CLEAR Ecological Camp for Laguna de Bay: Kilos Kabataan para sa Lawa

Calauan, Laguna  –The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), in partnership with the Society for the Conservation of Philippine Wetlands (SCPW) and Unilever Philippines (ULP) with the support of the Local Government of Calauan, Laguna hosted the Conservation of Laguna de Bay’s Environment and Resources (CLEAR) Ecological Camp for Laguna de Bay: Kilos Kabataan para sa Lawa from October 19 to October 21, 2016 at Lucidel Fishing Resort and Restaurant, Calauan, Laguna.

CLEAR is a tripartite partnership among LLDA, SCPW, and ULP that aims to increase awareness and encourage the active participation of the youth in the conservation of the Laguna de Bay. 

One of the major activities of the partnership is the CLEAR Ecological Camp: Kilos Kabataan para sa Lawa, a three-day Ecological Camp (Eco-Camp) that is designed to promote environmental and lake conservation concepts through lectures, workshop and field exposure that are aimed at developing young environmental stewards.

Building on the gains of the activity for the past years, the CLEAR partners identified the municipality of Calauan to be the next site of the Eco-camp with the following objectives:

  1. To learn about the basic ecological principles and how it applies to lake conservation.
  2. To learn about the environmental status of the lake, the pressures and problems besetting it and identify solutions that they can implement at their level.
  3. To appreciate the value of camaraderie and partnerships in working toward the conservation of Laguna de Bay.
  4. To strengthen and expand the reach of the CLEAR Youth Network.

Twenty participants from various high schools of the LGU of Calauan composed of students from Grades 8 and 9 were invited to the said activity.

During the first day of the Eco-Camp, lectures on various topics such as: 1) Working Together to Save Laguna de Bay: The CLEAR Partnership Unilever Philippines; 2) The Seven Environmental Principles Principles presented by Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, CLEAR Project Manager/ Executive Officer, SCPW; 3) Environmental Profile of Calauan presented by Mr. Roy Dalawangbayan/LGU of Calauan and 4) Ecological Waste Management were provided to the participants.  Ms. Maureen S. Tolentino, Public Relations Officer II delivered a brief welcome message while Mr. Michael Salandanan, Aquaculturist I from LLDA-Environmental Laboratory and Research Division (ELRD) shared a short presentation of the Lake’s Water Quality Status.

Towards the end of the day, J.R. Nereus O. Acosta, PhD., LLDA General Manager gave a presentation on the State of Laguna de Bay. “Ang lawa ay syang nagbibigay ng lahat dahil ang lawa ay simbolo ng ating kalikasan, nang ating relasyon sa kalikasan, ilang beses binanggit ni Jose Rizal sa Noli me Tangere at El Filibustirismo ang ganda, karangyaan at likhang yaman ng Lawa ng Laguna. May batas ng kalikasan at dapat ang pag galang sa lahat ng batas na likha ng natural laws, without which there is not photosynthesis, without photosynthesis, there is no food, without food there will be hunger. Hindi tayo ang may-ari ng Kalikasan, tayo pa nga ang dapat magpasalamat sa kalikasan dahil ang kalikasan ay LAHAT – Lupa, Araw, Hangin, at Tubig and that’s ecology. Ecology means, everything that is the source of life, at sa gitna ng LAHAT ay TAO,” Sec. Acosta underscored during his presentation.

On the second day of the activity, Mr. Jonathan Nicolas from LLDA-Environmental Laboratory and Research Division (ELRD) led the participants on a field exposure and field observation along the Lake. During the field exposure, Mr. Nicolas explained the purpose and usage of the various gadgets used by LLDA in monitoring the water quality of the lake and demonstrated how the data collected are being processed. Participants were then grouped and asked to develop their own Action Plan and Vision for the Laguna de Bay.

On the last day of the activity, each group presented their action planning outputs and pledged their commitments in the conservation of the Laguna de Bay environment and resources.

Also present at the event were Mr. Sonny Vibandor - Community Relations Manager, Unilever Philippines, Ms. Rose Aquino, Executive Assistant, Unilever Philippines and Ms. Joy Isla, Unilever Philippines who expressed their full support in this undertaking.

CLEAR has sponsored Eco-camps in nine lakeshore cities and municipalities since 2003: Tanay, Los Baños, Lumban, Pangil, San Pablo City, San Pedro City, Siniloan, Sta. Rosa, Laguna and Muntinlupa City. The UPS Foundation and the SCPW, on the other hand, conducted Eco-Camps in the municipalities of Angono, Binangonan, Pateros, Taguig and Muntinlupa. Another set of Ecological camps, funded by the UN-World Food Programme, were held in the municipalities of Rizal, Pila, and Mabitac in Laguna.