An envoy who made headlines with an emotional call for global action on climate change said Thursday he will walk 1,000 kilometers to Tacloban City which was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
Naderev Sano, the Philippines’ lead negotiator at the United Nations climate talks, who went on a hunger strike at last year’s meeting, hopes to start his trek in Manila on October 2 and reach the city of Tacloban on November 8.
The planned end date for his journey would mark exactly a year since Super Typhoon Haiyan struck, causing the deaths of about 7,300 people.
“This climate walk is just one way of elevating my advocacy. I believe it has a big potential to open people’s eyes on the reality of climate change,” he told Agence France-Presse in an interview.
“[It] is borne out of a deep sense of duty to pay homage to communities that confront the realities of climate change, disaster risk, poverty, and environmental abuse,” he is quoted as saying on the project’s official website.
To reach Tacloban, the home city of his father, on schedule, the 40-year-old scuba diver and former triathlete, said he would walk seven hours daily from 5 a.m. for 40 straight days.
Local churches and schools along the route have agreed to provide him beds to sleep on at night, he added.
He said he will be joined by a small core of fellow walkers, while other like-minded individuals and groups would join him for stretches along his southeasterly trek.
Sano gained worldwide renown at the UN climate talks in Warsaw last year, days after Haiyan devastated the Philippines, with a desperate, tear-choked appeal for countries to strike a deal to avert mass tragedies of this kind.
He also fasted for two weeks, the duration of the meeting.
He has since gone on other symbolic fasts this year in an attempt to maintain pressure ahead of the next UN talks in Peru in December.
Sano said his planned ultra-marathon walk did not really compare to “what people go through” in the Philippines, described by experts as among the countries most vulnerable to extreme weather.
“We stare climate change in the face,” he said.