A SPOKESMAN from a local nature conservation group called on the youth to be “champions of biodiversity.”
“There are a lot of things you can do in the environment. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant,” Louie Ignacio, Haribon foundation representative, said in a symposium at the UST Seminary Gym on Nov. 14.
“Yung maliliit na bagay like [this] environmental symposium or segregating your own waste is an example of being a biodiversity champion,” he said.
Ignacio said the Philippines remains one of only 17 countries in the world considered as having “megadiversity,” or harboring majority of the earth’s species and a high number of endemic species.
Green Convergence President Nina Galang urged students to engage in outdoor activities to develop an appreciation for the environment.
“Try to influence the [school] administration, let the students experience nature field trips. That’s very important to let you appreciate nature. To love nature is to go to nature,” Galang said.
Galang lamented the decline in the country’s forest cover. “In the 1950s and earlier, we had so many forests … Now, we have 19 to 21 percent of forests [left],” she said.
Green Convergence is a coalition of organizations and individuals working for “safe food, healthy environment and equitable economy as cornerstones of sustainable development.”
The symposium, titled “Tiger Oasis,” was organized by the UST Central Student Council.
Other speakers were Maria Sayra Dimetita from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources; Mark Abenir, director of the UST Simbahayan Community Development Office; and Raphaelo Villavicencio, program manager of Mother Earth Foundation.