Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Kwentong Kalikasan features Forest Champions


Kwentong Kalikasan features Forest Champions


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Kwentong Kalikasan is a video advocacy of the Association of Young Environmental Journalists (AYEJ) that features stories and profiles of emerging advocates and personalities in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, and the solutions they make to address forest landscape issues.

In one of its episodes, Anilaw Makumpot Mansumangka, a member of the Higaonon-Talaandig Tribe of Misamis Oriental and the Anak ng Tribu Higaonon-Talaandig Association leader takes the spotlight alongside six other forest advocates.

“The forest is our church, pharmacy, market, and hospital. For us lumad youth, if we forget the importance of nature, we will also lose the value of being part of a tribe. Our identity as lumads is tied to the forest,” Anilaw said.

According to Eric Buduan, Senior Program Officer of Forest Foundation, 30 million hectares of land area in the country was covered with forests before it declined due to commercial operations in the 1900s to the 1990s.

Moreover, Buduan said that forest conservation is not just about tree planting. Effective forest conservation starts with awareness and understanding of the importance of forests, hence the need for effective education and advocacy campaigns such as Kwentong Kalikasan.

The documentary also features personalities such as Reina Bontuyan, a mountaineer turned entrepreneur who founded an outdoor sports center where mountaineers and enthusiasts were educated to be more responsible in interacting with nature through workshops.

Kwentong Kalikasan also uncovers the power that maps hold through Andres Ignacio, who has worked with governments and indigenous communities to outline how the forest landscapes have changed over the years through their topographical and physical maps.

The series also presented development workers Thieza Verdijo and Archie Tulin, an adventurer and mountaineer Shania Yulo, and DENR Forest Ranger Zoilo Montebon, who took us into the life and struggles of the Kitanglad Guard Volunteers (KGV) of Bukidnon.

“The KGVs work for an honorarium but they don’t really mind much about the money. Because we simply want to protect the forest. Because protecting the forest is worth more than the value of money. Everything we need is already in the forest.” DENR Forest Ranger Zoilo Montebon said.

Sendong survivors were also featured in an episode where they read letters for their future selves after that fateful tragedy in 2011.

A Senior High School Teacher, who also lost his first-born son to the flash floods, Keith, now strongly advocates for the protection of the environment as a teacher saying that there is a need to have a coherent, sustainable, and collaborative approach in dealing with environmental problems.

Tropical Storm Sendong ravaged Cagayan de Oro City leaving over a thousand dead and more than 100,000 families displaced. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) officials cited that denuded mountains and forests in the upstream communities of Northern Mindanao caused the upsurge in water levels that ultimately impacted the downstream communities of CDO and Iligan City, among others.

The Kwentong Kalikasan series will air on television through Knowledge Channel every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday of February to May at 3:40 in the afternoon.

The episodes are free to access through AYEJ’s Facebook and Youtube accounts and are also available on the projects Distribution Partner platforms, Mulat Media, Oro Youth, FyT Media, Probe Media Foundation- Kabataan News Network, Oscar M. Lopez – Science for Climate Resilient Communities, and National Council for Children’s Television.