Beyond enhancing the awareness of the youth sector, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) aims to empower the youth when it comes to environmental protection and conservation and gain a strong partnership with them.
"The youth must do their share in protecting our environment, as it is the lifeblood providing us food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and other ecological services essential to our survival,” DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said in one of his speeches.
As the youth are filled with the desire to be acknowledged, respected, and encouraged in their activities rather than be scolded and judged for their youthful enthusiasm, immaturity, and mistakes, DENR has seen access to these youthful heroes’ full potential who are striving to do good for the community and the environment, for them to be capacitated and to express the full inclusion of every young individual.
In line with this aim, DENR-XI's Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Baganga in Davao Oriental joined in the celebration of Linggo ng Kabataan 2020 last August 11, 2020, held in Barangay Caatihan, Boston, Davao. With the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action”, the activity gave emphasis on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The said activity was initiated by the Office of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) through its chairperson Hon. Aljoy L. Ombaogan. With strict compliance with the minimum standard of COVID-19 protocol, the activity was permitted by the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Boston.
For the environment cluster, CENRO Baganga, represented by Forester Jay Lord C. Balondo, talked about the important roles of the youth and their involvement in any DENR programs and activities. Balondo emphasized that millennial and centennial generations dominate the world’s population especially in developing countries, thus a mistake in their ways, lifestyle, and decisions may compromise the present and future generation.
CENR Officer Dave L. Fabila said that the Department is using the Social Media platform to continue to raise the youth’s awareness in terms of environmental protection.
“Although some still continue to adopt both conventional and unconventional methods in contributing their share in environmental care and protection, there are those who take advantage of the availability and accessibility of information and technology in order to engage in all levels of environmental governance, especially towards implementing the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs,” he said.
Also being discussed during the event was the importance of biodiversity conservation as youth are also instrumental in advocating for the restoration and conservation of earth’s terrestrial ecosystems, forests, and biodiversity. This topic was discussed by Franz Von Laguidong who emphasized that disturbing these different ecosystems will cause damaging effects not only to the environment but to human beings as well as it can cause a global pandemic.
“The youth of today should individually redirect its ways to collectively see the changes in the pursuit of a healthy and balanced ecosystem, giving every single organism the freedom to survive in its natural habitat without harming them,” Laguidong said.
On the other hand, Forester Cesar B. Lagura also discussed the salient features of RA 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act. He briefed the youth on some penal provisions of the Act and the concept of segregation at source.
The activity had a total of sixty (60) participants and all were given IEC collaterals courtesy of the Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO). At the end of the event, the youth were reminded that they need to grow strong and mature, and must have that surging desire to help the government with their various environmental programs.
“Besides eating healthy food and having a good education, the youth should be nourished with empowerment. They must have a positive attitude and should nurture trust, respect and, encouragement in order to be a good example to the youth sector and to their community,” Balondo said.