Ifugao youth unite to protect environment, culture

By CONNIE HAPULON
www.nordis.net

LAGAWE, Ifugao — Participants of the First Ifugao Youth Summit on Environment and Cultural Heritage gathered in Don Bosco High School on March 21 to discuss the issues of youth today in Ifugao with regards to their environment and cultural heritage.

Amianan Salakniban and the Ifugao Green Youth Movement, in coordination with the Ifugao Peasant Movement and the Provincial Governor’s Office, organized the said activity.

The Ifugao Cultural Heritage Office (ICHO), the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO), the Provincial Population and Sustainable Development Office (PPSDO) also partnered and participated in the activity. The Provincial Agriculture, Environment, and Natural Resources Office (PAENRO) sponsored the activity.

Participants came from Don Bosco High School, Kiangan National High School, and Lagawe National High School. They also came from the NGO sector, namely Kiphodan and Kataguan.

The activity aimed to impart awareness concerning environmental situation. It sought to raise the appreciation of the youth towards defending their natural resources and cultural heritage.

Most of the participants signed the one billion signature and peso campaign to defend the environment as their form of support for the campaign.

Together, the participants gave thanks to the almighty God and the great Kabunyan for granting wisdom with the fruitful and bountiful discussions.

In their discussion, they recognize the role of the youth in sustainable community development through a clean and healthy environment while protecting and conserving the proud cultural heritage of the Ifugaos.

The participants put forward the following recommendation in their unity declaration;

1. To form an environmental youth network to serve as a venue for program formulation and implementation of environmental advocates and youth leaders here in ifugao;

2. To establish a regular and more active platform for the Ifugao youth to discuss their ideas and concerns, formulate and implement resolutions in these concerns and ultimately, allow them to perform their obligatory role in the society as future bearers of the land, life, and resources;

3. To use cultural and theater as an effective means of educating the youth about various issues that concerns them like the environment and cultural heritage conservation and development;

4. To help in creating a vice-free environment for our fellow youth;

5. To strengthen, review, and monitor the implementation of indigenous and ifugao traditional knowledge and customs in our education system in order to foster a healthy indigenous identity in a time where indigenous practices are vanishing;

6. To actively participate and engage in numerous occasions and events that will give the youth chances to develop their knowledge and partake in an active role in the preservation and genuine development of the environment and cultural heritage; and

7. To ensure that the rights of the youth to basic needs such as education, employment, and health will be achieve through constant dialogue and lobbying in all levels of the government.

A copy of the unity declaration will be sent to the provincial government and their offices, the high schools, and the NGOs. # nordis.net

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