Photo Taken by: YouthForZero Documentations Committee
On 15 December 2023, Xavier Ateneo’s AB International Studies and AB Economics students organized A Net-Zero MisOr? A Comprehensive Discussion on Climate Action through the Lens of Different Stakeholders held in the XU Little Theater.
The talk series is part of the YouthForZero: Empowering Youth for Climate Action with the theme "Climate Action Now: Immediate and Collective Efforts to Combat Climate Change”, a project by the students enrolled in IS 21 (International Political Economy) and ECON 141 (Natural Resource and Environmental Economics) under the advisory of Ms Ruby Jane B Rivera.
With the urgent need to promote awareness of climate change and sustainable practices, the series aimed at furthering the dissemination of measures available to mitigate the effects of climate change. The series also sought to directly engage the community in the discussion about climate change with the ultimate goal of putting in place a collective action to counter the damaging effects of climate change.
Recognizing the important role played by mangroves in capturing carbon, Ms Anne Sherly G Bungcasan, technical staff of Xavier Ateneo McKeough Marine Center, initiated the talks (as the first speaker) with her topic “Mangroves as blue carbon and a nature-based solution for climate mitigation”. She emphasized how the mangroves have “the biggest biomass and highest capacity for carbon storage compared to other ecosystems.”
Amplifying the necessity to gradually shift to renewable energy, Engr Primo B Revilla III of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Division of the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office, called for a strategic transition to renewable energy, presenting the current and prospective initiatives of the Local Government of Cagayan de Oro in its transition efforts by presenting the City’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program; and articulating social and environmental justice, Samdhana Institute, Inc. Deputy Executive Director Mr Erwin B Quinones, called for everyone to care for the environment and others without reservations.
Delving deeper into Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Ms Monique Angelie Sabanal, Senior Environmental Specialist of the DENR Environmental Management Bureau Region X established the linkages of EPR to Sustainable Development, Circular Economy and Climate Change highlighting that circular economy should be a lifestyle now.
As the Founding Director of Xavier University Engineering Resources Center, Xavier Ateneo Vice President for Social Development Engr Dexter S Lo talked about the urgency of adapting to climate change and that adaptation stems from knowing the impacts, vulnerabilities and risks of climate change.
Meanwhile, Mr Jhon Louie B Sabal, Chairperson of Xavier Ateneo’s Economics Department, demonstrated how human technology has created systems of production and exchange that seem to defy natural orders.
The weeklong awareness campaign culminated in a mangrove planting activity in Bonbon, Cagayan de Oro in partnership with the McKeough Marine Center of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan and in the SPI Carbon Sink Project in Mapawa with Steag State Power Incorporated.