Every year thousands of tons of garbage winds up in the oceans, with 60% of that being composed of plastic material. Plastics especially last a very long time in the ocean, and are in such abundance that there are 46,000 individual pieces of plastic litter for every square mile of ocean. Plastics are very hazardous to marine life, killing more than a million birds and over 100,000 seals, turtles, and whales, and an immense number of fish in our ocean. The International Coastal Cleanup Day encourages us to get out to our beaches and help to limit this problem by cleaning up the garbage that has washed up on shore, and that left by visitors every day.
The International Coastal Cleanup Philippines (ICCPH) campaign in Zambales recently held a two-day summit where they had discussed possible solutions to the most pressing environmental problems facing not just in Subic Bay but the entire nation as well.
The ICCPH has partnered with the International School of Sustainable Tourism in Subic Bay Freeport Zone for the environmental summit which was held at the said campus last September. Some 3,000 participants, particularly from the academe, civil society and other stakeholders from across Subic Bay and Zambales attended the event.
, who was the pioneer that initiated the annual coastal cleanup in the area said that the summit and the climate workshop aims to engage everyone especially the students to become actively involved in the implementation of programs and projects of the ICCPH, especially for Subic Bay and nearby provinces.
ICCPH Environmental Summit’s mission is to raise the levels of awareness and to encourage more people to lend a helping hand to save the environment. ICCPH believes it’s about time to build a legacy of healthy planet for the sake of the future generations.
The ICCPH Environmental Summit was an exhilarating two days of discussion, film showing, lectures, workshops and networking in order to empower young leaders to be the change they want to see in the world. Delegates were able to lean from the experts and guests speakers about a variety of environmental topics with discussions and as well as on-the-spot Q & A.
‘Participants got to learn and know more about the ICCPH’s programs and understand them better. At the same time, it was also a chance for the guest speakers to present ways for us to strengthen program implementation,” explained Atty. Izelle Deloso, Administrative Head of Zambales Provincial Government and one of the speakers where she discussed about Zambalinis, an environmental initiative in Zambales.
Deloso added: ‘The most important thing is, everything was interactive and allowed everyone to foster a closer working relationship. This is also a step for the ICCPH in embarking towards being more than an annual activity, but an activator of change.”
For two days, delegates heard from environmental experts from political, business and scientific spheres. The Summit was structured around creating collaboration around environmental solutions and utilizing the youth to inspire fresh thinking and new ideas. Hearing from global figures, delegates had the opportunity to take part in several workshops.
Simultaneously, movie screenings for the students were also held in Harbor Point Ayala Mall where it featured two award-winning documentary films “Nick & Chai” (A film about Super typhoon Haiyan [Ondoy]) and “High Tide” was shown which were both aimed to enrich the environmental consciousness and understanding of the participants.
Participants and visitors also had the chance to see an art eco-fair exhibit at the Harbour Point Mall and the International School of Sustainable Tourism. The exhibit showcased recycling initiatives in promoting environmental protection.
The environmental summit was organized by the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, 111th Squadron, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, The Lighthouse Marina resort Legacy Foundation, National Solid Waste Management Council of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the National Coast Watch Secretariat.
Special thanks to the following: Mr. Zed Avecilla, ICCPH Zambales area coordinator and deputy chief of staff for marine environmental protection of the 111th Squadron of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, to the Lighthouse Marina Resort, Ms. Joyce Alcazar and Ms. Jade Bigay.