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In celebration of the Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week, the Department of Education (DepEd) held the 3rd National Climate Change Conference last November 18-19, 2019. Themed “From Lessons to Actions: Bridging Schools to Communities, Toward Addressing Climate Challenges”,  the conference focused on the role of the academe in responding to the climate crisis and provided an opportunity for discourse and collaboration among government, academics, learners and other key stakeholders.

The Oscar M. Lopez Center, along with other representatives from academe, civil society organizations, and other community stakeholders, took part in helping deepen lessons learned inside the classroom and transforming them into practical action.

Bridging Schools to Communities

In her keynote message, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda recognized the role of the youth in responding to the climate crisis. In their own addresses, Grade 12 student and member of Youth for Climate Hope and Youth Strike for Climate PH Joshua Villalobos and Grade 7 student and member of ABS-CBN Foundations Seeds of Dreams Joana Marie P. Pura appealed for the support of youth-led climate action. 

The conference featured twelve climate action initiatives developed by high school student groups from various regions of the country in response to their community needs. The initiatives showcased technological innovations, policy proposals, and advocacy campaigns from Angeles City Science High School – Senior High School (Angeles City), Assemblywoman Felicita G. Bernardino Memorial Trade School (Bulacan), Ayala National High School (Zamboanga City), Bukidnon National High School (Malaybalay City), Dipolog City National High School (Dipolog), Jacinto Cuevas National High School (Basilan), Muntindilaw National High School (Antipolo), Ramon Magsaysay High School (Manila), Samar National High School (Catbalogan), Samar National School (Catbalogan), San Jose National High School (Occidental Mindoro), and Talamban National High School (Cebu City).

The student-led projects were selected after a national call for submissions opened to junior and senior high school students in public or private secondary institutions. Selected student groups received mentoring from innovation and climate specialists to develop and scale up their projects, and cash incentives from the OML Center.

From Lessons to Actions

In support of the conference, the Oscar M. Lopez Center Executive Director, Dr. Rodel D. Lasco, participated as one of the mentors to student presenters on “Offsetting Carbon Footprint in High Schools for Mitigating Climate Change” (Bukidnon National High School), “Activated Carbon from Rambutan Branch as Filter Media for Mufflers” (Ayala National High School, Zamboanga City), and “Automated Drainage (Canals) Cleaner System and Waste Segregation Robot: DraiegBot” (Talamban National High School, Cebu City). 

In the afternoon, Dr. Lasco, with Yeb Saño of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, conducted a Climate Change 101 breakout session attended by students, teachers, DepEd coordinators and representatives of local government units.

The OML Center also set up a booth at the conference that featured quizzes and games to promote information on climate change and resilience. Conference participants also wrote their climate change calls and resolutions on the Center’s action wall.

Aside from the OML Center, the 3rd National Climate Change Conference was organized by the DepEd Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Service (DRRMS) with the support of Save the Children, World Vision Development Foundation, Inc., Plan International, and the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation. Around 900 participants attended the conference.

DepED also participated in a climate change advocacy show at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last November 19.

For more information on available climate research initiatives, visit the OML Resilience Grants page, the Philippine Climate Change Assessment Report page, and the Climate, Disaster and Development Journal

Photo (top) courtesy of Department of Education. Other photos courtesy of Annie Beldia, OML Center.