19 Sep Environment Week 2019 : “Breathe Life, #Beat Air Pollution”
By : Ms. Joanne Bontia and Mrs. Mary An Olaveja
Last July 22-26, 2019, the High School Department held the Environment Week Celebration following the UN theme of World Environment Day 2019 – “Breathe Life, #Beat Air Pollution”. This year’s theme invites everyone to look into how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce and thwart its contribution to global warming and its effects on our own health. It challenges us to acknowledge and respond to the urgent task of fighting air pollution.
During the week-long celebration, the JHS and SHS students engaged in various activities such as conducting experiments, working on performance tasks, writing reflections and carrying out discussions related to the theme. The celebration culminated with an Eco Forum attended by all students. Experts in their own field were invited as resource speakers namely Dra. Grace Anne Pancho, a pulmonologist; Mr. Enzo Villalon, an advocate of the environment and business development specialist of Unioil; Mr. Dustin Jefferson Onghanseng, air expert, innovator (Indoor Air Quality Sensor) and CEO of uHoo; and Ms. Desiree Llanos Dee , an alumna and the Climate Justice Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
The Eco Forum focused on the causes, effects, mitigations, ecopreneurship (environmental entrepreneurship) and concrete actions that can be done to curb air pollution. Towards the end
of the forum, the students had a lively interaction with the speakers as they raised several questions. The students also watched a documentary film entitled “China Airpocalypse”, a case study on the adverse effects of air pollution and its worsening condition. They were given guide questions and the Science teachers facilitated the discussion.
The Grade 12 – STEM students did solar lamp making through LampARAW. This activity enabled them to do hands-on construction of solar lamps in order to heighten their awareness
on the benefits of renewable energy. These solar lamps can be used as night lamps or garden lamps in their homes. The lamps can also be donated to ICA’s partner communities.
Overall, these activities provided opportunities for students to gain meaningful insights on air pollution and ways to help mitigate its effects by doing simple but sustainable ways of living. At the end of the day, the students were able to express gratitude to God for the gifts He has given us – the Earth and its rich environment.
In line with the celebration of Environment Week 2019, we remember the message of our dear former DENR Secretary, the late Ms. Gina Lopez to ICA in last year’s Environment Week
Celebration with the theme, #Beat Plastic Pollution, If You Can’t Reuse it, Refuse It”. Her passion and dedication for her advocacy on environment protection and preservation is truly
remarkable and worth emulating. May her message to us continue to challenge and inspire us to do all that we could to become true stewards of God’s Creations.