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Youths Draft Communication Plan On Climate Crisis Mitigation

Forty youth leaders from Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental have come up with environmental advocacy communication plans (comm plan) that will promote activities in their respective localities drumming up awareness and support to the mitigation of the global climate crisis.

The youth leaders participated in the two-day “BYC (BINHI Youth Camp) 2.0” communication plan contest held here on Wednesday, undertaken by geothermal power leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

EDC started the BINHI Youth Camp six years ago to increase awareness among student leaders in Negros Island on the importance of renewable energy and other issues and concerns related to the preservation of the environment.

This was specifically through the company’s primary greening program, BINHI, which targets to promote and plant native trees, and also geothermal energy which is abundant in Negros Oriental, through the firm’s Southern Geothermal Project, said Frances Ariola, EDC public relations specialist.

Deviating from the usual BINHI Youth Camp held each year, EDC thought of bringing together this time the “best of the best” or the BYC leaders who have still remained as volunteers and are actively participating in the company’s environmental projects even after they had completed the training, Ariola said.

Hundreds have completed the BYCs in the previous years, and some are still in school, others have already graduated and are either employed or seeking employment, while others are transitioning from their recent graduation to the “real world”, she said.

With this, EDC thought of coming up with a contest among the active BYC youth leaders to see who have the best communication plan that is doable and feasible in their respective communities, Ariola said.

Divided into four groups, the youth leaders presented their communication plans, namely, “Kalegolike”, “QURAL”, “EarthDukasyon”, and “CommuniTalk”.

The Kalegolike proposes for the community to collect plastic soda bottles and transform them into building blocks like Lego (a global popular brand of building bricks), and the plan includes materials recovery and livelihood training, among others.

Also, the idea is to engage a small community, such as a barangay, to pilot the project.

QURAL, meanwhile, involves the establishment of Quick Response (QR) Codes on murals that tell of environment stories.

The proponents say this would be easy, considering that with modern technology, it is easy to develop a QR code. QR scanner apps are also available for download.

Content can be found at a website after a person scans the QR Code which would re-direct that person to a link.

Local artists are being eyed, and the project proposal could take off from a local university.

Meanwhile, EarthDukasyon targets kids starting at age 10 for the “earth education” through one of its approaches, Juan to Tree, to get them to plant native trees.

Two other approaches include Paint It Green, which involves art that aims to bring awareness and stimulate children to become active participants in environmental clean-ups and water re-use, and Earth Monologues, where kids will have the opportunity to express themselves and their impressions, feelings and emotions linked to nature, through theater.

The fourth communication plan dubbed CommuniTalk, basically engages the communities through IEC (information, education, and communication) campaigns.

Its rationale includes promoting environmental stewardship in promoting environment attentiveness, and Environmental Education is the key initiative to transmit feasible knowledge to the community, raising awareness about pressing environmental issues and taking proper action and finding solutions.

Ariola said EDC will help the winning team implement their proposal but this will have to be fine-tuned or tweaked to align to the core business of the company and to also communicate its own environmental advocacy.

During the two-day activity, the BYC youth leaders listened to some talks by Harris Guevarra of DRINK Communications who spoke on how the youth can use social media to promote their advocacies; 22-year old Gab Mejia, a National Geographic explorer, who has traveled the world to advocate climate change which he now describes as a climate crisis and whose advocacy is wetlands; Ma. Theresa Zamora, EDC manager for Human Resources partnerships who spoke about career moves and what it is like to be in the real world; and Eufemia Ybañez, a retired EDC personnel who is now actively participating in various fields of advocacy, and who spoke about the joy and beauty of serving others and volunteer work.

The final talk was given by Jay Joel Soriano, head of EDC’s Integrated Planning, and considered the father of the BINHI Youth Camp, on surviving the real world after college. (Mary Judaline Partlow PNA via NDB).

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