34 student leaders in Negros Island attend environmental youth camp

VALENCIA, Negros Oriental (PIA) – Thirty-four college student leaders from Negros Oriental and Occidental converged in a weekend environmental youth camp on November 20-22, to learn about the advantages of renewable energy, climate change adaptation and their role in using social media.

Dubbed as “Binhi Youth Camp,” this activity was organized by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and was held at their sprawling camp facility in Barangay Puhagan, Valencia.

Campers were engaged in various experiential learning activities that underscored the importance of protecting the environment. Campers were also taught on how essential it is for the said renewable energy firm to plant trees to recharge the reservoirs for its geothermal operations.

“We train them here not only to see the beauty of nature but also how to relate themselves to the environment. They have actual planting (activity) and they have a philosophical way on how to plant it. They pray on the trees.  At the same time, we also teach them leadership values,” Dr. Ted Esguerra, EDC’s crisis team head said.

Esguerra was one of the speakers of the youth camp where he gave a lecture on preventing disasters and accidents from happening and how to deal with them in case they happen.

The youth camp kicked-off with a lecture on the youth’s role in social media which was delivered by Philippine Information Agency-7 regional director Minerva Newman.

In her talk, Newman emphasized that youths should be responsible handlers of social media since it can be a tool to inform others and influence opinions. She advised them to post only positive things and things which have purpose that can bring good information to others.

She also shared to them some applications she uses to maximize the use of social media accounts.

Aside from this, campers also had a briefing on the advantages of renewable energy with EDC official Carlo Borromeo.

Borremeo gave a lecture on the different kinds of renewable energy including geothermal energy. He also told them renewable energy is the good source of power to meet the increasing power demands brought by the expansion of hotels, malls, other commercial establishments and industries since it is available, free and has less negative environmental impact.

Moreover, campers were also given a briefing on EDC’s environmental conservation program which is “BINHI.”

BINHI is part of EDC’s corporate social responsibility that aims to plant indigenous forest trees to restore denuded forestland due to EDC activity and that will later on become new forests and attract bio-diversity of species.

“We are doing this BINHI youth camp to train these student leaders to instill environmental awareness. Ito ang mga stakeholders natin na very energetic so malakas ang influence ng mga bata,” Abba Grace Sanchez of EDC said.

Sanchez is the Watershed Management Head of EDC’s Negros Island Geothermal Business Unit Head (NIGBU)

One of the highlights of the youth camp is the planting of 34 indigenous tree species (equivalent to the number of participants) to EDC’s tree planting site in Nasulo.

Meanwhile, Engr. Dwight Maxino, Vice President of EDC-NIGBU disclosed that the renewable energy firm opened is BINHI youth camp for college student leaders so that they will know the company’s environmental practices in watershed management.

Some participants of the youth camp expressed their gratitude to EDC for organizing a three-day youth camp.

“We are excited to be part of this event. As a youth it is easy to share (the learning) to the younger people by simply being a model. We need to extend our hands to the people needing us,” Zecariah Chito Jumawan, a student leader from St. Paul University Dumaguete remarked.

Another highlight of the activity was the “Amazing BINHI Race” where campers were engaged in physical games like rappelling, slide for life zipline, wall climbing and other mental puzzles to test their leadership and camaraderie skills. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-NegOr/Article was first published at PIA website on Nov. 23, 2014)

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