsaw, Poland, 11-23 November 2013
  • UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, Germany, 29 April – 3 May and 3-14 June 2013
  • UNFCCC Doha Climate Change Conference, 18th Conference of the Parties, 8th Meeting of the *Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Doha, Qatar, December 2012
  • UNFCCC Bangkok Climate Change Conference, Thailand, 30 August – 5 September 2012
  • UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, Germany, 14-15 May 2012
  • UNFCCC Durban Climate Change Conference, 17th Conference of the Parties, 7th Meeting of the *Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Durban, South Africa, December 2011
  • UNFCCC Panama Climate Change Conference, Panama, 1-7 October 2011
  • UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, Germany, 6-17 June 2011
  • UNFCCC Bangkok Climate Change Conference, Thailand, 3-8 April 2011
  • UNFCCC Cancun Climate Change Conference, 16th Conference of Parties, 6th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Cancun, Mexico, December 2010
  • UNFCCC Bonn Climate Change Conference, Germany, April and June 2010
  • UNFCCC Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, 15th Conference of Parties, 5th Meeting of the *Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen, Denmark, December 2009
  • UNFCCC Bangkok Climate Change Conference, Ninth session of the AWG-KP and Seventh session of the AWG-LCA, Bangkok, Thailand, September 2009



  • Keynote Speaker, Insights Thursday at the Asian Development Bank
    Mandaluyong, Metro Manila
    23 June 2011


  • Head of Delegation, UN Fisheries and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Climate Change and Fisheries
    Conference for Asia-Pacific
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    May 24-26, 2011


  • Keynote Speaker, APNIEVE-Philippines 10th General Assembly, Values Integration Across the Disciplines
    Far Eastern University, Manila
    May 13, 2011


  • Speaker, World Vision Youth Conference
    Island Cove, Cavite
    May 11, 2011


  • Keynote Speaker, The Association of the Augustinian Schools(ASAS)
    Barcelo International Conference Center, La Consolacion College Manila
    April 29, 2011


  • Keynote Speaker, Consular Corps
    Mandarin Hotel, Makati City
    April 27, 2011


  • Keynote Speaker, The Philippine Climate Change Program: Updates and the Potential Role of the Academic and R&D Sector, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture
    April 19, 2011


  • Speaker, Greenlink Speakers Training on Green Advocacy
    Insular Life Building, Makati City
    April 9, 2011


  • Speaker, FDC-NGO Forum RTD on Climate Finance
    Quezon City
    March 21, 2011


  • Speaker, Climate Change Financing, LGU Summit on Climate Change
    Davao City
    March 16, 2011




  • Speaker, Environmental Governance and Climate Change Course
    Ateneo School of Government
    February 23, 2011


  • Inspirational Speaker, Creating the Climate for Change
    Marikina Science High School, Marikina City
    February 3, 2011


  • Presentor, National Agriculture and Fishery Council (NAFC)
    NAFC Apacible Conference Hall, Department of Agriculture, Quezon City
    February 2, 2011


  • Keynote Speaker, Addressing Climate Change through Energy Efficiency Investments
    Makati City Hall, Makati City
    February 2, 2011



  • Keynote Speaker, Pyschology Association of the Philippines – Junior Affiliates
    National Conference, De La Salle Dasmarinas, Cavite
    November 26, 2010


  • Keynote Speaker, South-South Community-Based Development Academy
    Naga City/Legazpi City
    November 24-25, 2010


  • Speaker, The 1st Philippine Electric Vehicle Summit
    Meralco, Mandaluyong City
    November 23, 2010


  • Co-Convenor and Co-Chair, Climate Finance Group Technical Meeting
    Office of the Senate President
    November 22, 2010


  • Keynote Speaker, DEPENSA Launch
    Surigao City
    November 18-19, 2010


  • Presentor, Agenda Klima: CSO-Government Climate Change Dialogue
    Traders Hotel, Pasay City
    November 17, 2010


  • Delegate/ Speaker, 2nd Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
    Incheon, Republic of Korea
    October 25-29, 2010


  • Speaker/Panelist, Climate Change Adaptation Forum
    United Nations Center, Bangkok, Thailand
    October 18-22, 2010


  • Speaker, Forum on ASEAN Climate Change Initiative
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    September 18-19, 2010


  • Trainor, Aksyon Klima Local Climate Change Advocacy Training
    Los Baños, Laguna
    September 8, 2010


  • Presentor, National Climate Change Consultations – Luzon and Visayas Leg
    ISO Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City/ Asian Hotel, Cebu City
    August 26-27, September 1, 2010


  • Speaker, Free Trade Alliance Special Convenor’s Meeting
    PRRM, Quezon City
    July 28, 2010


  • Presentor/ Head of Delegation, Strengthening Climate Resilience Conference
    Bangkok, Thailand
    July 21-23, 2010


  • Speaker, High-Level Policy Dialogue on Climate Finance
    Sulo Hotel, Quezon City
    July 7, 2010


  • Speaker, National Agriculture and Fishery Council Water Summit
    Bohol Tropics Resort, Tagbilaran City
    June 22, 2010


  • Keynote Speaker, Landbank of the Philippines World Environment Day
    Landbank Plaza, Manila
    June 21, 2010


  • Guest Speaker, Young Women’s Christian Academy (YWCA), Manila
    June 18, 2010


  • Keynote Speaker, Iloilo City Climate Change Forum
    Sarabia Hotel, Iloilo City
    April 16, 2010


  • Keynote Speaker, Bohol Provincial Climate Change Summit
    Bohol Tropics Resort, Tagbilaran City
    March 29, 2010


  • Speaker, Renewable Energy Summit Philippines 2010
    Hotel Sofitel, Manila
    March 26, 2010


  • Guest Speaker, Liga ng mga Barangay Iloilo Provincial General Assembly
    Waterfront Hotel, Lahug, Cebu City
    March 22, 2010




  • Guest Speaker, Climate Change Forum, FCPI College, San Jose del Monte
    March 4, 2010


  • Speaker, Ateneo Law Schools Climate Change Forum
    February 19, 2011


  • Keynote Speaker, Ortigas Library
    February 18, 2010


  • Speaker, IgNation
    Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City
    February 13, 2010


  • Speaker, Sikat Solar Race Car National Roadshow
    February to March 2010


  • Speaker, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor
    Forum on Climate Change and Its Challenges to the Urban Poor Sector
    Institute of Social Order, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City
    November 11, 2009


  • Convenor, Renewable Energy Forum and Technology Solutions Fair
    Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City
    June 28-30, 2009


  • Lead Facilitator, Second Conference of Coastal Municipalities, League of Municipalities
    Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City
    June 28-30, 2009


  • Panelist, Asia Clean Energy Forum
    Asian Development Bank, Mandaluyong City
    June 15-19, 2009


  • Session Speaker, ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum, Confronting Global Warming
    Makati Shangri-La Hotel
    October 15-16, 2008


  • Keynote Speaker, How Large is Your Carbon Footprint? Cebu Campus Tour
    University of San Carlos, University of Southern Philippines, University of Cebu, University of Visayas, Southwestern University
    September 23-27, 2008


  • Facilitator, The ASIA Forum
    Philippine International Convention Center
    August 29-30, 2008


  • Resource Speaker, Energy Crunch: How the Philippines Should Respond
    AIM Conference Center
    August 27, 2008


  • Presentor, Cleaner Coal Workshop On Solutions To Asia’s Growing Energy And Environmental Challenges
    Ha Long City, Vietnam
    August 19-21, 2008


  • Participant, U.S. Embassy Seminar - Renewables: Energy for the 21st Century
    Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City
    July 25-27, 2008


  • Resource Speaker, Presidential Task Force on Climate Change
    Climate Change Curriculum Development Program Workshop
    National Power Hotel, Conference and training Center, Bagac, Bataan
    July 4-5, 2008


  • Co-author-presentor, “Perfect Storms: What the Philippines Can Do About Climate Change”
    SC Johnson Professorial Chair Lecture
    Ateneo de Manila University
    July 3, 2008


  • Resource Person, Coral Triangle Experts Meeting
    Century Imperial Hotel, Quezon City
    June 18-19, 2008


  • Presentor, Coral Triangle Project Concept Workshop USAID-RDMA
    Astoria Plaza Hotel, Pasig City
    June 14, 2008


  • Participant, Asia Clean Energy Forum
    Asian Development Bank, Mandaluyong City
    June 3-5, 2008


  • Guest Speaker, Calabarzon (Region IV-A) Regional Development Council Private Sector
    Representatives Session
    May 26, 2008


  • Speaker, BlueSKY GreenPLAZA Climate Change Lectures
    Makati Sky Plaza, Makati City
    May 22, 2008


  • Guest Speaker, The Philippine National Red Cross Climate Change Forum: “Working Together in a Changing Climate”
    Manila Hotel, City of Manila
    May 16, 2008


  • Presentor, First National Conference on Environmental Advocacy
    St. Paul’s College, Quezon City
    May 9 to 10, 2008


  • Guest Speaker, HSBC Climate Change Lecture
    HSBC, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
    May 8, 2008


  • Presentor, Starbucks Dialogues
    Starbucks Rockwell, Makati City
    April 24, 2008


  • Speaker, Earth Day
    Trinoma Mall
    April 22, 2008


  • Speaker, Walk the Talk, Earth Day Celebrations
    Quezon City Hall, Quezon City
    April 18, 2008


  • Participant, 2008 Climate Camp
    PG&E Offices, San Francisco, California, USA
    February 25 to 29, 2008


  • Workshop Chairperson and Facilitator, 2008 Philippine Energy Summit
    SMX Convention Center, Pasay City and Asian Development Bank, Pasig City
    January 29 to February 2, 2008


  • Presentor, Puerto Princesa Dolphin and Whale Watching Workshop
    The Pamilacan Island Experience
    Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, October 12-13, 2007


  • Presentor, Going Green: Environment And Responsible Tourism Harmony (EARTH) Conference,
    Tagbilaran City, Bohol
    September 18, 2007


  • Presentor, Sustainable Land Development Workshop for Ayala Land, Stakeholder and Community Relations
    Filipinas Heritage Library, Makati City
    March 26-27, 2007


  • Presentor, Pro-Poor Payments for Environmental Services Workshop
    Bogor, Indonesia
    April 18-24, 2004


  • Presentor, Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor Annual Conference
    Hotel Supreme, Baguio City
    October 8-10, 2003


  • Facilitator, Apo Reef Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop
    Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro
    September 2, 2003



  • Facilitator, Donsol Stakeholders’ Consultation Workshop
    Legaspi City, Albay
    August 14-15, 2003


  • Delegate, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Sixth Conference of Parties, 13th SBSTA-SBI Meetings, World Climate Conference
    The Hague, Netherlands
    November 11-26, 2000


  • Discussant, Philippine Roundtable Discussion on the Clean Development Mechanism of the UNFCCC
    Century Imperial Suites, Quezon City
    August 10, 2000


  • Convenor, Climate Change in the New Millennium: A Philippine Scenario
    EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong
    April 2000


  • Resource Person, WWF College for Conservation Leadership, Follow-up Session
    Subic Bay
    June 2000


Other training and leadership experience

  • Member, Wild Bird Photographers of the Philippines, 2013
  • Team Leader, U.P. College of Social Work and Community Development Field Integration Program, Municipality of Gen. Nakar, Quezon, April-May 2005
  • Certified Advanced Open Water Diver, PADI, July 7, 1999
    Diver No. 9907A550401
  • Certified Open Water Diver, PADI, February 1, 1998
    Diver No. 9802A12049
  • The Dale Carnegie Course, Executive Training Institute, Makati City, Graduated with Highest Award for Achievement, April - May 1993


References






Citation

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