Youths Attend Ocean and Seas Forum

The scorching heat did not deter students and faculty of Fort San Pedro National High School (FSPNHS) from participating in the Ocean and Seas Forum on May 6, 2024. The event was the highlight of DENR 6’s Month of the Ocean celebration, themed “Develop a Sustainable and Equitable Blue Economy.”

Organized by the Conservation and Development Division (CDD) through its Coastal and Foreshore Resources Management Section (CFRMS), the forum saw active participation from at least 50 students and faculty members.

Emelyn S. Peñaranda, PhD, CDD Assistant Division Chief, and CFRMS Chief Forester Mary Ann Baldove, DDM, led the event.

“The Month of the Ocean aims to highlight the importance of the conservation, protection, and sustainable management of coastal and marine resources and our environment. Region 6 is also an archipelagic region, that’s why we have a lot to gain and at the same time, a lot more to do to protect our seas,” Peñaranda said.

The forum featured lectures on the ocean’s contributions to the economy and livelihoods, ways to combat marine pollution, especially single-use plastics, and a trivia game to reinforce learning. Participants also learned how to properly fill out a Volunteer Ocean Trash Data Form.

“Your presence here is a testament of your love for our oceans. The heat did not stop you from joining this activity. As youth, you represent the future, and it is crucial that you are equipped with the knowledge and skills to take care of our waters. We, at DENR, hope that you would become strong partners in this mission,” Baldove stated.

Students shared their commitments to protecting the seas and provided feedback on the activity. One participant said, “I acknowledge even more today how important our oceans are. I can now say and testify that I will protect our seas and educate my peers and fellow learners about what I learned here.”

DENR 6 urges everyone to support efforts to keep waters clean and harness the potential of the blue economy.

“It is very important to engage with young people so that as early as possible, the core value of being ‘Makakalikasan’ can be inculcated in them. As an archipelagic country, we rely so much on the ocean and seas. Therefore, we owe the rich blue waters that surround us our commitment and dedication towards its protection. Let us work together, the government and the private sector, to preserve our marine ecosystems for the next generation,” said Regional Executive Director Livino B. Duran. (DENR-6)