CHAMPIONING ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY: The Lyceum of the Philippines University Cavite’s Protect the Earth Program

In an era defined by environmental challenges, the Lyceum of the Philippines University-Cavite has emerged as a vanguard of change with its innovative and comprehensive “Protect the Earth” program, aligning each activity with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Spearheaded by Dr. Maria Teresa O. Pilapil, the Vice President for Administration, this program has rapidly evolved into a beacon of environmental education, fostering an ethos of conservation and sustainability among students, faculty, and the community. Under the matrix 4.3.2 to 4.3.4 of Times Higher Education’s Quality Education criteria, the “Protect the Earth” initiative exemplifies the institution’s commitment to shaping socially responsible citizens.

Vision and Mission: Sowing Seeds of Change for Future Generations

Since its inception in July 2022, the “Protect the Earth” program has gained remarkable momentum, positioning LPU Earth as a key influencer of environmental consciousness and contributing to SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 15 (Life on Land). The program envisions a future where LPU Earth becomes a nationally recognized entity, empowering Filipinos to catalyze environmental change for generations to come. The mission revolves around mobilizing the Lycean community and beyond, creating environmental policies, fostering collaboration, and nurturing sustainable development (SDG 17).

Thrusts and Objectives: A Holistic Approach to Sustainability

The four main goals of the program—energy conservation, protecting plants and animals, managing air and water quality, and waste management—show that it takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability, which is in line with SDGs 7 (affordable and clean energy), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action), and 15 (life on land). A set of goals—to develop conservation policies, increase awareness, promote cooperation, and create partnerships for environmental protection—supports this holistic approach further. This multifaceted strategy ensures a well-rounded understanding of the complex challenges our planet faces and contributes to SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Program Launch: Setting the Stage for Transformation

The program was inaugurated on July 19, 2022, with a launching ceremony that laid the foundation for transformative change, emphasizing the institution’s commitment to SDGs 4 (Quality Education), 13 (Climate Action), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). Esteemed speakers, including climate change advocate Ms. Lidy Nacpil and experts Dr. Arnel Avelino and Dr. Mark Irvin Celis, engaged the audience with insightful discussions on safeguarding the environment.

Strategic Planning: Crafting the Blueprint for Change

On August 15, 2022, the core group of LPU Cavite’s Protect the Earth Strategic Planning, under the direction of Dr. Maria Teresa O. Pilapil, set out on a crucial strategic planning journey. The goal of this project was to plan the program’s growth and create a future where sustainability is built into every part of the school and the community. This will help reach SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).

Induction of Officers and Seminars: Empowering Agents of Change
An induction of officers and a series of seminars held on October 12, 2022, bolstered the program’s impact, supporting SDGs 4 (Quality Education), 13 (Climate Action), and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals). The City Environmental and Natural Resources Office’s Head, Dr. Renato Escruel, oversaw the induction, and seminars given by environmental specialists deepened the participants’ understanding of environmental advocacy and management of air and water quality.

Activity Narratives: Bridging Education and Action

The program’s rich tapestry of activities exemplifies its commitment to bridging environmental education with tangible actions, contributing to various SDGs:

Grow Urban Garden Activity: A collaborative endeavor involving the College of Allied Medical Sciences, this initiative introduced urban gardening to the campus, promoting access to fresh, healthy foods and demonstrating the link between vegetation and climate improvement (SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 13: Climate Action).

Climate Change Literacy Seminar: Organized by the College of Liberal Arts and Education, this seminar featured architect Farmer Reynaldo Solero, who shared practical steps for combating climate change (SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 13: Climate Action).

Fostering Environmental Consciousness Seminar: Engr. Sherwin Valeroso’s seminar addressed plastic waste issues, sparking environmental consciousness within students and faculty and encouraging their involvement in waste prevention and alternative management (SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 14: Life Below Water; and SDG 15: Life on Land).

ECOMODA Sustainable Fashion Show: Collaborating with the College of Fine Arts and Design, LPU Earth orchestrated ECOMODA, a sustainable fashion show spotlighting innovative, environmentally conscious creations (SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG 13: Climate Action).

Keeping it simple and sustainable in recognition of this year’s Earth Day theme, “Invest in Our Planet”, LPU Earth kicks off ECOMODA, a sustainable fashion show organized by the College of Fine Arts and Design, headed by Mr. Javier Antonio G. Laurel, in collaboration with the Communications and Public Affairs Department, led by Mr. Vincent C. Cortiñas, on April 20, 2023, at 4:00 in the afternoon at the LPU grounds. Lyceans witnessed a runway with a representation of sustainable fashion couture. Lycean student designers and models from different colleges flaunt a variety of their unique styles and out-of-the ordinary monochromatic creations, which showcase wearable art by assembling outfits from reused clothes and repurposing or altering reused clothing and accessories.

Paint a Nature Exhibit: COECSA and LPU Earth organized an exhibit featuring artworks from architecture students, intertwining art and environmental conservation to inspire viewers to appreciate nature’s beauty and significance (SDG 15: Life on Land).

Environmental Variety Show: In celebration of Earth Day, LPU Earth presented an Environmental Variety Show, providing a platform for students to creatively engage with environmental themes (SDG 13: Climate Action).

LPU Earth Clean-Up Drive: As part of Earth Day 2023, the College of Engineering, Computer Studies, and Architecture initiated a series of clean-up drives across multiple barangays in Cavite, fostering community participation in environmental preservation (SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 15: Life on Land).

Conclusion: Nurturing Sustainable Minds and Hearts

LPU Cavite’s Protect the Earth program encapsulates the institution’s dedication to nurturing environmentally conscious citizens who understand the intricacies of sustainability and are committed to effecting positive change. Through visionary leadership, strategic planning, and an array of impactful activities, LPU Earth has succeeded in creating a platform that integrates education and action, positioning the institution as a trailblazer in environmental stewardship and contributing to various SDGs.