The local government of Pasig City has partnered with the Masungi Georeserve Foundation to educate and train local teachers in environmental conservation to incorporate watershed education.
The Mayor of the City of Pasig, Vico Sotto, and officials from the Pasig School Division Office (SDO) met with representatives from the Masungi Georeserve and the Canadian Embassy on Friday, November 4 at the Hotel de town.
During the meeting, representatives from Masungi presented their localized watershed education module to Sotto.
To further inspire the students to learn more about environmental conservation, Masungi also introduced “Lakbay Daloy”, a board game developed by their team.
Lakbay Daloy serves as an interactive method to teach learners about river flows in the watershed.
The module and the board games are intended for students in grades five to eight.
Masungi said they will train 100 teachers in four towns and municipalities around the Upper Marikina watershed.
Teachers who will participate in the training program will also be brought to the georeserve to facilitate a hands-on and immersive experience.
“Our goal is to make citizens aware of the role and importance of our watershed. Recent floods and landslides have shown the vital link between forests and cities,” Masungi said in a statement.
In a social media post, Sotto shared their meeting and expressed his support for the initiative.
“Awareness is the first step in protecting our environment, preventing devastating floods,” Sotto said.
Sotto’s support for Masungi
With Sotto at the helm, the local government of the city of Pasig has shown a willingness to work with Masungi Georeserve to expand environmental protection initiatives.
He was one of five Metro Manila mayors who signed Masungi’s Joint Call to Action last June, pushing for the cancellation of quarrying agreements in the Manila watershed. Upper Marikina.
Other signatories from Metro Manila were Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro, former Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Angono Municipality, Rizal Vice Mayor, Gerardo Calderon, and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Last September, Sotto also expressed his support for Masungi when armed individuals were seen in the geo-reserve.
He stressed the need to defend the environment and raise awareness about the dangers of land grabbing.
In July, Sotto and members of the local government visited the reserve. They walked the discovery trail and planted Katmon trees inside the geopark.
Masungi’s education for young people
To promote environmentalism among young people, the Masungi Georeserve Foundation offers schools the opportunity to immerse students and teachers in nature through their “Young Explorers Program”.
The program aims to help young people “contribute to a more sustainable Philippines”.
Learners hike for one to two hours through the Discovery Trail, traversing “the stone steps of the trail through secondary forest, a cave, a limestone peak, and bamboo groves.”
They learn about Masungi’s history, their conservation efforts, and other development practices along the journey.
They can also plant trees in selected areas to help reforest the reserve.
With the help of Filipino conservationists, the georeserve has also set up the Masungi 360° for the public who want a virtual experience of the georeserve.
It is the “first interactive platform that offers an immersive learning experience about our native and endemic biodiversity, showcasing real stories from rural communities and on-the-ground conservation challenges”.
Masungi also has a variety of information kits available on its website, including brochures and online briefings on deforestation, reforestation, land speculation, local and indigenous communities, and sustainable tourism practices.
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