ssme coral triangle day playCampers learned about climate change and human impacts thru playing the Resilience, Survive and Thrive tabletop gameTaytay, Palawan -- As part of the Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion (SSME) Project’s capacity building program with Philippine partners in NIPAS sites such as El Nido -Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, a full week of Science Camp called 'Guardians of the Coral Triangle Science Camp’ took place in Tay Lelong Pension House in Taytay, Palawan on June 14-17, 2016. This developed in close partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources through the Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR-BMB) and with Conservation International (CI) Philippines.

The activity gathered around 29 students who were currently in their 2nd and 3rd years in high school from six different campuses in Palawan. With the theme “Save the Coral Triangle – Stop Plastic Waste!”, the Science Camp gave lectures on biodiversity, environmental laws and policies and solid waste management to raise the students’ awareness on the value of coastal and marine biodiversity. Fun games, video presentations, field works and other exciting activities were prepared for the participants to give them eye-opening experiences.

Protected Area Superintendent (PASu) Alex Mancio officially opened the activity with a presentation on the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resourced Protected Area and the measures that the province is taking to address persistent threats to their environment.

Mr. Arvin Acosta of El Nido Tourism Office delivered a presentation on environmental degradation in different forms and its threats. He pointed out how tourism can be beneficial to the community and harmful on the other hand, if unregulated. In his closing statement, he encouraged the campers to be defenders of the environment and protect Palawan's resources.

Mr. Pablo de los Reyes, Jr. of DENR- BMB gave lectures on Marine Turtle Management and Conservation and the nuances of the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) as stipulated under Republic Act 7586 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.

ssme coral triangle dayStudents actively participated during the sessionsA side trip to Lake Manguao, a popular bird watching site and is a home to a number of endemic plants, rare species of fish, and a citrus-like plant in Palawan was arranged by Mr. Joie Matillan. He also lectured on the types of birds that could be seen in the area.

Ms. Davelyn Pastor of Conservation International oriented the campers of various species of seagrass, corals, coastal animals and mangroves on another short trip to Palawan’s Purungyawan beach. Each student listened attentively during the discussion despite the scorching afternoon sun.

The teachers who were present in the camp were also taught how they could recycle plastic to produce excellent handicraft products.

The student campers pledged to be real guardians of the environment by starting the change within themselves, supporting conservation activities and taking an active role towards increased awareness on the importance of biodiversity at their very young age. The Guardians of the Coral Triangle Camp indeed allowed campers and teachers to connect to the environment.

Check out the Guardians of the Coral Triangle Science Camp’s Facebook page for more information about the activity. #


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