Since the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park formally opened to the public in 2015, many public and private organizations have volunteered to conduct coastal clean ups and mangrove planting activities to enrich the forestation of the area and conserve the nesting ground of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle. These activities are in line with one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations (UN): to protect life below water by reducing or eliminating land-based pollutants, including plastic pollution and nutrient and sewage runoff, that adversely affect coastal habitats and communities.
Recently, the officers and members of the Youth for Environment in Schools Organization (YES-O) of Sta. Ana National High School conducted a coastal clean up at the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park on March 26, 2022 as part of their lineup of activities for the environmental month.
YES-O coordinator Odessa Olimpot shared how the student organization has recently resumed its face-to-face activities like the coastal clean up. “Since we were not allowed to go out [because of the pandemic], we have our zoom meetings every now and then to remind our members and officers that the conservation of the environment starts at home,” Odessa said.
The teachers accompanied the students who came to the park with their parents’ written permission. As a teacher, Odessa cited examples of how she educates her students regarding the state of the environment. “We let them watch [educational] shows and videos about the environment and we always integrate environmental issues, such as global warming and species extinction, in our science lessons,” Odessa explained. The Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-XI (DENR-XI), is a pawikan rescue center facility and is home to at least 100 bird species.
“As a partner school, we can help our stakeholders and private companies through activities like the coastal clean up. Also, as a public school, we need to lend a hand [in cleaning our coastal areas]. Even if we cannot completely clean everything, at least we’ve offered a bit of assistance. What’s important is that you did something. So go for it, do something,” Odessa emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships in maintaining the cleanliness of coastal areas. Other public schools like the Philippine Science High School – Southern Mindanao Campus, also conduct coastal clean up and mangrove planting at the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park.
Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, an eight-hectare ecological preserve and biodiversity conservation site, is located along the coast of Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya, Davao City. It serves as a model of habitat conservation and biodiversity management in an urban setting. The park is managed by AboitizPower subsidiary Davao Light, and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.