While young, it is important that students start to embrace their role as stewards of the environment. It is for this reason that wireless leader Smart Communications (Smart) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) started a project called Project Connect.

A three-hour interactive and fun learning session, Project Connect aims to raise awareness among students from grade school up to college on pressing environment issues, specifically on climate change.

“In rolling out this awareness campaign, we want to promote the habit of caring for the environment among students and encourage them to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. Caring for the environment is a shared responsibility, everyone must contribute to that effort in any way we can,” said Ramon R. Isberto, Smart Public Affairs Group Head.

Young stewards

“Through our partnership with Smart for Project Connect, WWF-Philippines hopes to develop a strong base of young environmental stewards. The environment and development issues confronting us today are scaling up. Together with Smart, we are committed to educate today’s youth to build a future where people and nature thrive,” said WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma.

Launched in 2010, Project Connect was piloted in Peñablanca East Central School in Cagayan, Camarines Sur National High School, and Palawan State University. Last year, it was rolled out in Ateneo de Davao High School in Davao City and Dubinan Elementary School in Cauayan, Isabela. Recently, students from Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte benefited from the project and learned about energy efficiency and conservation, as well as renewable energy.

Best environmental practices

Project Connect is being done as a follow-through activity for the schools that won the National Search for Sustainable and Eco-friendly Schools (NSSES), a nationwide competition that recognizes the schools with the best environmental practices. Launched in 2009, NSSES is also supported by Smart in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environment Management Bureau.

A staunch advocate for the environment, Smart has been implementing various initiatives that can help mitigate the effects of climate change. It has also integrated into its business sound environmental practices for which it has won numerous international and local awards. These include the Green Merchandising, which uses stone paper for outdoor merchandising materials.

Smart has also been planting trees in key upland watershed and coastal areas nationwide, and is the lead proponent for efforts to reforest, protect, and rehabilitate the Upper Marikina Water Basin under the Marikina Watershed Initiative. (Press Release)

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