These 6 Young Pinay Environmentalists and Climate Activists Are Paving the Way To A Just, Sustainable Future

These 6 Young Pinay Environmentalists and Climate Activists Are Paving the Way To A Just, Sustainable Future

Changing the world one step at a time. 🌏

Meet six extraordinary young Filipino women passionately advocating for people and planet.

Related: For A Better Future: Filipina Climate Advocate Ann Dumaliang Champions Conservationist Cause At COP27

Despite the Philippines consistently ranking as one of the most dangerous places to be in as a climate activist, the fight for climate action and justice persists. At the forefront of this fight are passionate, dedicated, and strong-willed young individuals making the case for collective climate action.

As stated by many of these young activists, the youth is one of the most vulnerable to climate change. The youth is also one of the most active, proactive, and responsive when it comes to issues of climate and justice. While this generation does have the power to change the world, we are often not included in the discussions that actually shape the world as we know it—but that doesn’t mean we don’t try our hardest to be.

These six young women are among the bravest and most dedicated of youth fighting to let their voices be heard as they protect their land and ecosystems, protest against climate change and injustice, and champion sustainability, people, and planet over profit. Get to know these Pinay environmentalists below.


young pinay environmental activist climate justice mitzi jonelle tan yacap philippines

YACAP/Marie Jacquemin

Full-time climate justice activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan can be found on the protest frontlines and at the mic stand at international climate conventions. She is the co-founder and current convenor and international spokesperson of Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP), a nationwide alliance of organizations and individuals “fighting against climate change and pursuing climate justice.” YACAP is the local branch of Fridays for Future, a global, youth-led international climate movement organized by Greta Thunberg.

Mitzi champions anti-imperialism, human rights, a critical intersectional analysis and approach of climate issues, peace, and collective action. She recently attended and spoke at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP28, where she advocated for the phasing out of fossil fuels and the inclusion of climate activists in the discussions surrounding climate action.


young pinay environmental activist climate justice ann dumaliang billie dumaliang masungi georeserve PINAY ENVIRONMENTALISTS conservation climate activists

Masungi Georeserve/Nikki Inso

The award-winning trustees and co-founders of Masungi Georeserve are redefining what it means to be connected to the land we call home. Sisters and conservationists Ann and Billie Dumaliang, inspired and guided by people and communities, defend the land on which Masungi Georeserve exists as they seek to restore and rehabilitate the forests in the area and foster in people a deeper appreciation for nature. The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation reserve and geotourism located on the Sierra Madre mountain range, in Baras, Rizal. An area with a history of land-grabbing and illegal logging, and home to hundreds of species, Masungi represents land worth fighting for.

Ann and Billie have been able to sustain their efforts by harnessing the power of people and nature, inviting people to hike and explore what the area has to offer, promoting sustainable geotourism. They work with countless people that are just as deeply connected to the land, inspring more connections, and sharing knowledge and stories, keeping history and hope as alive as the forest.


young pinay environmental activist climate justice issa barte climate advocates


A young artist and storyteller, Issa Barte holds environment, land, culture, and art close to her heart. She is the co-founder of For the Future, a youth-led organization that seeks to “help reforest the ancestral lands of the Yangil Tribe in Zambales.” Issa is also a National Geographic Explorer, receiving grants from National Geographic to fund her efforts in science, storytelling, and helping make the planet better.

True to her passions and advocacy, Issa is currently working on The Philippine Youth Atlas, a book about and by indigenous peoples that chronicles and immortalizes indigenous local knowledge about climate and environment. The atlas is an effort to “decentralize and decolonize art, culture, and climate solutions to give way and highlight regional perspectives of local and indigenous knowledge systems.” It will document this knowledge through visual art, photography, counter-mapping, and stories from young people that stand to lose the most in the climate crisis—the same people that can help formulate the solutions we need.


@gmanews PH Youth delegate to COP28 Javea Maria Estavillo explains loss and damage in climate financing | The Howie Severino Podcast #THSP #COP28 #JaveaEstavillo #GMANews ♬ original sound – GMA News

At only 17, Javea Estavillo found herself jetting off to Dubai as the Philippines’ youth delegate to COP28. The student and climate advocate spoke to world leaders about pressing issues of climate change, such as loss and damage and the need for climate financing to be able to respond to the increasing threats of climate change and mitigate further damage.

She also talked about what the youth, who has the biggest stake in the climate crisis, can do with community and innovation in order to take their own steps towards a better future, and our increasing collective responsibility to address the climate crisis. “In the midst of current geopolitical turmoil, we should remember that the climate change is a crisis akin to war—it is destructive, all-consuming, and unjust. Give Earth, and give us, the youth, a chance.”

After, the young activist shared that she was glad that talk of reducing fossil fuels had a stronger appearance in the discussions at the conference, but agreed that COP28 was plenty of talk and not much action. Javea is headed off to college soon to study economics and climate financing at Stanford University, working on her dream to become an environmental lawyer.


young pinay environmentalists alab mirasol ayroso climate justice climate activists


Alab Mirasol Ayroso has activism in her blood. As a child, she was already protesting for human rights and gender justice, and has now made her way to the position of convenor and National Coordinator for youth climate alliance YACAP. Alab’s father, Honor Ayroso, activist and peasant organizer, is a victim of enforced disappearance, having been abducted in 2002.

She also attended COP 28, where she was involved in discussions about climate change in relation to the youth climate movement, inter-generational dialogue, and community action. With her indigenous roots, a history of fighting for people and planet at such a young age, a degree in biology with a focus on ecology and conversation, Alab fights for human rights, land rights, and just, equitable, and sustainable action against climate change.


young pinay environmental activist climate justice carmela ellaga pinay environmentalists climate change

MB/Arsen Vargas

Carmela Ellaga, from a young age, has devoted her life to protecting land and sea. Hailing from Barangay Bulata, a coastal community in Negros Occidental, Carmela is a fisheries technologist, oceanographic researcher, and environmental conservationist. She champions the rights and livelihoods of fisherfolk in coastal communities, and the conservation and protection of our oceans and seas along with the land.

Carmela experienced firsthand the effects of climate change through damage done by typhoons and the changing ecosystems in her community. Now, she works at the Philippine Reef and Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc. as the community facilitator for sustainable development projects, focusing on environmental and marine conservation efforts. She was included in Global Citizen’s list of “5 Young Women and Girls Fighting for Climate Justice You Should Know“, and was praised by Michelle Obama for being “part of the rising generation of leaders who are already taking charge as we confront [the climate crisis].”

Continue Reading: These Filipino Youth Activists Used A Fashion Show To Highlight Climate and Social Justice