To promote awareness on the urgent need to protect the environment, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) conducted environmental education lectures to selected pupils of three public elementary schools under DepEd Cavite’s purview, July 11 to 12.

DENR, through its Strategic Communication and Initiatives Office-Development Communication Division (SCIS-DCD) and Regional and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices, discussed basic ecology and care for waterways. The lectures were conceptualized to give support to the Manila Bay Clean Up initiated by DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, since Cavite has a direct tributary to Manila Bay through Cañas River and other waterways.

Around 180 Grade 5 and 6 pupils from Tejeros Convention Elementary School (TCES), Rosario Elementary School (RES), and Agustin Abadilla Elementary School (AAES) were inculcated with the value of environmental preservation and taught of environmental practices they can observe at home, in school, and in the community through various pedagogies such as flip chart sessions, film showing, and powerpoint presentations.

Information, education, and communications (IEC) materials like 200 pieces of Kalikasan coloring and activity book, 8 pieces of Kalikasan and Estero flip charts, 50 climate change brochures, and CDs on climate change and “Battle of Manila Bay” were donated to the said schools to supplement the re-echo of the lectures to the rest of the student population and the schools’ stakeholders.

On a lighter note, DENR recognized the schools’ makakalikasan best practices which were made possible through its stakeholders’ collaboration.

Based on a report forwarded by DENR to DepEd Cavite, the three schools strictly implement waste segragation. RES engages in plastic bottle collection, tree planting, and urban gardening as facilitated by the Boy Scout and Girl Scout of the Philippines while its Youth for Environment in Schools Organization leads the conduct of Fun Run para sa Kalikasan, mangrove planting, and coastal clean-up. Meanwhile, AAES has banned the use of single-use plastics (i.e. plastic cup and straw, plastic spoon and fork, sando bag) in the school compound in support of the Division’s policy prohibiting the use of such materials. (Rey Ann M. Avilla, Project Development Officer I, Cavite Province; with reports from Maria Madeline P. Dela Peña, DENR Information Officer III)