Youth in BASULTA convene in Zambo for EcoWatch

 Youngsters coming from the island provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) met in Zamboanga City for the program tagged as “ECO Watch: Bridging the Youth and the Environment” held at Cecille's Catering and Pension House, Tumaga Porcentro, Zamboanga City on August 21, 22, and 23, 2014.

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More than a hundred selected tertiary students from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (Tawi-Tawi) participated in the 3-day live-in program made up of different environmental lectures  and  teambuilding activities such as the poster-making contest, action planning, group presentations and sarimanok hunting that made the participants a Ecowarriors .


ARMM Regional Vice Governor Haroun Alrashid A. Lucman, Jr, delivered the opening message to the participants. He underscored the significance of caring the environment in the region as whatever it may happen to it, entire Mindanao will be affected. “the NAPOCOR's hydroelectric project on the Agus River in Lanao del Sur generates 70% of the electricity in Mindanao. Tawi-Tawi is actually the Seaweed Capital of the Philippines, the major producer of agar and it supplies as far as Cebu City, he continued.


The schools who send their representatives were Mindanao State University, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu State College, Jolo, Sulu, Hardam Furigay College Foundation, Inc., Lamitan City, Basilan State College, Basilan, Mindanao Autonomous College Foundation, Inc, and different colleges in the city of Zamboanga but the students were residents of the islands of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.


The program was an initiative of Honorable ARMM Regional Vice Governor Haroun Alrashid A. Lucman, Jr. funded under his discretionary fund, the Special Purpose Fund (SPF) for the fiscal year 2014. This is also in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Bagsamoro Youth Affairs (BYA), all of ARMM.                



Dr. Filemon Romero, a professor from Mindanao State University (MSU), Tawi-Tawi, one of the lecturers in the 3-day affair, presented the topic. “Marine Life Conservation and Protection”. He explained the significance of environmental concerns. He said that everything relies in the environment, thus, utmost care is incumbent to all. “Our economics, education, politics, etc. are being fueled by our environment”, he lamented.


For Islamic perspective in preserving the environment, Ustads Lim Edris, the Chairman on Islamic Education, Sabilal Muhtadin Foundation, Inc. Lamitan City councilor Dr. Rima Hassan, the Chief Executive Officer of Mindanao Autonomous College (MAC), Basilan spoke about Environmental Protection and Conservation-its legal basis. On the other hand, Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 9 director David Felipo G. Malcampo talked about Climate Change Adoption and Mitigation.



The program aims to instill values in conserving and preserving the environment to the young generation. The program is the 3rd of that kind as the same was conducted in Lanao del Sur last November 14, 15, and 16, 2013 in Ayala Resort Hotel, Marawi City and for Maguindanao in JP Garden and Restaurant, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on December 17,18, and 19, 2013.


As a sequel of the previously conducted programs, a Youth Regional Camp will be held somewhere in October of this year. (By Nash Acan).