Our Regional Office in Manila implements activities such as trainings and publications in the fields of social rights and social-ecological transformation, with a strong focus on climate justice. RLS Manila works with a number of partner organizations across Maritime Southeast Asia, primarily in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Cooperation with partners in the mainland of Southeast Asia are coordinated by our RLS “sister office”, the Southeast Asia Regional Office, Hanoi.
Along with the rest of the region, the Philippines is currently witnessing rapid industrialization and strong economic growth. Yet development remains uneven, with urban areas clearly benefiting more than rural areas. At the same time, the region and the Philippines in particular is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The country encompasses 7,000 islands and 36,000 kilometres of coastline. These islands are flat and therefore critically exposed to rising sea levels and increasingly frequent typhoons—encountering, on average, more than 20 of them per year.
Faced with this dual challenge of climate change and economic inequality, climate justice and the search for alternatives within the framework of a socio-ecological transformation constitutes a major thematic focus of our political work in Maritime Southeast Asian. Beyond this focus, we also view ourselves as progressive actors advocating for democratic socialism and expanded political participation—an equally important goal given the growing authoritarianism and repression on the part of political leaderships in the region.
RLS Regional Office Southeast Asia, Manila
Office Head: Liliane Danso-Dahmen