World Vision conducts climate change summit to intensify waste management in Cotabato
COTABATO CITY – “Sustainability means leaving something for our children,” says guest speaker Ryan Fabay, Mindanao State University Faculty, in the recently concluded Climate Change Summit in Cotabato City.
The Climate Change Summit aims to engage identified communities in improving their mechanisms on waste collection, waste segregation, recycling and other climate change adaptation practices. The initiative is organized through World Vision’s Adapting Solid Waste Management as Climate Crises Solution project in partnership with local government unit of Cotabato City.
“Basically the Climate Change Summit is the effort of World Vision and the local government unit to reach the communities and involve them in managing, conserving and protecting the city environment,” says Fabay. According to him, bridging the gap between the government and our community partners to work together will bring effective and sustainable output to the citizens, most especially the children of Cotabato.
“The number one problem we have in the city in our solid waste management efforts is the lack of awareness and participation of the locals,” expresses Engr. Crisanto Saavedra, City Environment and Natural Resources Office. He adds that the event is a very good way to maximize our information and advocacy campaigns.
“The event intends to educate the communities in solid waste management as climate crises solution by decreasing solid waste dumped in their communities,” says World Vision Project Manager, Mark Sefuentes. “Our method is to engage communities through the 3Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle approach,” he explains.
The summit also addresses the need for the collaborative efforts of the different stakeholders including the government, communities, social enterprises, business owners and the children and youth. “We are currently partnering with local stakeholders and relevant establishments to preserve and sustain our solid waste management efforts in the city,” says Sefuentes.
Jornalyn Castillo, purok leader and a mother of four, extends her gratitude for being invited to join the summit. She also shares her experience about their increasing problem in their community.
“One of the major concerns that we have in our barangay is the unresolved flooding in our streets exacerbated by the improper disposal of trash in our surroundings,” Castillo says. She worries that this could lead to fatal diseases that could potentially harm the people especially the children.
Castillo extends that the summit motivates her more to lead her constituents in advocating the 3Rs in her in own barangay to ensure their safety and protection. “I will also start training my children for them to know the important value of proper waste segregation in their young age.”
“Also, I was amazed that solid waste management will not only benefit to environmental care, it can also be a good source of income. As what one of the speakers said, ‘May pera sa basura’ (There is cash in trash),” she shares.
“We want to create a better world for our future generations by preserving our environment and providing financial opportunities to people that we are working with,” underlines Sefuentes. “This summit is very integral to motivate the local communities to embrace our program and be more aggressive in creating crises solutions which is very timely right now since it is now typhoon season in our country,” he adds.
He emphasizes the idea that community participation is the very heart of World Vision’s solid waste management initiative and that the end-line and the very goal is to protect and ensure the safety and security of the children and youth.