Sunday, May 26, 2024

A Call to Save the Environment

by Paul Ray G. Donaire | October 11, 2022

The environment plays an essential role in our lives. It serves as a shelter for all living things on the planet. For life to be necessary, environmental protection is a crucial intervention that everyone must be accustomed to. However, with nature at its breaking point—pollution, global warming, and temporal displacement, among others—the environment gradually deteriorates and is slowly facing death. What’s even more alarming is the fact that human activities are the main contributors to these problems. To make matters worse, some are unaware of the consequences of their actions or choose to turn a blind eye.

With the rising global demand for environmental conservation, it is the obligation of constituents in the community to save the environment. Frustrating as it may sound, these have been somewhat overlooked in the eyes of the government, regardless of frequent discussions on environmental crises. Yet, this has never drawn back the passion of the university’s student body to continue advocating for environmental rights. 

After two years of online distance learning (ODL), the Silliman University Supreme Government (SUSG) Environmental Committee—currently chaired by environmental activists Dignity Lagunay and Joshua Villalobos—is back in action once again with an in-person approach and a mission to encourage the student body to participate “towards a cleaner, healthier, and greener Silliman Campus, promoting and sustaining social and environmental justice within and beyond the university.” 

Due to the depletion of natural resources and rampant climate change, the emergence of the environmental movement has increased over time, demanding collective efforts in the pursuit of ecological sustainability. As part of the growing process, it is important to be immersed in a world where one can mold themselves to the value and spirit of stewardship as well as engage and be inspired to take part in environmental endeavors in order to help combat climate change on Earth—our home.

In taking into account, one of the committee’s goals is to make Silliman University a model of an environmentally sustainable university and foster partnerships within environmental organizations in the local communities. This has motivated the committee to plan a series of activities for S.Y. 2022–2023, primarily focusing on the climate crisis and climate solution awareness, zero-waste, and marine conservation. 

Among the notable programs of the committee was exhibiting a climate solution showcasing the zero-waste products from a local partner, Ritual Dumaguete, and a solar generator from the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development during the Genesis. It is also worth noting that the committee has secured a partnership with Zero Waste Youth Negros Oriental and spearheaded an outreach environmental program where they mobilized an estimated 400 young people from various organizations and institutions in the city of Dumaguete for a clean-up drive at Barangay Bantayan, Barangay Looc, and Barangay Piapi.

The committee, with the support of the university, continues to provide opportunities for students to engage in environmental protection. To this end, it is up to you to take the chance and address the urgent call to save the environment. Age doesn’t define the roles of an individual, but it is the duty of an individual to find their roles in society. And clearly, with the actions that have been made possible by the committee within the community, it is never too late for you to partake in the worldwide environmental movement.

Let us stand together to save the planet by upholding our institution’s vision to commit to total development for the well-being of society and the environment. Be it a small-scale contribution or the other way around, making a difference is what matters—and it starts with the way we practice advocacy in our personal space.   

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