Children of San Pablo, Laguna Commit to Protect Mts. Banahaw-San CristobalPosted on October 16, 2013
Gone are the days when childhood fun equates to climbing trees and bathing in rivers.
Today’s children now play video games during their pastime, chat with their friends using mobile phones, and stay in touch with the world through Facebook. Talks on environmental concerns are expectedly not on their interest list, especially if they do not have a clear connection with their environment — something their parents and grandparents once had.
But capitalizing on the fact that children are teachable when they are young, the Luntiang Alyansa para sa Bundok Banahaw (LABB) conducted a two-day campaign to raise students’ awareness in the protection of Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape (MBSCPL) last Sept. 10-11, 2013 at San Pablo Colleges in San Pablo, Laguna.
“This is my first time to attend an activity for the environment where the audience are children,” said Hon. Arnel Tecson, City Councilor of San Pablo, who gave a message in behalf of the city local government.
“But thinking about it now, this surely is better because once you become an adult, you would not be as teachable as you are now,” added Councilor Tecson as he addressed the crowd of more than 250 elementary students. About the same number of high school students were confirmed to have participated in the second day of the event.
After listening to a two-hour orientation on the wonders of MBSCPL given by LABB’s Executive Director Joji Roxas, 5th and 6th graders from 15 schools all over San Pablo expressed their commitments to contribute for the conservation of this “major watershed, water volcano, important bird area, and conservation priority area”.
While some gave seemingly ambitious pledges such as to “help government convince illegal loggers to stop cutting trees” and “to form a group that would lead in the protection of the environment”, most students made simple promises “to obey the law, not cut trees, and plant trees instead”.
Many students also expressed their interest to “participate more in forest conservation programs and activities” after hearing the mystical mountain’s rich biodiversity.
Whether or not the students would be able to implement what they have committed would probably depend on the guidance of their schools, teachers and environmental advocates such as LABB.
LABB organized this environmental awareness initiative in partnership with the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE) under the Up-Scaling Forest Restoration Efforts in Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) project, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
To learn more about Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, check out http://fpe.ph/mt-banahaw-san-cristobal-protected-landscape-mbscpl.
By: Florence C. Baula, Knowledge Management Specialist of FPE-USAID Up-Scaling Project
Reference: Rapid Site Assessment for Mts. Banahaw-San Cristobal Protected Landscape, 2011