Haribon interns join youth camp

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Metro Manila high school students take a ‘groufie’ with the Haribon interns at the end of the camp

Metro Manila high school students take a ‘groufie’ with the Haribon interns at the end of the camp

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) held its three-day Youth Camp in May at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.

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Focusing on the significance of biodiversity to the environment, the event gathered over a hundred high school students from Metro Manila who participated in activities aimed to inspire them to realize the connections between biodiversity and resources.

The Haribon Foundation was present to help achieve the seminar’s goal. The foundation, with the support of USAID Philippines Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+Wiser) Program, lent the enthusiasm and energy of its interns who talked about two natural ecosystems—freshwater and forest—as well as conducted activities for the participants.

Being part of the freshwater team, we facilitated in activities that helped relay the importance of protecting and saving freshwater ecosystems. Leading the activities exposed us to this under-valued ecosystem. It made us conscious of our own actions concerning proper waste disposal for example, empowering all of us in saving our environment.

Having the opportunity to be part of the Youth Camp made us realize that being an educator is not as easy as we thought it was. Despite the challenges, there was a consensus that having the ability to produce responsible citizens of this country is worth the sacrifice and effort.

According to E.O. Wilson, “We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.” Preserving our environment is a process we learn through first-hand experience; and that is what happened to us as Haribon interns.

We had come to understand that our environment is like our bodies. When we eat and drink nutritious food and drink, we maintain healthy bodies. On the other hand, when we eat or drink unhealthy food and drink, we become weak and ill.

We also realized that our environment is just like us. If we continued to feed it with waste and other harmful chemicals, we are destroying it and in return, it becomes sick. We then become sick as well. As volunteers, together with the high school students of the Youth Camp, we learned about the importance of caring for our environment. The benefits from these supposed unseen ecosystems will not last forever unless we consume them with care. Everything is interconnected, and it is time for us and our fellow youth to act accordingly.

Interested in joining an internship with environment conservation? Contact Nikki at volunteer@haribon.org.ph.

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