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Schools convergence targets student network for zero-waste sustainability

by Nathaniel Carampatana | April 17, 2023

About 100 student leaders from schools and universities around Dumaguete City and the municipalities of Bacong and Sibulan were gathered for the discussion and promotion of zero-waste programs during the Zero Waste Youth Convergence 2023 at the Silliman University Hall on February 17. 

The convergence, organized by the Zero Waste Youth Negros Oriental (ZWY NegOr), aimed to increase awareness among students on ways to observe proper waste management and environmental sustainability.

ZWY NegOr President Mark Krylle Paitan said, “We want to share zero-waste advocacies with them; that is why we are gathering them to help them jumpstart their zero-waste program in their schools…”

Paitan also emphasized the need to create a network of students and youth members from local sectors to ensure the project’s sustainability.

Moreover, Mercy Ferrer, a Community Zero-Waste advocate, said that waste management is a serious issue and that school networks would help propel the progress of the advocacy.

“I think a network of kindred spirits like teachers, administrators, principals, and student government can come together and discuss what we can do individually. The local government should hear what the waste workers say because they are making their efforts, but they are not supported that much by their barangays,” Ferrer added.

Among the speakers of the green initiative were Paitan, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)-Asia Pacific Executive Director Froilan Grate, and Kinaiyahan, Inc. President Leodegario Rosales, all imparting their knowledge on building “#SustainableSchools,” the event’s central theme.

The Dumaguete Women Waste Workers Association was also among the attendees. They presented their work on maintaining Dumaguete and Apo Island waste-free.

Aloha Santos, president of the association, said, “I am encouraging all the people to practice zero-waste to slowly eliminate the increased rate of plastic pollution not just in Metro Dumaguete but also in other communities.” 


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