Eco-literacy could help check climate change
Rex San Diego (The Philippine Star) - October 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Can climate change be addressed through the integration of values into the lifestyle of every Filipino?

The Holy Angel University (HAU) in Angeles City, Pampanga, and the UNESCO-Asia Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education (APNIEVE) Philippines believe so.

And the key phrase is ecological literacy, which promotes the idea of improving the environment by advocating a shift in mindset that prioritizes waste reduction.

It starts by building partnerships with the public schools in Pampanga.

The group sought to influence more learning communities by directly engaging the different Schools Divisions in Central Luzon, starting with the Schools Divisions of Angeles City, City of San Fernando and Mabalacat City.

And APNIEVE has expressed support for eco-literate programs through training, benchmarking and service-learning in schools, including the engagement of different sectors, and sharing of best practices on sustainable development as developed and implemented in HAU, Miriam College and other UNESCO-APNIEVE member institutions.

“We can start in our own little ways, by going micro,” said Alma Natividad, dean of the HAU College of Education.

Globalization has made today’s people highly consumerist and heavily dependent on digital technology, in effect losing appreciation of nature and its processes.

According to Rhoda Santillan-Tayag, project proponent, to have an eco-literate lifestyle is a step to reducing the world’s issues.

“When we become eco-literate, we become more responsive to the conditions of our environment,” Tayag pointed out.

“The problems of the world today are systemic, what we wear, what to eat, thus the need to be practical and minimalistic,” Tayag shared.

Meatless days are also identified as a means to address climate change.

“There is a link between meals, deforestation and global warming. Changing our diet can help fight climate change,” Tayag suggested.

A United Nations report revealed that the cattle industry annually contributes an estimated 7.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“That is why to understand one’s place is to understand one’s self. And to reduce meat consumption is a big step towards realizing this,” Tayag explained.

Among the priority goals for UNESCO-APNIEVE, eco-literacy is aligned with education for sustainable development.

“It (eco-literacy) is also an important component for citizenship education in all sectors,” said Lourdes Quisumbing-Baybay, president of UNESCO-APNIEVE Philippines.

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