Student leaders from the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya have committed to be advocates of a clean and healthy environment following their crafting of environmental action plans during the youth camp on Nov. 17-18, this year, in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.
Focusing on solid waste and forest management programs, the young environment and natural resources (ENR) ambassadors will conduct activities on upcycling, waste collection and diversion, tree growing, cleanup drives, and environmental forum.
They also proposed income-generating projects and activities to promote wildlife protection and conservation.
These school and community-based projects were inspired by their eco-tour at the Consuelo Forest Park and Imugan Falls in Sta. Fe, Nueva Vizcaya.
John Simeon, municipal environment and natural resources officer of Sta. Fe showcased the town's best practices on solid waste management wherein the collected wastes were diverted into organic fertilizer, vermi cast, and hollow blocks and bricks with pulverized glass.
Dubbed as 'Kampo Kabataan para sa Kalikasan', the youth camp held at Camp Aritao (DENR Ecological Park and Training Center) was conducted to highlight the celebration of National Environmental Awareness Month.
The ambassadors from Nueva Vizcaya State University, Philippine Science High School Cagayan Valley Campus, and Bintawan National High School in Nueva Vizcaya province; and Quirino State University and Saguday National High School in Quirino province were equipped with knowledge on forest protection and wildlife preservation. They were also trained on how to produce and publish photo stories about the environment.
DENR Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service Director Khalil Bayam underscored the critical roles of the youth in promoting climate resiliency and in ensuring a clean and healthy environment.
Engr. Giovannie Magat, PENR Officer of Nueva Vizcaya, appealed to the participants to be serious in protecting the environment. "We are banking on you to further protect the only home we have. Please help us campaign to stop illegal environmental activities," PENRO Magat said.
Meanwhile, DENR National Youth Desk Officer Agatha Zepeda presented the Department's initiatives and accomplishments in mobilizing the youth sector as environmental partners.
The campers and teachers planted Bignay seedlings at the arboretum of Aritao CENR Office.
A cultural night was also held to acknowledge and celebrate the ethnicity of some campers who are members of the Indigenous Peoples.
Pinas the Basura Buster, the icon of SWM campaign joined the campers to advocate proper waste segregation and disposal.
In 2020, the DENR Region 2 through its Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan partnered with student leaders from the different State Universities and Colleges in Cagayan Valley for IEC campaigns, social mobilization and partnership building activities.
Other activities held during the environmental youth camp were team building, search for the Kabataang Kampeon para sa Kalikasan, and banner and yell making.#