Since 2008, HSBC and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) have been visiting different Metro Manila schools to implement Project ECO-Kids, a climate change awareness campaign to inspire students into becoming environment-conscious kids.
To ensure proper continuity, a workshop entitled ‘Your Climate, Your Future’ was implemented in 2009 to provide an opportunity for teachers from Project ECO-Kids schools to learn more about climate change and other environmental issues. As agents of change, educators have a wonderful opportunity to help children develop Earth-friendly habits. As role models for their students, teachers also have the opportunity to become effective advocates for the environment.
Last 14 and 15 October, the third ‘Your Climate, Your Future’ Workshop was held at the HSBC Centre in Bonifacio Global City. The two-day workshop focused on three themes – the Science of Climate Change, Health Impacts of Climate Change and Climate Change in the Classroom. These topics were presented to 35 participants from different elementary schools within Metro Manila through interactive modules and activities.
HSBC’s Group Communications and Corporate Sustainability Officer Denise Roque welcomed the teachers and commended them for being role models for their students and their communities. “As teachers, you play a crucial role in educating the future generations and inspiring them to become responsible citizens. We hope you continue to inspire your students and become role models of your communities.”
Resource speakers for the workshop included WWF-Philippines Climate Change and Energy Programme Director Atty. Gia Ibay, who discussed the causes of climate change and its effects both on the national plus global levels, and World Health Organization Consultant Dr. Glenn Roy Paraso, who discussed the impacts of climate change through the alarming regional increase of climate-related diseases such as Dengue and Asthma.
A carbon-footprinting exercise was conducted to allow teachers to assess how their personal habits contribute to climate change and determine changes that they can adopt in order to live sustainably. WWF-Philippines Environmental Education Head Obel Resurreccion said to the participants, “Hindi mo maaagapan ang paglaganap ng climate change kapag hindi mo alam ang pinagmumulan nito, kaya dapat magsimula ang solusyon sa bawat isa sa atin.” The teachers were able to calculate and publicly present their individual footprint and suggested various adoptable actions to live a sustainable lifestyle.
The second day of the workshop focused on bringing climate change lessons inside the classroom. With Project ECO-Kids as an example of using environmental education as a key integrating concept, the teachers saw how lessons about the environment can also be introduced to subjects such as Math, English, Filipino, Civics, History, Music, Arts, Computer Education and they used ebook reader for the lessons and PE – as well as in school-wide events like field-demonstrations and in school-wide policies.
One representative each from both Pembo and Fort Bonifacio Elementary School was asked to share their schools’ responses to climate change issues. Pembo ES has been a partner of Project ECO-Kids since 2008, while Fort Bonifacio ES has already been with Project ECO-Kids for two school years.
To end the program, HSBC Assistant Vice President for Group Communications Toni Armas commended the participation of the teachers who were engaged in lectures and discussions, writing of lesson plans, even song and dance numbers. “The role of teachers is very important in addressing issues of climate change and the environment. Kayo ang pinakikinggan ng mga estudyante, kaya ituloy niyo po ang mga aral sa workshop na ito sa inyong mga eskwelahan.”was part of her message to the participants.
Project ECO-Kids’ first three phases (AY 2008 – 2011) has reached over 20,000 students across almost 70 schools. The ongoing run for AY 2011-2012 aims to reach 2000 students in 10 schools.