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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WWF: Project EcoKids Imparts Climate Solutions to Students

Launched in 2008, Project Ecokids was designed for environmentally-conscious kids and is the project of the Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC). While climate change lessons are not yet fully integrated into the public school curriculum, HSBC teamed up with WWF to design, implement and organize an education drive to teach children about climate change and the simple solutions they can adopt to prepare for its effects while they're still young getting them involved.

“We believe in empowering the youth to become future stewards for the environment. One good way is to make them realize that climate change is not some complex concept for grown-ups. Rather, it’s something they can understand, something they themselves can act on,” explains Project EcoKids team leader Obel Resurreccion.

Project EcoKids consists of four 60-minute modules, each delivered weekly. Climate Change is the first and explains the causes and effects of global warming and how human impacts accelerate or slow down its effects. Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy shows the various types of renewable energy sources in the Philippines and shows simple tips on how to reduce household energy consumption.

Resurreccion is a nine-year veteran of WWF and has led WWF’s various environmental education drives since 2005. Along with Resurreccion are the core members of the team: Ruel Bate, Dino Calderon, Dada Macusi and Maye Padilla.

The project is unique for being fully interactive and wholly immersive. Children are given opportunities to engage in role-playing, song and dance skits, arts and crafts, word games and math challenges. So aside from learning the actual lessons, children also come to realize that taking care of the environment is fun. “Masaya pala ang pagtulong sa kalikasan! (Caring for the environment can be fun!)” says a happy third-grader.

The results of the drive have been very encouraging: in one section of the T. Paez elementary school, climate change awareness levels doubled from 42% to 84% after four sessions. Shares Resurreccion, “When we first taught at the San Jose Elementary School in Makati, we were ushered into an AVR with over a hundred incandescent bulbs. After teaching them our four modules, we came back to find every single incandescent bulb replaced with energy-saving CFLs!”

Resurreccion echoes the undying passion and dedication of the project volunteers, many of whom take leaves off from work. One volunteer was inspired enough to shift college courses – from science to education. While touring with the team, he apparently found his true calling.

* * *

Back at the elementary school, classrooms again brim with the laughter of students. Led by the six volunteers, 200 children watch a charade staged by their own classmates. :I:Mack-Mack and Cecil, now sporting elaborate costumes, attempt – hilariously – to act as carbon dioxide emissions covering planet Earth. Both the crowd and the adults, including elementary school teachers, roar with delight. Another day, another batch of children successfully inculcated with climate change solutions.

Adds Resurreccion, “We hope that the success of Project EcoKids can be replicated in other areas – especially outside Metro Manila. With the need to act on climate change becoming more and more crucial, we just can’t sit around any longer. It’s high time for us to train a new generation of climate warriors. Panahon na!”

WWF is the world’s largest and most experienced conservation organization. Its science-based programs place strong emphasis on climate change solutions, food and water scarcity alleviation, endangered species and habitat protection and environmental education. Help us do what we do best. Log on to or be a WWF fan on Facebook to see how you can be part of the solution. Together, we shall face environmental adversity - to leave our children a living planet.

For more information, please contact:

Obel Resurreccion
Environmental Education Head, WWF-Philippines

Maye Padilla
Project Officer, WWF-Philippines

Gregg Yan
Communicator, WWF-Philippines


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