JCI Philippines’ environmental projects inspire Filipino youths to make a stand
Manila, Philippines – While the Philippines is developing at a rapid pace, its natural resources is taking a beating. The country is the home of the most diverse number of species and yet it ranked fourth among the countries whose forest covers are depleting drastically. At the current rate that such forest destruction is going, the country’s forest covers are predicted to be completely wiped out in less than 40 years. Seeing all these changes happening to our environment, one may ask, “Whatever happened to home?”
The destruction of our forest has led the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Philippines, the leading global network of young, active citizens, to make a commitment of helping spread the awareness on the conservation of our environment.
2012 JCI National President Randolf Ivan Ruste says, “The main thrust of the national projects that I will be implementing for JCI this year is the protection of the environment. Our environmental advocacy of developing awareness through education is our way of helping the community and its people.”
According to him, among the specific plans they have laid out for the year include simultaneous tree planting initiatives and mangrove planting activities. JCI will also organize other environmental activities such as the coastal clean-ups and Liter of Light installations which will set up solar bottle lamps to homes in unelectrified barangays in the country. However, he emphasized the need for people to also engage in environmental preservation activities. “We hope that our efforts will inspire others to become actively involved in preserving our forests,” Ruste adds.
Through Think Green and Green Link, JCI Philippines demonstrated its advocacy and love for the environment by “greening” its own home— the JCI national headquarters—last May 13.
The affair kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony participated by JCI Philippines’ National President Ruste, former Senator Nikki Coseteng, Artist A.G. Sano, Ms. Philippines-Earth 2010 Psyche Resus, GreenLink National Chair Lia Seelin, and Think Green National Chair Claire Estrellado.
JCI members, their friends, and families painted a mural at the national headquarter, adding color to the sketches of A.G. Sano. The paintings depicted environmental topics such as alternative energy resources, energy efficiency, urban greening, clean air, marine conservation, biodiversity, and environmental education among others.
The event also featured seminars and workshops. Nestle VP Jess Reyes and Central Azucarera de San Pedro EMS Manager Nante Panganiban facilitated a workshop on water conservation, while Mother Earth Foundation Chairwoman Sonia Mendoza conducted a seminar on solid waste management and composting. A workshop on ecopreneurship was conducted by a representative from the Liter of Light foundation.
“We have to bear in mind that every little act that we do and all the choices we make, creates an impact on the environment. The environment is in a fragile state, and we have to pursue a lifestyle that preserves the balance of our ecosystem,” says Green Link National Chairman Lia Seelin.