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Ep.1 on Eco-Anxiety with Anna Oposa and Rosemary Morrow

Updated: Mar 2

This episode is brought to you by Forest Foundation Philippines. It was produced by MUNI, hosted and written by Jen Horn and Ayen dela Torre, edited by podwiz.com.au, with music by Diego Mapa and branding by Serious Studio. You can find the MUNI on This Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or listen directly via muni.com.ph/podcast.

About this episode


In this episode, we talk about dealing with eco-anxiety. This stress comes from seeing the impacts of our environmental crisis, worrying about what the future holds for oneself, one's friends and loved ones, and future generations. Whether we respond effectively to this existential threat is determined not just by rational arguments but also by how we handle our collective emotions and communicate our distressed feelings with one another.


Our guests


We had a chat with marine conservationist Anna Oposa, chief mermaid and executive director of Save Philippine Seas (SPS), a non-profit organization that works with government, other NGOs, and corporations on initiatives that empower Filipinos towards collective action for marine conservation. She is also the daughter of Tony Oposa, an environmental law pioneer in the Philippines. And so, while she took up theater and creative writing while she was at the University of the Philippines, the many family meals they shared discussing environmental cases caught up with her and compelled her to start a movement with SPS. We also got to attend a workshop on Permaculture for Disasters and Development organized by Green Releaf, and facilitated by Rosemary Morrow, an Australian permaculture educator and pioneer. There, we asked Rosemary about what keeps her from giving into despair.


Show notes

  • Anna recounts one story of eco-anxiety, when a young girl she met in Boracay told her something that kept her up that night [02:30]

  • Anna shares how she grew up exposed to environmental issues as the daughter of Tony Oposa [03:48]

  • On how to stay positive and beautiful (wow) [4:52]

  • On everyday environmentalism, protection of the environment as protection of humanity, and environmentalism being a "benign" advocacy [07:16]

  • "You are the only one who can put limits to what you can do" - Anna on her first environmental campaign and the UP recyclables fair [09:17]

  • Communicating advocacy doesn't rely only on data, but on our ability to empathize with the person we're communicating with [10:51]

  • The importance of celebrating small wins, the downside of the pursuit of perfection, and doing what you can in the space that you're in [12:20]

  • On dealing with the bad days, and the strategy of treating environmental conservation not as a battle but as a game [16:10]

  • When we don't succeed in our, in reaching our main objective, we still succeed because just by talking about it, just by creating something, we are changing the conversation [17:20]

  • Rosemary or "Rowe" on what keeps her from giving into despair [19:08]


About this podcast

We started MUNI on This to deal with our personal and collective distress about the state of our planet, but more importantly, we created this to give ourselves and you guys more reasons to hope and more motivation to act. In the show, we talk about the challenges and possibilities in creating a more mindful and livable world. It was created by MUNI, a purpose-driven company that creates conversations and builds community through online content and offline events on mindful, sustainable living. You can find the MUNI on This Podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or listen directly via muni.com.ph/podcast.


People / organizations mentioned

Anna Oposa

Green Releaf

Rebecca Solnit

Rosemary Morrow (BMPI)

Save Philippine Seas

Tony Oposa

UP Recyclables Fair


Other links / resources

Greta Thunberg at the 2019 World Economic Forum

• Activehope.info. (2020). The Work That Reconnects. [online] Available at: https://www.activehope.info/work-that-reconnects.html.

• Bodkin, H. (2019). Parents told not to terrify children over climate change as rising numbers treated for 'eco-anxiety'. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/09/15/parents-told-not-terrify-children-climate-change-rising-numbers/.

• Chambers, G., Sandu, C. and Moore, K. (2019). Eco-anxiety: Do you have climate change anxiety?. [online] Evening Standard. Available at: https://www.standard.co.uk/futurelondon/theplasticfreeproject/eco-anxiety-climate-change-mental-health-a4116876.html.

• Climate & Mind. (2020). What is Climate Grief? — Climate & Mind. [online] Available at: https://www.climateandmind.org/what-is-climate-grief?fbclid=IwAR3WKJ9xtKh_kHAscU_TSYImWb_ZUe404wNRHNPy3XIaKnhB1XrIgF4wemo.

• Fawbert, D. (2019). Climate change: Are you suffering from ‘eco-anxiety’?. [online] BBC Three. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/b2e7ee32-ad28-4ec4-89aa-a8b8c98f95a5.

• Hinde, N. (2020). Eco-Anxiety Is On The Rise. Here's What You Need To Know. [online] Huffingtonpost.co.uk. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/what-is-eco-anxiety-climate-change_uk_5d7f7c1ce4b03b5fc886cc16.

• Sharry, J. (2019). Eco-anxiety: Climate breakdown is taking its toll on people’s mental health. [online] The Irish Times. Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/health-family/parenting/eco-anxiety-climate-breakdown-is-taking-its-toll-on-people-s-mental-health-1.4051378.

• YouTube.com, (2019). Greta Thunberg: Our House Is On Fire! | World Economic Forum 2019. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7dVF9xylaw.

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