Why a school stepped in to save the mangroves
- Prize Category: Environmental Action
- Format: Panel discussion
- Country: Philippines
- Languages: Streamed live in English with automated captions in Arabic, English, French, Filipino, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese, Serbian, and Spanish.
- Learn more about the Top Ten Shortlisted Schools in the Environmental Action category on the World’s Best School Prizes website.
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About the school
Bonuan Buquig National High School, a public secondary school in Dagupan City, Philippines, decided to take action to replant lost mangroves to reverse the environmental devastation impacting its students who mostly live near fish ponds and coastal areas.
In 2009, Typhoon Pepeng left two-thirds of Dagupan City submerged in flood water. Fishponds, rice fields, and other industries in the community were heavily damaged. The city government of Dagupan, aware of its geographical challenges on land that is only one metre above sea level, started dredging rivers to reduce the impact of the flood, but it came with unintended consequences. The mangroves died off as a result, exposing the rivers to the direct heat of the sun and killing off aquatic life essential to the ecosystem. Fish, crabs and other shellfish disappeared from the rivers. Students and their families relied on catching fish to eat. With their main source of sustenance gone, many students went absent from class as they had to work to support their families.
Bonuan Buquig National High School took action to support its students and save the local environment. Galvanising over a hundred volunteers, it plants thousands of mangrove propagules each year and has provided new habitats and shelter for fish. As a result, the mangroves along the Longos river banks are nearly rehabilitated and stabilised.
The school also initiated an International Coastal Clean-up in 2014, working with volunteers to clean the shorelines of Bonuan Beach. Collected garbage was then classified and accounted for to determine the number of biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials. Recyclable materials were upcycled as garden pots and decorations. It also planted trees to rehabilitate a local dumpsite.
Join us as we showcase how we saved the mangroves.
Moderator: Dr. Michelle M. Felstead
Dr Michelle M. Felstead is a Teacher III of Bonuan Buquig National High School, teaching English. She is currently the editor-in-chief of the Preceptors’ View, the official newsletter of SDO Dagupan.
Speaker 1: Mrs. Salvacion S. Malanum
Mrs Salvacion S. Malanum is a Master Teacher II of BBNHS teaching Science Subjects in Senior High School. She finished Master’s in Physics Education and completed the Academic units for Doctors of Philosophy in Development Studies.
Speaker 2: Maria Linda R. Ventenilla
Mrs. Maria Linda R. Ventenilla, the chief supervisor in the Curriculum Implementation Division of SDO Dagupan is also a former school head of BBNHS who made a major contribution to expanding and intensifying the Mangrove Planting Project during her term.
Speaker 3: Minerva R. Perez
Mrs. Minerva R. Perez, the head teacher of the Science Department is one of the pioneers of the Mangrove Planting Project. She was among the participants of the very first mangrove planting. She also leads the Science teachers to continue the legacy and do more environmental actions.