US Embassy supports Marine Conservation Camp in Coron

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THE US Embassy is supporting 30 outstanding youth leaders aged 18 to 23 selected from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to attend the culminating Sea and Earth Advocates (SEA) Camp in Coron, Palawan from June 10 to14.

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The 10 representatives from each region were chosen based on the marine and coastal conservation project proposals they pitched to a panel of mentors at the end of each regional SEA Camp.

The winning proposals from each region are receiving funding for their implementation from US Embassy Manila, as well as assistance and guidance from local partners and Save Philippine Seas (SPS). At the culminating SEA Camp, the regional representatives will give updates about their accomplishments. Ten projects will have the chance to receive additional funding to take their projects further.

In addition to presenting updates on their projects, the participants will explore Coron Island and hear from US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Eric Kneedler and prominent figures in the field of environmental conservation such as environmental economist Rina Rosales, AA Yaptinchay of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines, artist AG Saño, and Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Atty. Antonio Oposa.

SEA Camp is a partnership between SPS and the US Embassy in Manila and aims to empower youth aged 18 to 23 to play bigger roles in conservation. SEA Camp is also supported by Bobble, CP Kelco, Havaianas, Human Nature, Lagu, Nipa Foods, and Smart Communications, Inc.

Ambassador Philip Goldberg noted: “We now have a pool of proud Filipino ‘Seatizens’ who are passionate advocates of marine conservation… Protecting the rivers and oceans requires a global commitment—it is imperative for the United States and countries around the world to work together to protect and sustain the environment, as no one person or one country can use it or protect it alone.”

The selected representatives from each region are Gabriel Angelo Batallones, Czarina Constantino, Paola Ceriola, Jude Russel Cutapay, Ma. Michelle Maglasang, Jhoana Garces, John Robert Magsombol, Eastword Manlises, John Christopher Perez, and Maryliz Zubiri for Luzon; Katya Bonilla, Nikko Paolo Calledo, Keith Brandon Cari-an, Alenah Dy, Karen Patricia Fabile, Christine Thel Geollegue, Anna Katrina Perandos, Steffany Redison, Kenny Glenn Silud, and Grayson Yañez for Visayas; and Mohammad Abqary Alon, John Enriq Batapa, Fiel Melan Bulaong, Abdul Fattah Casangoan, Kevin Christian Chua, Mary Claire Geduquio, Lynrose Jane Genon, Solayman Maso, Manal Sugadol, and Krystelle Diane Teh for Mindanao.

The winning projects were judged based on their feasibility, impact, and innovation. One project from Luzon is KaliKlasrum, a water conservation module developed by Luzon SEA Campers Jude Cuntapay and M.M. Maglasang and will be implemented in Mano Amiga Academy in Taguig. In Visayas, law student Thel Geollegue proposed Salom (Share and Advocate Laws On Marine and Environmental Conservation), which intends to empower fisher folk, Bantay Dagat, and the local government unit of Hinobaan, Negros Occidental through discussions about existing laws in marine conservation. Enriq Batapa from Mindanao pitched PA! We can do it!, an educational campaign for the conservation of endangered sea turtles that nest in Maitum, Sarangani Province that will give locals the chance to learn proper handling and release of turtle hatchlings.

For more information and updates, please visit www.savephilippineseas.org, follow SPS on Twitter and Instagram @SavePHSeas, and like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/savephilippineseas.

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