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2017 World Wetlands Day Youth Ecological Camp
“Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction”
wwd201708The participants of the 2017 World Wetlands Day Youth Ecological Camp doing their morning warm-up activity. (Photo courtesy of SCPW) 
 
The DENR-BMB in partnership with the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands, Inc. (SCPW) conducted the World Wetlands Day Youth Ecological Camp on February 13-15, 2017 at Vicky’s Farm House Resort in Talisay, Batangas. It was participated in by 30 Grades 8 and 9 students (8 males, 22 females) and five (5) teachers (3 males, 2 females) from the five (5) Secondary Schools in Talisay namely: San Guillermo Academy, Talisay Polytechnic Institute, Talisay High School, Talisay School of Agriculture and Balas Buco Sta. Maria National High School.
 
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DENR-BMB Assistant Director Antonio Manila delivers the Keynote Message
Mr. Jose Balazon, LGU Talisay Municipal Administrator gave the Welcome Remarks on behalf of Mayor Gerry Natanauan while DENR-BMB Assistant Director Antonio Manila delivered the Keynote Message. In his Welcome Remarks, the Municipal Administrator encouraged the youth to follow the Local Chief Executive’s example of taking care of the environment especially Lake Taal and inspired them to take the lead among their peers, family and school community in being stewards of the environment. Meanwhile, Assistant Director Antonio Manila highlighted the role of wetlands in disaster risk reduction and the youth’s important role in wetland conservation and disaster risk reduction.
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The Eco-Campers in their group activity, “Ako, ang aking Kapaligiran, at ang aking Komunidad”
With this year’s celebration theme, “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction,” the Camp utilized the Youth Eco-Camp training manual developed by the SCPW which highlights the connection between wetland conservation and disaster risk reduction.
 
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Ms. Wenda Caunca of the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) Office provides the Eco-Campers with the Overview about TVPL

Camp activities included lectures on wetlands, solid waste management, the seven (7) environmental principles and disaster risk reduction which were facilitated by SCPW. A lecture on the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape (TVPL) was given by Ms. Maria Wenda Caunca of the TVPL Protected Area Superintendent Office and an Overview of the Environmental Profile of Talisay by Mr. Henry Dimayuga of LGU Talisay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO). Ms. Katleya Rose Malabanan, the Officer In-Charge of the Office of LGU Talisay MDRRMO talked about the Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council Programs of their town.

SCPW Resource Person Mr. Aaron Julius Lecciones discussed the Disaster Risk Management Module. The module consisted of five (5) chapters about Disasters and Ecosystems, Introduction to Disasters, Risk Reduction and Climate Change Concepts and Definitions, Linking Disasters, Climate Change and Ecosystems, Disaster Management, Resilience and Ecosystems and Disaster Town Watching.

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Some Eco-Campers during the “Disaster Town Watching” activity in Brgy. Quiling

The participants were brought to Brgy. Quiling, one of Talisay’s most vulnerable barangays to disasters for the Disaster Town Watching activity. The activity aims to assess the disaster risks in the community by identifying the hazards, vulnerability, exposure, and capacity of the community, and to prepare risk maps using “rich picture” method overlaid on maps provided by the municipality. The Talent Night was also held to provide a venue and opportunity for the campers, camp masters and resource persons to interact socially and express what they have learned in the Eco-Camp in a creative manner while expressing their concerns for people, nature and environment.

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The Eco-Campers actively participating during the sessions
 
 
For their final activity, the participants prepared concrete action plans on how they can help conserve the environment and apply the DRRM Modules. The Eco-campers were asked to conceptualize a sustainable school project which would re-echo the learnings from the Eco-Camp in their respective schools. The action plans consist of awareness campaigns on Biodiversity, wetland conservation and disaster risk reduction.
 
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The Eco-Campers with LGU officials, DENR and SCPW staff posing for a souvenir photo