"From Grassroots to Government: A Study of Recent Green Party Building in the Philippines" | Asia Pacific Greens

"From Grassroots to Government: A Study of Recent Green Party Building in the Philippines"

By: Serhat Ünaldi

Abstract: This article explores the history, ideology and political strategy of the Partido Kalikasan (PK, Nature Party), a grassroots-based green party in the Philippines. PK was established in 2003 but its development has been constrained by the lack of resources and strategic differences internal to the party and by the distinct history and setting of civil society and politics in the archipelago. Yet, the mere presence of an emerging green party in a relatively poor country like the Philippines puts into question the post-materialist thesis of Ronald Inglehart. It seems that the environment is more than a “quality of life” issue, especially in a country where vast sections of the population still struggle to meet their basic needs.

The study concluded that “… (a)s was shown, in the Philippines it is the political environment and the country’s historical trajectory rather than the dominance of materialist values that set limits to green party success. That the first grassroots-based green party in Southeast-Asia has emerged in the Philippines and not in one of the economically stronger neighboring countries puts (Ronald) Inglehart’s post-materialist thesis into question. Surveys have shown that Filipinos express consistently more concern for the environment than, for example, people in Germany. It seems that environmentalism can potentially be rooted as much in affluence as in deprivation. The environmental consciousness of local communities has been realized by the PK and constitutes its main ideological and strategic base. However, the more urgent climate change becomes, the less it makes sense to maintain the division between materialist and post-materialist reasons for green party formation anyway.”

* The original study was done as part of his requirement for his masters degree in international studies from the University of Leeds. A concise version was accepted as a scientific paper on December 2012 and republished in May 2013 in the journal “Pacific Geographies” in its July/August 2013 issue. A copy may be downloaded at: https://www.academia.edu/3821886/2013._From_Grassroots_to_Government_A_Study_of_Recent_Green_Party_Building_in_the_Philippines_Pacific_Geographies_40_July_August_2013_pp._5-10

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