My warmest greetings to the participants as well as the organizers of the 10th Youth for Environment Summer (YES) Camp. This summer camp is an excellent opportunity to widen the base of people, especially the youth, who are aware of environmental concerns and the various measures being done by all stakeholders to address this pressing issue. This years theme, Handa ka na ba? (Climate Change Adaptation: The Next Level), captures the essence of the issue by asking the right question - of whether or not we are prepared to cope with the changes in the environment which we are witnessing at present. I am looking forward to the youths inputs on this important issue, and I am proud to acknowledge your involvement in our drive to mitigate the devastating effects of the climate change in our country. Mabuhay Kayo!
Welcome to the 10th Youth for Environment Summer (YES) Camp!
The DENRs collaboration with DepEd and other partners in holding the annual Youth for Environment Summer (YES) Camp has yielded positive results towards the achievement of not only raising the awareness, but also ensuring active participation of the youth in environmental advocacies. For almost a decade now, the YES Camp has roused the consciousness of the youth on pressing environmental issues of our country, and has empowered their potential to act and effect real and positive change in their spheres of influence. This years 10th YES Camp is another oppurtunity to bring our actions to the next level. Its theme, Handa ka na ba? waves the red flag that readies us to take off for another round of Climate Change adaptations and preparedness. No matter how formidable this challenge is, we need to face it in great earnestness and convinction. So, on behalf of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, I urge each and every one of us to continue our hardwork with sincere dedication and determination. Together, let us not stop to work as a team for our common goal of saving Mother Earth.
Today, we challenge everyone to answer the question: Handa Ka Na Ba? Are we ready to adapt to the consequences and impacts of climate change? The answer to these questions could make a great difference. By realizing the importance of adaptation, lives and properties could be saved and risks to food, water and energy security could be minimized. Proactive adapt actions are key to both human and ecological resilience in the face of this more invasive environment or what others would call the new normal which we now live in. It is in this context that the theme: Handa Ka Na Ba? (Climate Change Adaptation to the Next Level) revolves. In essence, it is a reinforcement of last years theme: Ako ay Handa. This year, we will go deeper in our knowledge and understanding of climate change; analyze our current efforts at adaptation; and evaluate if we are in the right direction towards a low-carbon and green development. Otherwise, based on the present scientific findings, we will have to redirect our actions to better respond to the challenges of the changing climate. It might scare us to know about the likely fate of our planet with the grim predictions and future scenarios being played out. But let us bear in mind that since man is the source of the problem, the solution also lies with each one of us. And that while the challenges seem daunting, there is reason to be hopeful since more and more institutions and groups, from government, the private sector and civil society, are now aware of the problem, are engaged and are working together to face this massive global challenge. It is therefore important for us stakeholders to be more proactive in healing Mother Earth. Let us participate in the global call of the Earth Day Network International for this years Earth Day celebration for 1 Billion Green Acts. Acting as individuals, families, communities, organizations or groups, we can take action and make a difference. As David Orr, a scholar and an environmentalist, once said, when we heal the earth, we heal ourselves. Let us take a stand for Mother Earth. Let us take action now! Let us adapt to climate change and thus, say YES to a better life.
The most abundant resource we can utilize against climate change is always human resource. The more adept people are with climate change adaptation, the more chances we have in being successful in the battle against climate change. It is education that plays an essential role in our battle against climate change for we are not only facing technological and social but educational challenges as well. Climate change adaptation in environmental education may be relatively new but it is high time that we make this mainstream. The different climate change adaptation strategies, the relationship between the environmental problems here and abroad, the need for solidarity between the government and the public should surface in all environmental education strategies. I urge all students, youth leaders, educators and the Local Government Units to take the lead. Starting from the bottom and working our way to the top is one of the most effective ways of involving more people in this environmental advocacy. Let us strengthen the biggest resource we have by actively participating in enriching activities such as the Youth for Environment Summer Camp. God bless us all!
The road to Climate Change Adaptation is a journey of a thousand miles. It begins with a single step and for the Youth for Environment Summer (YES) Camp, it started in 2008 in Dumaguete City. Since then, the YES Camp has been leading the Filipino youth in understanding Climate Change and how we can adapt to and mitigate its effects. For this year, the camp would like to emphasize on Climate Change Adaptation as one of the most effective ways to respond to this global threat. By aligning our lifestyles to the changing patterns of the worlds climate, the young will be able to know what to do and how to be better prepared when disaster strikes. For many years, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Special Concerns Office (DENR-SCO), through the Youth Desk, has been supporting the environmental programs and projects of the Department of Education (DepEd). The DENR-SCO has been providing technical assistance to the Youth for Environment in Schools (YES) Program of the Center for Students and Co-Curricular Affairs (DepEd-CSCA). As DepEds partner in the environmental advocacy, we are also thankful to DepEd Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC for creating an inspiring development to the YES Program through the issuance of DepEd Order No. 52, 2011 (Strengthening Environmental Education in Public and Private Schools). The said DepEd Order enjoins all public and private elementary and secondary schools in the country to establish the Youth for Environment in Schools - Organizations (YES-Os) and conduct various environmental projects to benefit the community. We aim to have more young environmentalists who will protect our schools and our home planet. Altogether, we believe, we can adapt to Climate Change. We hope that this years camp will go far in teaching the young the values of taking care of the environment. At the end of this activity, may we all answer YES to the question Handa Ka Na Ba?. Mabuhay po tayong lahat!
With 92 million people, the Philippines faces threats from more intense tropical cyclones, drastic changes in rainfall patterns, sea level rise and increasing temperatures. All these factors affect our natural ecosystems, cascading to impact on our food security, water resources, human health, public infrastructure, energy and human settlements, among others. This years Youth for Environment Summer (YES) Camp with the theme HANDA KA NA BA? (Climate Change Adaptation: The Next Level) will certainly enhance the youths awareness on the effects of climate change to our environment and natural resources. According to PAGASA, the countrys average annual temperature of 26.6 C is projected to increase by 0.9C 1.2C by 2020 and 1.7 C 3.0 C by 2050. There will also be an increase in rainfall in most areas of Luzon and Visayas from 2 17% by 2020 and 1 16% by 2050 while Mindanao is projected to undergo a drying trend. There is also a projected impact of one meter sea-level rise in many areas of the country affecting coastal settlements and livelihood. NAMRIA also reported that the one meter sea-level rise can translate to an estimated land loss of 129,114 hectares. Of the 27.5 million hectares in the late 1500s, the countrys forest lands is currently at 7.2 million hectares or only 24.27 % of the countrys total land area due to indiscriminate logging, expansion of upland agriculture and unplanned land conversion. Amidst all these projections, the Filipino Youth has a significant role to play. One simple yet challenging role of the youth is to help advocate the rehabilitation and management of Manila Bay and other similar bodies of water through proper segregation and disposal of wastes, planting of trees to ensure that other resources are not depleted, and other relevant interventions. We, at the DENR-Manila Bay Coordinating Office, together with our partner agencies, are counting on the participation of the youth to be able to effectively and efficiently comply with the expected outputs of clean-up, rehabilitation and restoration of the Manila Bay to class SB level. Without a doubt, this will also help our country cope with the effects of climate change. Mabuhay ang Kabataang Pinoy!
There are a lot of stories and movies that illustrate the idea of end of the world scenarios. Some researches and theories actually tell us about the life span of our living planet. Who would forget the blockbuster movie 2012 which predicted that the Earth will experience devastations and catastrophes this year with only few of us surviving? What if it happens to our real world? What if it happens today? Are we ready? As yet, the neares