Dana Rose Salonoy, Knowledge Management Assistant of the Coastal and Marine Resources Management (CTI-SEA) project, shared the mangrove reforestation success story of Taytay, Palawan’s Bayani ng Kalikasan Club. Her talk aimed to inspire young students who were preparing proposals for environmental projects at an Eco Day Camp in Bulacan. Some 40 high school and college students joined the event at the Mariano Quinto Alarilla Polytechnic College in Meycauayan, Bulacan on 2 April 2016.
Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute, an international non-government organization based in Los Banos, Laguna, invited Salonoy to share CTI-SEA’s experience in mobilizing students through the Youth Camp on Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).This is part of the project’s Heroes of the Environment communication campaign.
Students who join the three-day camp learn the basics of CCA and coastal resource management. They also draft proposals for an environmental project that they will carry out in their community with a small budget.
CTI-SEA’s strategy resounded with the aim of Pure Earth/Blacksmith Institute to mobilize the youth in the locality to protect the Marilao-Meycauayan-Obando River System (MMORS). The Eco Day Camp is one of the activities under the information education communication (IEC) component of MMORS.
“We were planning to really get the high school students more involved in the project and I was thinking about how we could do it.” said Hermilea Cabral Castilo, IEC Team Leader for MMORS.
Salonoy shared how the project started, the lessons learned, and best practices. She said that teamwork and volunteerism, openness to new ideas, and constant mentorship and reinforcement paved the way to the project’s success.
CTI-SEA was also invited in the Social Development Practitioners Forum organized by the Department of Social and Development Services (DSDS), College of Human Ecology, University of the Philippines Los Banos on 9 April 2016. DSDS gathered alumni and development practitioners to orient young social development students about current themes and practices in the development world.
Salonoy represented the project and narrated the story of Central Taytay National High School which succeeded in their mangrove reforestation project. Ten students joined the Youth Camp in 2014.
More than a year after, the school succeeded in planting over 14,500 mangrove propagules in 2 hectares of deforested mangrove area. Central Taytay National High School also started their own fundraising activities where the profits go directly to maintaining their mangroves. This has led to a noticeable decrease in mangrove cutting which helps protect against storms and coastal erosion.
“I asked them to imagine what a thousand young people can do. Ten kids did this much, what more if everyone in their school pitches in? It’s a ripple effect that can have surprising outcomes.” said Salonoy.