by Jeffrey Troyer
On Saturday November 26th, GESM secondary students were joined by select international school participants in for the Sustainability Summit Manila 2022. The theme of this year’s conference at International School Manila was “Sustainability, Equity and Environmental Justice”.
Participating in the event were IBDP student Shagorika Kar (Gr.11) along with Alex Ruiz Inkanen (Grade 9).
The event commenced with an impassioned opening speech by Eiren Buenviaje, NCR Coordinator of YACAP, a youth environmental activist organization. The focus of the speech was on environmental justice here in the Philippines and around the world. After that, the students participated in interactive workshops on sustainability as well as listened to superb speakers like Mr. Vijay Padmanabhan, water expert from the Asian Development Bank, to how to to further the efforts of local NGO’s and create “collective community power” to fight for sustainable development.
Finally, the students were treated to a closing speech and forum by Mr. Antonio Gabriel La Vina. A Filipino lawyer, activist and environmental policy expert, Mr. La Viña delivered an impassioned call for those youth in attendance to pick up for him as his “forty years” bringing attention to these issues has bought him to the twilight of his career and it was time a new generation take up the cause.
This was the third version of the summit and the first to be held in person. The atmosphere and energy were positive along with the powerful messages the day presented.
As a UNESCO school, we hope to continue to engage in these meaningful events to further our mission to engage in local and global pressing issues such as climate change and environmental challenges.