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Participants of the Science Camp conducted a Beach Clean Up on June 9 to join the region in celebrating the Coral Triangle Day

2016 Coral Triangle Day re-orients the youth of Ocean Processes and Marine Ecosystems

Twenty students (20) from different universities and schools in Manila and in other parts of the country were able to conquer Puerto Galera to gain new knowledge about the coastal and marine ecosystems.

For the first time in five years, the National Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) Coordinating Committee (NCCC) Secretariat, led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), celebrated the Coral Triangle Day by holding a Science Camp on June 6-12, 2016.

With the theme “Save Coral Triangle – Stop Plastic Pollution/Waste”, the 2016 camp was filled with lectures, exciting hands-on exercises, group activities, and field exposures in the subject of ocean process and marine ecosystems, some of the basic information needed to develop management plans for our resources.

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The students presented the current status of their selected area and ideas for conservation measures

The camp seeks to raise awareness among the youth of the current state of the Coral Triangle Region and the natural and anthropogenic impacts that cause its degradation. It aims to instill the real threat over gigantic plastic waste polluting the ocean that have caused critical condition to marine ecosystem life in the Coral Triangle region and develop young champions that will pursue advocacies in conservation.

DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) Director, Dr. Theresa Mundita S. Lim, who provided guidance all throughout the preparation and conduct of the camp, fully supports the annual celebration of the Coral Triangle Day as more and more activities are being lined up every month June.

The first three days of the camp focused on ocean processes and marine ecosystems where students were taught the basics of Oceanography: Physical and Chemical; Watersheds and Integrated Coastal Management; and Marine Ecosystems, Invertebrates, and Fishes. These fields have huge contribution in management planning especially now that the country is already experiencing the inevitable effects of Climate Change.

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The students were able to snorkel and walk around the mangrove conservation area in Puerto Galera, just some of the natural resources the municipality showcases

The participants were also able experience the beauty of the underwater life with exposure trips to nearby marine ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grasses. On June 9, during the Coral Triangle day, a beach clean-up was also conducted in White Beach together with the local authorities from the Barangays in Puerto Galera.

Aside the from the staff of the Coastal and Marine Division (CMD) of DENR-BMB, lectures were also provided by Mr. Diovanie De Jesus of the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI); Ms. Gracita Peliño and Ms. Gemma Adarme from the Local Government of Puerto Galera; and by Mr. Hermilando Lopez from Puerto Galera Mangrove Conservation and Ecotourism Area.

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Ms. Gemma Adarme (left) and Ms. Gracita Peliño (right) from the local government of Puerto Galera discussing municipal initiatives on environmental conservation

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Mr. Hermilando Lopez from the Puerto Galera Mangrove Conservation and Ecotourism Area provides a talk on their activities in the Protected Area

Ms. Peliño said that although there is a minimal budget allotment from the local government on coastal protection, improvements on the state of the ecosystems have been observed over the past few years. One of their success stories is their improved sewage system.

The CMD staff all agreed that the participants have the potential of becoming role models at their respective campuses as they well applied the knowledge they learned in coming up with activity proposals related to environmental conservation.

As the camp closed, the CMD staff congratulated the students for successfully finishing the camp and reminds them of the critical role the youth perform in the development of the country.

“This training not only builds us, as individual with awareness in marine environment, but also shapes us to exchange ideas with other people for the betterment” Amiel Arguil, one of the students, stated.

Likewise, Erl John Camaño, a camper as well wrote “Most Filipinos don’t know the consequences of their wrong doings about nature. If they would know and be aware, they are going to stop it, and maybe share it with other people. So by joining this camp, they will be equipped with knowledge.”

sc2016_1 All smiles as the campers show their love to the concluded Science Camp