CTI-SEA, in partnership with the local government of Balabac, and the Department of Education IV-B, organised the Youth Camp on Climate Change and Coastal Resource Management on 7-9 April 2015. Forty students and teachers from six public high schools participated including:

  • Balabac National High School
  • Balabac  National High School – Ramos Extension
  • Bancalaan National High School
  • Mangsee National High School
  • Sebaring National High School
  • Bugsuk National High School
CTI-SEA’s Youth Camp on Climate Change Adaptation brought together students from six public high schools in Balabac Island. It was the first activity of its kind to reach the southernmost tip of Palawan

Lutgarda Juanich, DepEd Region IV-B Science Coordinator, praised the initiative of the Balabac students after joining the youth camp.

Lutgarda Juanich from the Department of Education gives feedback to the students’ project proposal during the plenary.

“We know that workshops like these are frequent events but only in the cities,” she said. “The youth camp was a good opportunity for the children because they live very near the coasts. They learned that being called a hero does not necessarily require doing something exceptional or extraordinary. Everyday heroes accomplish great things through simple means,” added Juanich.

Balabac is teeming with corals, seagrass, and other marine resources.

Balabac is remote hence students do not get as much chance to take part in activities that will increase their environmental awareness. It was strategic to hold the campaign here because of its rich biodiversity. The island also plays a crucial role as part of a transboundary marine turtle network.

Unfortunately, the  municipality has no marine protected areas (MPAs) or corresponding fisheries ordinances focused on managing heavily exploited marine resources such as reef fishes and sea turtles. In fact, it is one of the Philippines’ major nesting grounds for green turtles.

Furthermore, hazard assessment conducted by CTI-SEA showed that many barangays have medium to high susceptibility to floods, landslides, and tsunami. Therefore it is imperative for students to learn about climate change and climate change adaptation.

A student from Mangsee National High School shares the results of the transect map to her peers. Mangsee is the farthest island in southern Palawan and solid waste management is one of the biggest problems in the community.

During the youth camp, students learned that they could rise to the challenge of protecting the environment through small projects in their schools and villages. They learned the basics of coastal resource management, climate change adaptation, and proposal writing through lectures, games, and group activities.

List of School Projects

Proper Disposal and Segregation of Solid Waste Materials in Barangay IV, Poblacion, Balabac

  • Location: Balabac National High School
  • Issue: Improper waste disposal is the most common problem in Barangay IV, Poblacion, particularly in coastal areas where people reside. Throwing garbage in all places is considered an ordinary routine in such areas, which can be attributed to:lack of awareness on solid waste management,lack of garbage cans and portable lavatories,lack of designated days for garbage collection, and lack of discipline.
  • Strategy: The team will hold an orientation on the benefits and advantages of coastal clean up, conduct a clean up activity, and coordinate with the local government, school, and the community for the monitoring.
  • Proponents: Mr. Walid Annasi, Mr. Jaustin Louis Bacomo, Ms. Elna Basala, Ms. Antonita Dayoan, Mr. McKinley Dela Torre, Ms. Lee Ann Eduardo, Mr. Al-Faibash Julkipli, Ms. Cherrymae Maceda, Mr. Dandreb Mostajo, Mr. Al-Mubarak Nasil, and Ms. Ruchelle Noe.
  • Adviser: Ms. Marylyn Armodia, Secondary School Teacher 1, Balabac National High School, and Mr. Leofel Villaver, Secondary School Teacher 1, Balabac National High School – Salang Extension

Protection for Mouse Deer and Sea Turtles

  • Location: Balabac  National High School – Ramos Extension
  • Issue: Hunting mouse deer and green turtles (both adults and juveniles) is a common practice in the community. Residents hunt and sell them to provide for their family’s needs, which contributes to the decrease of the population.
  • Strategy: The team will coordinate with the Barangay Captain in spreading information on the importance of the mouse deer and turtles. They will suggest an ordinance that will make it illegal to hunt, eat, and sell these animals. The students will prepare reading materials about the mouse deer and turtles and will form an organisation made up of students to discourage the consumption of mouse deer and turtle eggs.
  • Proponents: Ms. Freah Aborot and Ms. Siña L. Galbon
  • Adviser: by Ms. Ramla E. Jakia, Secondary School Teacher 1

Coastal Cleanup Drive in Sitio Tabodniayo

  • Location: Bancalaan National High School
  • Issue: Residents in Sito Tabodniaya habitually throw their garbage in the sea as well as around their household. This is due to their lack of knowledge on proper waste disposal lack of facilities in the community. This leads to pollution which affects seagrasses, coral reefs, and poisoning of fish and other marine species. They also cause diseases to the citizens.
  • Strategy: The team will hold an orientation on the benefits of cleaning the coast including the causes and effect of having a polluted environment. They will install billboards, slogans, and signages on proper waste disposal. They will also conduct a clean-up and waste segregation.
  • Proponents: Mr. Al-ifrad Adjael, Mr. Nur-Sham Gonton, Mr. Mohammad Jain, Mr. Maulidin Kahag, Mr. Dige Marensil, Mr. Anal Pilin, Ms. Hanieza Saddalani, and Ms. Sheta Tangkog
  • Adviser: Ms. Junaida Janabbil, Secondary School Teacher 2