SM Prime, WWF-Philippines join forces to nurture the future sustainability champions

4:11 PM
Recognizing today's youth’s key role as tomorrow’s guardians of the environment, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) and World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines) have teamed up to launch YOUth are the Future,a leadership program aimed to equip young student leaders on environmental conservation , climate change, and sustainability issues.

There is no better time than now to educate the youth. As stewards of the planet, it is important
that they have an opportunity to learn about environmental conservation, encourage them to
voice out their fresh ideas, and share new perspectives,” said WWF-Philippines Education for
Sustainable Development Project Head Dino Calderon.

“When we provide our young student leaders with learning opportunities and expose them to
practical solutions, we have a chance to help them design a sustainable future. We are
committed to make sure that things change for the better,” says Hans “Chico” Sy, President of
SM Engineering Design and Development Corporation (SMEDD) and SM sustainability

Commencing with the grand launch on October 10, 2023, the student ambassadors from various
Metro Manila high schools participated in a discovery tour around the SM Mall of Asia Complex,
which features SM Prime’s sustainability efforts and disaster resiliency practices. The formal
introduction of YOUth are the Future Ambassadors was held at the SMX Convention Center and
along with a pinning ceremony. Leaders and representatives from SM Prime, WWF-Philippines,
government agencies, and foreign dignitaries are also present at the event.

In a message she delivered during the event, Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said, “Our journey is really about the
race to resilience, as our climate changes, society is changing. Sustainability is our pathway to
survival as a planet and that is what resilience is really about, the ability to withstand the impacts
of the hazards that we know and those that we could face in the future.”

The youth ambassadors will participate in a three-day eco-camp at the Pico De Loro Beach and
Country Club in November, where they will learn about waste and energy management,
resource optimization, and climate mitigation and adaptation strategies from some of the
country’s experts.

Renowned for its role in Olive Ridley Sea Turtle conservation, the 3-day eco camp in Hamilo
Coast also serves as an immersive natural classroom in environmental conservation. The
expected output from the eco-camp is a Green Manifesto that outlines their plans to effect
change and a storybook module co-authored by all the participants. The program will culminate
through a series of mall and school tours throughout Metro Manila to boost youth engagement
and student ambassador recruitment.

In a message sent by her excellency Vice President and Department of Education Secretary
Sara Z. Duterte, she said, “This visionary program embodies the transformative power of
education and empowerment in shaping a more sustainable and resilient future. Taking
advantage of this program will give you all a head start on becoming influential figures in
creating a more sustainable and ecologically aware culture”.

Together with its partners, WWF-Philippines hopes to empower young Filipinos further to
become the next generation of sustainability champions. Programs like YOUth are the Future,
can help future generations become proactive leaders who can #ChangeTheEnding for the

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