Department of Education-Central Visayas regional director Salustiano Jimenez and Environmental Management Bureau-Central Visayas spokesperson Engr. Cindylyn Pepito. (Screenshot from DepEd-7 video)

CEBU CITY – The top education official in Central Visayas on Tuesday highlighted environmental preservation and conservation efforts in school campuses here as a way to inculcate care for the environment among public elementary and secondary school students.

Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Visayas regional director Salustiano Jimenez said during the Regional Climate Change Caravan school campuses are implementing various environmental programs to actualize school-based biodiversity development.

“Nowadays, DepEd in Central Visayas intensifies further our effort in restoring our environment and biodiversity restoration and conservation through forestation, gulayan sa paaralan at tahanan (vegetable gardening in schools and homes), integrated school nutrition model, information and education advocacy, integration of climate mitigation and reduction at the basic curriculum, biodiversity conservation program in collaboration with non-government organizations, like Soil and Water Conservation Foundation,” Jimenez said.

He added that the education sector believes that if various types of plants are planted within the school campuses, it will increase biodiversity development in the future.

The DepEd-7, he said, started to initiate an advocacy program called the “SAL on ECO-BIKER”, which stands for sustainable program for the environment, advocate Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 and the love of nature.

The program also encouraged environmental projects and promotion of bicycles as means of transportation.

Jimenez said the program also promotes conservation of natural resources as well as biodiversity conservation through outreach and interactive activities as well as educating people on the concept of "reduce, reuse, and recycle" and reforestation.

The DepEd-7 official said many species of the country’s flora and fauna are now threatened because of some people's apathy and irresponsibility towards the environment.

Cindylyn Pepito, Environmental Management Bureau-Region 7 spokesperson, said during the caravan that was featured over the social media platform that the concept of preservation and conservation must be taught to the young generation, stressing their future responsibility in taking care of the environment.

Pepito also noted that health is inter-related with the environment as the latter has a great influence over the people’s well-being.

“You cannot detach health from environment so as environment from health. How we manage the so-called environment will greatly affect our health. Your health does not depend on your lifestyle or food intake alone but it is greatly affected by the quality of environment where you are in,” she said.

Pepito said the environmental caravan at the DepEd-7 is part of the activities leading to the celebration of the 14th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week from November 19-25. (PNA)