Now is the time to be changemakers for nature

September 16, 2021 Thursday

The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and a rustic rock garden tucked in the rainforests of Rizal. Photo from the presentation of Ann Dumaliang, Managing Trustee and Co-founder of Masungi Georeserve.

MANILA, 17 September 2021
 — The 62nd episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways” featured the stories of the Filipino youth who are at the forefront of generating broad public support for the campaign towards conservation of our nature and biodiversity.

The online conversation conceptualized and hosted by three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, with co-host Atty. Ipat Luna, featured guests including Ann Dumaliang, Managing Trustee and Co-founder of Masungi Georeserve; Mark Edison Raquino, Research and Development Coordinator of DALUHAY; Tasha & Bella Tanjutco, Co-founders of Kids for Kids PH; and KM Reyes
National Geographic Explorer and Co-Founder of Centre for Sustainability PH, Inc.
Dumaliang shared the environmental protection, education, and geotourism initiatives of the Masungi Georeserve, a conservation area and a rustic rock garden tucked in the rainforests of Rizal.
“As we all know, ang pangangalaga ng kalikasan doesn’t span for only 20 years. It’s a continuing lifetime journey. Hindi pwedeng kami lang ang nakakaintindi kung bakit dapat mahalin ang lugar na ito, kailangan na mas maraming tao pa ang matututong magmahal sa kanya. Ang gusto naming mangyari, nandito man kami o wala, kakayanin ng lugar na ito na mag-flourish,” said Dumaliang.
Raquino introduced Daluhay, a non-government environmental organization that promotes the preservation of indigenous culture and the importance of the health of the environment and the health of the people. Their programs and projects include Biodiversity Monitoring and Ethnobiology; Wildlife Rescue and Enforcement; and Intergenerational Dialogues.
"What we have been doing is the intergenerational dialogues. Binibigyan namin ng pagkakataon na mag-usap ang ating matatandang katutubo at ang mga kabataan, para mailipat yung mga importanteng bagay mula sa mga katutubong matanda at para mas mabigyan ng pagkakataon na magawa din ng mga kabataan natin yung mga kultura nila,” said Raquino.
The Tanjutco sisters introduced Kids for Kids PH, a youth-led empowerment organization that promotes culture, climate, and children’s rights.
“Over the course of 6 years, we’ve valued so many different advocacies, from environmental justice to social justice. What we really want for Kids for Kids is to create a platform where young people are able to step-up in the frontline and make a difference. Successfully we’ve been able to gather a community of young people and empower them to make a difference while they’re young. We've always emphasized that in everything we do, we should consider our people, as well as our environment,” said Tasha and Bella Tanjutco.
Reyes shared the projects of Centre for Sustainability PH, a women-led organization from Palawan conserving and protecting the country’s last remaining pristine rainforests in the country.
“The Centre for Sustainability is a women-led youth environmental organization from Palawan with a mission to conserve land. We protect our last remaining 3% of pristine rainforests through the establishment of protected areas because we see that policy is the only way to ensure the longevity and sustainability of our work. We can be passionate and spend a lot of time in the field that can change our hearts and minds, but for our work to have a legacy for our youth, there should be a policy as a backbone behind it,” said Reyes.
Legarda lauded the initiatives and projects presented by the guests in campaigning for meaningful youth engagement in environmental and climate action.
"I'm no longer a voice in the wilderness. When I was a young senator, when I did all my laws on environment, on children and women, on jobs, I thought I was a lonely voice in the wilderness. Ngayong pandemic at sinimulan ko itong Stories for a Better Normal with 62 episodes, narealize ko na ang dami kong kakampi at natututo ako sa inyo dahil ang trabaho ninyo ay on the ground,” Legarda concluded.
As an online discussion to promote health, environmental consciousness, and climate-adaptive practices, "Stories for a Better Normal" aims to change the mindset of individuals, families, and communities by demonstrating ways in which a ‘better normal’ can be realized within our communities.
This online discussion is organized in partnership between the Office of Deputy Speaker Legarda and the Climate Change Commission, with support from the Department of Education, Philippine Information Agency, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project-Philippines and Mother Earth Foundation.