As Champions of GREENIN’ Philippines ( Generation, REdemption, and Expansion of Natural resources INitiatives in the Philippines, of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.), Cebu Association of Biology Students’ President Evanjohnn Mendoza, Cebu Blogger’s Society’s Vernon Go, and yours truly, Janelle Moran of the Aboitiz Leaders of Excellence (ALEx) held an Information-Education Campaign in the Cebu Institute of Technology-University.
The participants of the seminar are student body officers from the different organizations of CIT-U. The seminar aims to make the students aware, to educate them, to encourage them to make an action and to inspire them to persevere and commit for their actions.
AWARENESS and EDUCATION
Evanjohnn Mendoza, the first speaker talked about some Cebu situationers, when it comes to biodiversity. He pointed out the importance of trees in the environment and he made me really think about ‘what is a tree?’. True, I know how a tree looks like, but when asked to define it, I couldn’t give an answer.
Johnn also surveyed who among us had been to tree-planting and majority had raised their hands claiming that they had. But when he asked if we were aware of the species of trees we planted, the people were taken aback. So yep, a lot have been to tree planting activities, but they really haven’t had a grasp of the significance of tree planting. More often that not, what is planted on tree-planting activities are Mahogany seedlings because they’re easy to grow. But even so, Mahogany is an exotic kind of tree and it disrupts the environment. When it thrives, a native specie of tree may die.
Johnn ended his talk with a quote. (Not verbatim. So, sorry about that, Johnn) A million is so big, but it starts with one. A million can never be a million if ‘one’ is missing. His quote challenges us to do something about the nature’s degredation.
The next speaker was Vernon Joseph Go, a social media specialist who upon his ‘imba’ biography of an introduction, shuffled with laughter in his seat. (But I think he really loved the exposure. Here’s the guy who encourages me to go for fame and fortune, even quoting Brad Pitt as Achilles via twitter: “Immortality, take it. It’s yours.)
The speaker discussed little about climate change and its causes and effect. He also presented statistics of the current forest cover in the Philippines and Cebu and the urgency to reforest. In the statistics, it was revealed that in 1999, about 18% of the total forest cover are left. That was already the number in 1999. I wonder how much is left 12 years later. It was revealed that the estimate remaining forest cover left is no more than 4%. (Shocks!)
Vernon introduced to the audience Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.’s GREENIN Philippines Program of which our respective organizations (CBS, CABS and ALEx) are collaborating with. (For the information about GREENIN’ Philippines, I think I’ll make a separate entry for it.)
Vernon had given us the truth when he said that in taking an action for the environment, we are not actually saving the environment. Nature can heal itself and that’s no question. But what we’re actually doing is saving ourselves.
PERSEVERANCE AND COMMITMENT
The last speaker is me, Janelle Moran, who had not done seminars and talks since she set her foot out of high school. I miss the stage and the microphone, and I surely missed the experience of being able to share information and partake knowledge to other people. But I’m glad I’m given an opportunity to speak in behalf of the environment again. It’s been two years since I had my last talk about the Philippine Biodiversity back in High school Green Team.
My topic is about one of the programs of GREENIN’ Philippines which was Run2Plant. This activity fuses two events into one. There is going to be a running segment and a planting segment. Basically, it’s hitting two birds with one stone, or shall I say to be kinder to the birds, hitting two birds with one bread. This event makes use of fun runs and marathons, that has now become a vogue, to get people to involve themselves with the necessity to reforest.
Run2Plant is going to be a Cebu-wide event in commemoration of the World Environment day and in celebration of June as the Philippine month for the environment. This is hosted by RAFI’s GREENIN’ Philippines in collaboration with the Cebu Provincial Government and the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources. The event will be held this June 25, 2011. The main event will reforest 5 hectares of land in Jaclupan, Talisay. Each town and municipality in the province will also participate by covering one hectare of land.
(I’ll make a separate post for GREENIN’ Phils and Run2Plant, but if you’re interested you can visit and register online for the event at RAFI’s website.)
Credits to Glenna for some of the shots. Thanks, Glenna.
Thank you CIT-U for having us and for the hospitality. I especially loved the token, the baller, the framed certificate and the yummy snacks after. I also enjoyed the crowd. They were attentive and participative.