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Close to a thousand youth from different schools and organizations, private sector and local government units gathered to discuss solutions geared towards a Zero Waste community during a forum held last January 16 at the Sofia Soller Sinco Hall.

First to be held outside of Luzon, the Zero Waster Youth Convergence, is now on its fourth edition and is aimed at campaigning for communities, through the youth sector, to reduce waste, promote segregation, expand the reuse and recycle methods and work collectively with various sectors in order to achieve the desired goal.

Aside from one of the means to celebrate the Zero Waste Month, the activity’s primary objective is to unite and empower the youth from different walks of life to bring an end to the rising problem on waste, more specifically in the City of Dumaguete. Through learning experiences, envisioning and action, the youth will be empowered to pursue campaigns and projects which would bring the movement Zero Waste to their respective schools and communities into full implementation.

The pool of speakers was composed of Froilan Grate (executive director of GAIA Philippines), Sonia Mendoza (Chair of Mother Earth Foundation), Councilor B.J. Lagman (a leader of the Zero Waste movement in Pampanga); Merci Ferrer (co-founder of War on Waster – Negro Oriental); Jann Manalese (President of Zero Waste Youth Pilipinas); Merviel Rosario (President of the San Fernando Yes-O Network); Khate Nolasco (a leader of out-of-school youth in Potrero, Malabon).

During that afternoon forum, the speakers shared information and plans of action along with their experiences in implementing projects towards bringing solution to the worsening problem on waste in their individual communities.

Meanwhile, Co-Chancellor for Academic Affairs Faisal M. Alih said, “All of us, in this hall, signed up to be part of the solution,” during his welcome at the said event.

Through the University’s hosting of the event, Foundation University has shown its strong commitment to bring about solutions to the environmental problems faced by the immediate community including waste crisis regarding the dumpsite in Candau-ay and its effect to the Banica River, beaches and parks strewn with garbage, trash clogs in canals and the plastic waste thrown into in the coastal waters which will cause bad effects to the marine protected areas.

Zero Waste Youth Convergence is a collaboration with War on Waste (WOW) and Break Free From Plastic Negros Oriental, Mother Earth Foundation (MEF), Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Zero Waste Youth Pilipinas and Foundation University.