Celebrating World Environment Month

(left) Dean Gonchio Baltazar of the MSU College of Fisheries congratulates one the winners of the Quiz Show on Climate Change. (Right) MSU President Ricardo de Leon and Chancellor Alih
present the Grand Prize to the Winner of the Essay Writing Contest on Global Climate Change
Professor F Romero lectures on Global Climate Change at Bongao High School (left) and Muslim community in Languyan (right).

A series of events was held in Tawi-Tawi to celebrate the Environment Month.  During the 38th Foundation  Day Celebration of Mindanao State University – Tawi-Tawi, an Essay Writing Contest on the topic “Global Climate Change: Link to Coastal Wetlands and the Role of the Youth in the Adaptation to Its Probable Impacts” was organized.  The winning essay was “Culprits No More”  by Johanna Pagaduan, a student of the College of Education of Mindanao State University –  Tawi-Tawi.  The awarding ceremony was held at Datu Amilbahar Jaafar Convention Center on 04 August 2007.

On 05 June 2007, a Workshop on Environmental Issues and Concerns was also held.  The event was spearheaded by WWF Philippines – Coastal Resources and Fisheries Conservation Project -Tawi-Tawi Component, with support from the Tawi-Tawi Media Network, the municipal government of Bongao,  Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands and Unilever Philippines.  In order to raise more awareness on this hot topic, a series of IEC activities through lecture presentations on “Global Climate Change:  Its Link to Coastal Wetlands”, film showing and environmental games and contests were conducted for the students and faculty of College of Fisheries and Center for Oceanographic Studies of MSU – Tawi-Tawi.  This was followed by the same set of activities at the Notre Dame of Bongao wherein students from all high schools were invited.

Similar activities were done in Languyan, Simunul, South Ubian to reach out to the coastal communities, especially the low reef island communities which most likely be impacted in the event of sea level rise that would be brought about by global warming.  This topic was also included in the Environment Committee meeting of the Provincial Technical Working Group of Tawi-Tawi.

As a result of these activities, Sr. Diane Fe Gillesania, OND  and Fr. Rey Roda of the Notre Dame School System expressed her commitment to include environmental education in its science curriculum.  Hadji Jonel Monel of the regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources promised to aggressively pursue the mangrove reforestation program as an adaptation mechanism.  Mayor Ismael Sali also made a promise to pursue the coral reef protection program by community management of their marine protected area.  Professor Filemon Romero of the Oceanography and Environmental Science of MSU Tawi-Tawi and consultant of WWF served as the resource person and facilitator of these activities.

– Reported by Mr. Mon Romero