The Climate Action and Human Rights Institute (CAHRI) is comprised of respected advocates in the fields of Human Rights, Climate Justice, Environmental Protection, Justice, and the Rule of Law.
Atty. Roberto Cadiz is the founding President of CAHRI. As former Commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHRP), he chaired its National Inquiry on Climate Change (NICC) and penned its Report, which sought to establish the nexus between climate change and human rights and the obligations of parties in relation thereto. Prior to his appointment to the CHRP, Commissioner Cadiz was a private law practitioner, specializing in litigation, where he also co-counseled in judicial reform and public interest cases.
He also served as Executive Director of a lawyers’ NGO, where he managed or supervised projects funded by international institutions, such as the USAID, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the United Nations Development Program. Among the partners in the projects he managed
were the Philippine Supreme Court, the Department of Education, and the Commission on Elections.
His previous affiliations and advocacies include leading a campaign finance monitoring consortium, chairmanship of a transparency and accountability network of NGOs, and co-convention of a Supreme Court appointments watch consortium. He obtained his degrees in Law and Philosophy from the
University of the Philippines.
"We are not different races divided geopolitically, but one specie with common,
non-derogable rights, united under one biosphere and climate system. Climate Change is a human rights issue not just because of its negative impacts on the whole gamut of human rights, but because of the anthropogenic dimension behind these impacts. It is man, himself, who is causing the violations and abuses of these rights. "
Chairman of the Board
The chairperson of the Board of Trustees of CAHRI is Dr. Peter Walpole, S.J., a champion within the global network of professional environmentalists. Fr. Walpole is a global coordinator of the EcoJesuits and is also the Director of the NGO, Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC), a Jesuit research and training institute in the Philippines that promotes environmental sustainability and social justice. He teaches a course on integrating human development in natural resource management for graduate students at the UN-mandated University for Peace and the Ateneo de Manila University. Fr. Walpole directs the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center which runs an upland basic education program and technical training for indigenous children in Bukidnon, Mindanao.
Fr. Walpole served as a consultant for the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines in its national inquiry on climate change.
Fr. Walpole accomplished his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science at North East London Polytechnic Stratford, London, followed by pursuing a Master of Arts in Environmental Geography (Ecology) at the University of
Georgia, USA. He then obtained his Ph.D. in Land Use Change from the
King’s College of London.
The Board of Trustees of CAHRI is also joined by Ms. Evelyn Toledo-Dumdum. She is highly regarded within the global community of jurists for her dedication and expertise in the field of project management and public corporate governance. She was a former Judicial Reform Program Administrator of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and a Justice Sector Coordination Specialist between the Judiciary and Justice Agencies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). She is the Concurrent Secretariat Coordinator of the Philippine Development Forum Working Group on Governance and Anti-Corruption. She also served as a consultant with USAID and United Nations Development Program.
Ms. Dumdum obtained her Master’s Degree in Public Management from the University of the Philippines.
Atty. Domnina Rances is a part of the Board of Trustees of CAHRI. She is a dual-qualified lawyer, licensed in the Philippines and New York, and serves as a Partner at Aguila Rances Law Offices. She is currently the Dean of the College of Law at Ateneo de Naga University and the Treasurer of the Philippine Association of Law Schools. She was a former Climate Law Lobbying Specialist at the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines.
Atty. Rances completed her Juris Doctor degree from Ateneo De Manila University. She then accomplished her Master of Law and Graduate Certificate in Business Law from the University of Southern California.
Atty. Martin Angelo L. Esguerra is a part of the Board of Trustees of CAHRI. He currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Dean for Communications, Information Technology, and Media at the University of the Philippines College of Law. He previously served as a Legal Consultant in the National Inquiry on Climate Change (NICC) and Project Coordinator for the Commission On Human Rights of the Philippines. He also served as Special Legal Counsel for the Presidential Commission on Good Government. He was the former Executive Director and Chief Operations Officer for the Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity, Inc.
Atty. Esguerra accomplished his Juris Doctor degree at the University of the Philippines.
”Human rights are interrelated, interdependent, and mutually reinforcing. A healthy environment is a precondition for the realization of other human rights including the rights to life, food, health, and an adequate standard of living."