Filipino Youth Team Up to Save the Amazon of the SeasCatch of the Week
Student leaders from Philippine high schools gear up as eco-warriors to protect the endangered Coral Triangle, known as the “Amazon of the Seas,” through an ADB-supported youth camp in Palawan.
On Palawan Island, 35 student leaders from five public high schools in the Philippines along with five teacher-advisers gathered in the town of Taytay for the Bayani ng Kalikasan (Heroes of the Environment) Youth Camp on Climate Change Adaptation and Coastal Resource Management. The young eco-warriors listened to lectures on a variety of topics, from threatened species to environmental policies, and participated in hands-on activities that would prepare them as protectors of the Coral Triangle’s ecosystem.
Held on 28 February to 2 March 2014, the youth camp was one of the activities supported under ADB’s project on Coastal and Marine Resources Management in the Coral Triangle. The project aims to increase awareness on climate change and coastal resource management, mobilize student leaders to implement their own environmental activities, and develop networks among youth groups from different schools.
At the heart of the CTI regional action plan is the idea of valuing the potential and capabilities of local communities and community-based organizations in environmental conservation, including the sustainable management of marine ecosystems. And because the youth comprise a significant majority of the region’s population, it only seemed fitting that they play a significant role. The Bayani ng Kalikasan youth camp is one activity that brings young people to the forefront of the CTI.
What made Bayani ng Kalikasan different from other youth conferences is the emphasis on empowering the participants to become proactive agents of change in their communities. The young eco-warriors were tasked to develop and present environmental campaign proposals.
Three of the five schools proposed mangrove reforestation projects, while two presented solid waste management programs in their school and communities. Each of the five participating schools was given 10,000 Philippine pesos (about $230) to support their project and the mentorship of the young eco-warriors for 12 months.
With the youth actively participating in the CTI, the Coral Triangle is in good hands.
(Story and photo courtesy of ADB.org. Read original story.)