A roster of activities that will promote the creation of eco-schools and eco-cities has been lined up by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) as it leads nationwide celebrations of Clean Air Month, Environmental Awareness Month and Climate Change Consciousness Week (November 21-25) this November.

With the theme “Green Schools : Build Climate-resilient and Sustainable Communities”, these activities will aim to inculcate environmental awareness among the youth and promote ways of reducing their negative impact on the environment. It will also focus on sharing and upscaling of good practices of environmentally-sustainable communities to pave the way for the build-up of more sustainable and eco-friendly schools in the Philippines.

The country has long been feeling the impacts of climate change and part of the global solution is keeping communities safe and strong through adaptation and mitigation measures, said EMB Director Gilbert Gonzales. “It is imperative that all of us stay committed to countering the adverse effects of this phenomenon and building sustainable solutions for the long-term benefit of people and nature,” he added.

For the entire month of November, the DENR-EMB Central and Regional Offices, together with other partner agencies and organizations are joining forces to promote the three events and spearhead the line-up of activities that will be celebrated this November.

The celebration of Clean Air Month will kick-off with a youth forum (3 pm to 5 pm)–cum- free clean air concert (5:30 pm to 8:30 pm, dubbed "Project : Green Schools; Lesson: Climate Resiliency" at the Market! Market! Activity Center in Taguig City on November 8. The three-hour concert will feature a number of popular bands like 6 cycle mind, Silent Sanctuary, Gloc 9, and clean air champion Lou Bonnevie. This concert is organized by EMB-DENR with the Earth Day Jam Foundation, and other sector-partners.

The EMB, through its Air Quality Management Section (AQMS), will conduct a National Airshed Management Seminar - Workshop on November 7-11 in Clark, Pampanga. At the regional level, there will be Takbo para sa Malinis na Hangin (November 26) in MIMAROPA; Airshed Summit and Check your Car Day (November 15) in Region 5; “Bike for Air” (November 4) in Region 8; Transport Forum for Clean Air (November 8) in Region 12.
Most of the activities on environmental awareness center on climate change, solid waste management and water quality management. On November 15-16, EMB Central and NCR Offices will hold a Metro Manila Partners’ Forum for Adopt-an-Estero/Water Body Program at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City. It will be followed by a National Harmonization Workshop on the Adopt-an-Estero Water Body Program which will converge EMB regional coordinators of the Adopt-an-Estero/Water Body Program to share experiences and success stories on November 17-18.
Other activities include Workshop on Philippine Environment Partnership Program (PEPP) to Support Industry Self-Regulation Towards Improved Environmental Performance on November 8-11 in Region IVA; and National Water Quality Management Area Conference on November 21-25 in Region 12.

A National Senior Educators’ Conference on “Greening Higher Education Towards Sustainable Development Goals” will also be held in Iloilo City from November 22-24, in coordination with the Philippine Association of Tertiary Level Educational Institutions in Environmental Protection and Management (PATLEPAM).
For its part, DepEd is also mobilizing all its division offices to encourage schools/academic institutions to become more actively involved in environmental issues at a practical and local level. On November 25, all divisions will celebrate the National Day for Youth in Climate Action which will gather elementary and secondary students in a forum clean air, solid waste management and climate change.

Also included in the line-up are activities on waste recycling, tree planting, water conservation, climate change, environmental film showings and symposia, including school clean-ups. This month’s celebration will also drum beat the upcoming National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools next year.
For the National Climate Change Consciousness Week which is celebrated from November 21-25, the DENR’s Climate Change Service, and Strategic Communications and Initiatives Service, in coordination with DENR bureaus and offices, will be holding an Exhibit on Climate Change from November 21-25, at the DENR Lobby in Quezon City. Happening in the afternoons of November 21, 23 and 25 will be a Lecture Series on Climate Change for the Schools and Communities at the DENR Social Hall, also in Quezon City.

As part of its Nationwide Campaign for Climate Change Education, the San Beda Environmental Law Society, with the DENR, Climate Change Commission, The Climate Reality Project, SEED Institute will be organizing a series of youth fora on climate change which will be conducted at the De La Salle University campus during the Climate Change Consciousness Week.

On November 25, EMB-Region 6 will have Youth Empowerment Summit 2016 or YES 2016 & Eco-Friendly School Champs Exhibit that will gather exceptional future leaders who will share their inspirational stories on climate change.
Month-long activities in support to the triple celebrations will be held simultaneously in DENR and EMB regional offices. In MMAROPA, a Seminar for Teachers on Basic Education on Environmental Laws and Promotion of 2017 National Search for Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Schools on November 9 in Oriental Mindoro; Launching of Bawas Balot, Bawas Basura Program (November 28); In Region 5, Climate Change Exhibit @Sorsogon (November 16-18); in Region 8, there will be a “Bike for Clean Air” (November 4); In Region 9, there will be Dalaw Turo in selected high schools (November 8-9, 21-23); Clean Up Drive in Zamboang del Norte (November 2-4); In Region 12, there will be a Learning Event on Solid Waste Management for Selected LGUs in Region 12 (November 2-3); Users’ Training on the Operationalization of Online Permitting and Monitoring System-Wastewater Discharge Permit Module (November 21-25).

For information on these activities, you may log on to EMB’s official website (www.emb.gov.ph) or visit EMB’s official Facebook pages (facebook.com/EcoFriendlySchoolsPhilippines and facebook.com/emb.eeid).###