Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Youth participation key to addressing climate change issues – ChildFund Philippines

Youth participation key to addressing climate change issues – ChildFund Philippines

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ChildFund Philippines supports youth in Infanta, Quezon through a climate action program called Project GREENLIGHT. This initiative aims to help address climate change issues and mitigate climate-induced disaster risks, underscoring the central role of youth in driving climate action within their community. 

ChildFund Philippines gathered its partners from ReINa Federations of Parents Associations, Inc. and community members of Infanta, Quezon for a tree growing activity in one of the Project Greenlight areas

Project GREENLIGHT, in partnership with the municipal government of Infanta and ReINa Federations of Parents Associations, Inc., integrates Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) and Nature-Based Solutions (NbS) into the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) program of Infanta, Quezon. 


Project GREENLIGHT represents a comprehensive approach to climate action, acknowledging that climate change is a complex and interconnected issue. “It integrates education, community engagement, and sustainable livelihood development to help the next generation of local eco-leaders combat climate change, especially since the Philippines is prone to various climate hazards and risks due to its geographical location and human activities,” said Erwin Peter Galido, Program Specialist – Disaster Risk Management of ChildFund Philippines. “Our ultimate goal for this project is to eventually make this a national program and support more Filipino youth taking action to mitigate climate change impacts,” he added. 


The initiative employs a classroom-to-forest approach to support the youth in taking an active role in environmental protection and conservation, efficient energy consumption, waste management, awareness raising, local policy advocacy, and climate action. It involves taking students out of traditional classroom settings and into natural environments, such as forests, wetlands, or parks, to learn about environmental concepts, ecological systems, and conservation practices firsthand. 


“We believe in the power of these young individuals to make a meaningful difference in their communities and beyond. With Project GREENLIGHT, we aim to work hand-in-hand with them to actively contribute as catalysts for climate action, particularly in communities vulnerable to the impacts of disasters, and for a more sustainable and eco-friendly world,” said Anand Vishwakarma, CEO & Country Director of ChildFund Philippines. 


Youth leaders and advocates in the program, called Eco-scouts, highlight the importance of youth engagement in creating sustainable solutions to address climate change. 

Project GREENLIGHT Eco-scouts Lu By Ron Broto and Ramiline Resplanador stressed the importance of youth participation in climate action during their training on production of quality planting materials and nursery establishment in Infanta, Quezon.

“This immersive approach gives us a better understanding of why we need to combat climate change now more than ever,” said Ramiline Resplanador, one of the Eco-scouts. “Throughout the implementation, we are learning the impacts of deforestation and degradation on our community, and so we encourage other children to become better stewards of our planet,” she added. 


Lu By Ron Broto, another Eco-Scout, shared, “I apply what I learn from the project by encouraging my family to switch to more sustainable ways of living, including waste segregation, plant growing, and efficient energy consumption.” He added that the project also enhanced his leadership skills to educate more members of the community about climate change, helping them make conscious choices that have a positive impact on the environment. 


The project’s approaches and tools will enable individuals and communities to adapt to the challenges of climate change while simultaneously promoting sustainable development. This includes the promotion of climate-smart agricultural practices, green jobs and livelihoods (e.g., zero waste stores), and renewable energy, among others.


ReINa Federation and the government of Infanta, Quezon have been integral partners in the pilot implementation of the program, demonstrating a commitment to building climate resilience in Infanta, Quezon which is prone to natural disasters because of its diverse landscape. 


The government of Infanta emphasizes that climate awareness should lead to action. “It is imperative to get commitments on the ground and to act with more urgency. By thinking globally and acting locally to adapt to our community’s needs, we can effectively utilize our resources to mitigate climate change impacts,” said Ron Pallugna Crisostomo, Municipal Government Department Head I – Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer of Infanta, Quezon. 


ChildFund Philippines encourages more multi-sectoral collaborations with corporate institutions, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders to expand Project GREENLIGHT’s implementation to other communities across other parts of the country.


For more information on how to get involved, visit https://childfund.org.ph/get-involved/