VALENCIA, Negros Oriental (PIA) – Some student leaders in Negros Island showed their support to preserving native trees by planting 40 seedlings of indigenous trees in Barangay Puhagan here.
The tree planting activity was part of the recent three-day Binhi Youth Camp (BYC) organized by Energy Development Corporation (EDC) which gathered 28 participants from different schools in Negros Island Region (NIR).
The camp, now on its third year, aims to strengthen environmental advocacy among young people.
Campers planted seedlings of Narra, Yakal, White Lauan, Bagtikan, Molave and Nato in a designated site inside the camp facilities of EDC in Brgy. Puhagan.
“It’s my first tree that I have planted. It’s sad but I think it’s not too late for anyone. It definitely felt inspiring because I know I may not be able to see that plant grow myself but I know if we continue to work for the environment, we will be able to let our children see our tree grow to a big one,” said 21-year old Val Vestil of Silliman University who is a participant of this year’s BYC.
Another participant of the camp Aileen Catalan, a 29-year old criminology student from Bago City College in Negros Occidental, who shared that she is grateful that the youth camp gave her an opportunity to plant a tree that will serve as her remembrance to the place.
Apart from this, Catalan also said the tree planting event is symbolic of the hope to protect the environment.
Catalan revealed that she was a former nun before entering college to study criminology.
However, she noted that taking care of the environment has been her advocacy ever since.
“I am a nature lover. In fact, in our home we plant any kinds of plants like medicinal, vegetable,” Catalan said.
Catalan underscored that it is the responsibility of every person to take care of the environment.
“We must protect the environment because it is God’s gift to us. We as stewards of His creation, we must be the one to protect it and destroy it,” she added.
Aside from the tree planting activity, campers also learned EDC’s environmental sustainability initiatives particularly its greening legacy program Binhi through various lectures and discussions.