The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) thru its Strategic Communication and Initiatives Service (SCIS) together with the Regional Strategic Communication and Initiatives Group (RSCIG), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) Zamboanga del Norte and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Manukan conducted an Environmental Education Lecture to the Grades 4-6 pupils of three selected Elementary Schools within Zamboanga del Norte on January 24-26, 2023.

The schools were Cogon Elementary School, Dohinob Central School, and Tinaplan Integrated School with selected 60 pupils per school who vibrantly participated in the lectures on Basic Ecology, Climate Change, and Solid Waste Management. The lecturers were from the SCIS, in the persons of IO III Maria Madeline Dela Peña, IO Arlene Ty, AA I Glory Jane Elacion, and IO Crisanto Mejia. In between lectures, cash prizes and rewards such as Tayo ang Kalikasan Bamboo Tumblers, Umbrella and Comics were handed to the pupils who correctly answered the questions from the lecturers, manifesting excellent competitive skills of the pupils. Selected pupils showcased their talents through ethnic dance intermission and a duet. Pre and Post tests were also administered to assess and evaluate their learnings. Further, the Pinas Basura Buster (PBB) mascot brought more excitement when he displayed his dance moves with the “Kung Walang Aksaya, Masaya” promotional video in the background.

A tree-growing activity was likewise conducted by the team at the identified areas by each school where the pupils were given the opportunity to plant by themselves with the supervision of the teachers and the DENR.

The School Principals and teachers expressed their gratitude for having their schools chosen for the activity, which allowed the pupils to learn how to better take good care of the environment. In response, the SCIS handed gifts and tokens to the latter for their warm welcome to the team.

PENRO Cidur S. Julsadjiri made sure that the young learners were able to grasp the information shared with them. He emphasized the severity of the climate change happening at present, hence, encouraged the young ones to do their part little by little that in the end will bring a great impact on our quest in solid waste management and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The role of youth in environmental protection is immensely relevant. And the DENR takes environmental education very seriously as the youth can make their homes, schools, and youth organizations more environmentally friendly by adopting environmentally friendly practices, recycling of different materials as well as preserving resources such as water and electricity. In effect, the youth can make the world better and prove the famous saying, “Ang Kabataan ang Pag-Asa ng Bayan.”