HomeNewsCivil society groups express dismay over exclusion from Philippine Pavilion at COP28

Civil society groups express dismay over exclusion from Philippine Pavilion at COP28

Various environmental and civil organizations expressed their disappointment at the Philippine Delegation’s “failure to ensure meaningful participation” of communities in the first-ever Philippine Pavilion at COP 28.

In a statement issued on December 1, the groups underscored the importance of collaborative efforts between governments and non-governmental organizations in achieving progress in the global climate conversation. 

“The Filipino community has notably been one of the strongest voices both inside and outside of the negotiation halls, contributing to landmark climate agreements and developments in Paris, Warsaw, Glasgow, and others,” the statement read.



For the first time, the Philippine government opened its pavilion at the climate conference, emphasizing the country’s high stakes in this year’s climate negotiations. 

The coalition, however, expressed concern that the inclusion of vulnerable communities and civil society was not a priority for the delegation, evident in the pavilion’s execution.

The coalition decried the lack of transparency and a genuine attitude toward collaboration from the Philippine Pavilion Committee, led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. 

“Despite compliance with the changing requirements from the Pavilion Committee, civil society groups without pre-existing ties with the Philippine delegation head were unable to receive formal and consistent communication regarding applications for pavilion events, including their eventual denial,” the statement read. 

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In a text message, Aksyon Klima Pilipinas national convenor Rodne Galicha said his organization “did not receive any invitation nor response to our side-event applications,” adding “The Philippine delegation leadership has ghosted us.” 

“This is not only about the pavilion as this speaks about how the Department of Environment and Natural Resources leadership treats us as a network. We shall continue to reach out for a dialogue but we also need to speak truth to power,” he said. 

The exclusion of these groups raises concerns about a potential bias against civil society raising critical discussions, both domestically and at international climate negotiations. 

The groups fear that essential conversations meant to sharpen positions and raise ambitions will be overshadowed by flashy pronouncements aimed at portraying the COP participation of the Philippine government as a success.

“It also reveals a government unwilling to listen and to be held to account. Whether the delegation represents the best interest of the people also becomes a question,” the statement read. 

The groups challenged the Philippine delegation and government to embrace the spirit of solidarity that the Filipino community has historically brought to climate negotiations. 

The statement was collectively endorsed by concerned groups such as the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Caritas Philippines, Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, and Greenpeace Philippines, among others.

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