USTP Panaon, CENRO-Oroquieta City lead coastal clean-up and mangrove planting

By Christopher R. Balaba, USTP Panaon STRATCOMM Campus Focal Person

On February 2, 2024, the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Panaon, Misamis Occidental, in partnership with the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Oroquieta City, demonstrated its commitment to environmental sustainability by spearheading the multi-sectoral coastal clean-up and mangrove planting activities organized in celebration of World Wetlands Day. The event took place along the coastal area of Punta, Panaon, in Misamis Occidental.

World Wetlands Day, observed annually on February 2, is a global reminder of wetlands’ crucial role in maintaining biodiversity, supporting various ecosystems, and safeguarding our planet’s health. In line with this year’s theme, “Wetlands and Human Wellbeing: Life Interlaced Wetlands and People,” USTP Panaon, together with CENRO-Oroquieta City personnel, representatives from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Panaon, members of the Barangay Punta Council, Panaon Municipal Police Station (MPS), Maritime Police Volunteers, and dedicated senior high school students from Panaon Community High School (PCHS), engaged in a comprehensive coastal clean-up and mangrove planting initiative to contribute to the preservation of coastal ecosystems and promote biodiversity conservation.

During the coastal clean-up, volunteers tirelessly combed the coastline, gathering plastic waste and particles, contributing to the beautification of the vicinity and the broader purpose of fostering responsible waste management practices within the community. Following this, the focal point shifted to mangrove planting, a critical step in fortifying coastal ecosystems. Armed with mangrove propagules, members worked diligently to plant mangroves, contributing to preserving biodiversity and developing natural buffers in opposition to environmental threats.

Students from the Department of Marine Biology (DMB) are in attendance for USTP Panaon, with guidance from the faculty members of the department and the student leaders of the USTP Panaon Organization of Marine Conservationists and Ecologists upholding Academic Excellence and Noble Research Works (OCEAN).

The university’s active involvement in World Wetlands Day showcased its dedication to creating a sustainable and resilient future, echoing the importance of collective action in addressing environmental challenges.