Around seventy students and staff of the Salvacion National High School participated in a dugong conservation awareness activity organized by C3 and held in 6 December 2012 at Barangay Salvacion in Busuanga, Palawan.
The half-day event included presentations on the importance of dugongs to the local environment and on the need to conserve the threatened animal. Aside from the presentations, the students participated in fun and creative activities such as team competitions carrying a conservation theme. Colorful drawings and creative essays on the subject of dugong conservation were likewise conducted.
The awareness activity is part of our efforts to specifically target the youth of Busuanga. The Salvacion National High School is but one of a handful of schools within the municipality. We aim to conduct similar awareness-raising activities in all high schools in Busuanga to help spread awareness on the importance of dugong conservation, particularly among the youth.
While touring the high schools of Busuanga to conduct presentations and learning activities about the dugong, we found that most of the students knew the animal well but lacked detailed understanding of the basic biology, current status and the species’ significance to them. Some of the students had even witnessed human threats first hand including the butchering of dugongs for their meat.
We worked with the high school teachers and officials to organize oil painting and essay writing contests in conjunction with fun educational games. The students’ faces lit up as we announced the winners, who received our new dugong eco-bags as prizes. We feel confident that the Busuangan youth have the motivation and knowledge to ensure that dugongs frequent the island’s beautiful shores for many years to come!