UPV USC, environmental defenders mark Earth Day with reg’l summit

UPV USC, environmental defenders mark Earth Day with reg’l summit

The University of the Philippines Visayas – University Student Council (UPV USC) together with environmental defenders marked Earth Day, April 22, with the holding of the Panay Environment Summit 2024 at the UPV Little Theater, Iloilo City campus. 

With the theme, “Defend the Environment: Uphold People’s Rights to a Safe, Clean, Healthy and Sustainable Environment," the regional summit provided an avenue to shed light on urgent environmental concerns in Panay. 

Among the concerns highlighted were the impact of the Jalaur River mega dam in Calinog town, Iloilo on the Tumandok people’s ancestral domain and resources; the impact of the use of glyphosate in soil, vegetation, water resources, and the health of farmers; and the possible impact of mining in Pan de Azucar, Concepcion town, Iloilo on its people’s livelihood and marine resources. 

These topics were discussed by John Ian Alenciaga, Coordinator for the Jalaur River for the People’s Movement; Kervin Bonganciso, Regional Advocacy Officer of the Magsasaka at Siyentipiko para sa Pag-unlad ng Agrikultura (MASIPAG) – Visayas; Ymah Belle Beraye, USC Councilor and Environmental Concerns Committee member; and Helen Balajadia, leader of the Save Pan de Azucar Island Movement. 

Participants from various sectors, mostly students from the different student organizations in the region, attended the summit. Representatives of progressive groups, fisherfolk, farmers, religious groups, people’s organizations, publications, and the National Union of People’s Lawyers, among others, attended the regional summit. 

The summit is co-organized with Oikos Panay, the Panay Alliance of Concerned Citizens for Health and Environmental Protection (PACCEP), and Save Our Lives – Save Our Seas Panay, in partnership with MASIPAG Western Visayas, ATIPAN, and the All UP Academic Employees Union – Iloilo Chapter. (With sources from UPV USC)

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