First Gen-owned Energy Development Corp. is bringing back Geoskwela to Negros Island to continue inspiring the youth to be good stewards of the environment.
This year’s theme GeoSkwela 2021: Negros Beyond Sustainability will recognize the region’s budding content creators through a vlogging competition on encouraging young Negrenses to join the movement towards cleaner energy sources and ultimately, a better world.
The theme likewise emphasizes the importance of becoming regenerative by striving to do more good for the planet and society, which is what EDC’s revitalized mission to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future is all about.
“It’s not enough that we use less plastic straws, consume less meat, or use less coal power. Our planet needs us to do more good, like planting more Philippine native trees, using more eco-friendly products, buying local, and shifting to 100 percent renewable energy,” he told over a hundred students from various schools in Negros Island who attended a webinar on Zoom.
De Vera clarified that being ‘sustainable’ means doing less harm on our planet; and that being ‘regenerative’ means restoring the planet, and making it better.
He said EDC believes that inspiring the youth to move forward, and go beyond sustainability for a livable planet and a better tomorrow must start today. The most recent report of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change confirmed the “widespread, rapid, and intensifying impacts of climate change, which was mainly influenced by human activity”.
“We have a very narrow window of opportunity left to limit our global temperature to 1.5 degrees for the Earth to continue being a livable planet,” De Vera said.
Geoskwela 2021 had two speakers to a virtual webinar and awarding ceremony who shared their respective regenerative journeys.
Jamico Jamlang talked about the early beginnings and inspiration behind his social enterprises, The Bamboo Company, and zero-waste retail store Balay Qubo, and how a social entrepreneur can help alleviate the issues of climate change, poverty, and plastic pollution.
On the other hand, visual storyteller National Geographic Explorer Gab Mejia, co-founder of Youth Engaged in Wetlands, discussed how to influence other people to live the regenerative way through photography.
Norreen Bautista, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility in Negros Island, expressed her admiration for speakers Jamlang and Mejia, as well as the contest vloggers’ efforts to be eco-warriors at a young age. She emphasized that such role is not limited to the youth.
“We should first start with ourselves. Think of what you can do, how you can actually lower your own carbon footprint to set a good example to the people around you,” said Bautista.
EDC, through its Geo 24/7 campaign, is the country’s premier renewable energy company, and one of the world’s largest geothermal producers. Its 222.5-megawatt facility in the town of Valencia has been providing an uninterrupted source of clean, renewable geothermal power to Negros Island, Luzon, and Visayas regions. (PR)