The third SEAklab Coastal was held on January 21-23, 2023, at the Club Fort Med Resort in Boljoon, Cebu. SEAklab’s mission is to increase youth awareness of the significance of marine and coastal conservation, promote youth-led government, and build a network of young and proactive marine conservationists in Cebu. The delegates come from diverse backgrounds. Leaders in their community who campaign for social causes including coastal conservation. The delegates came from at least eight (8) coastal communities in ADABOSS (Aragao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, Samboan), free divers from Argao and Alcoy (Southside Free Divers and B.A.D), and young leaders from Talisay City and Cebu City. The three-day activity let the delegates expose and learn to the different coastal environments, role of youth, emerging issues and the importance in involving communities in managing them.
Project SEAklab- —“ Strengthening Environmental Advocacy through MPA Knowledge, Livelihood Training And Constituency Building” is a three-day youth camp with different activities and places to visit.
On the first day of the camp, Llod G. Yosoya, MBA, CCEF’s Research Generation Officer, officially welcomed the delegates and outlined the aims, goals, and activities that the delegates participated in. Francis Miguel Isok, CCEF’s Communications Associate, led the “GTYK”(Get To Know You) activity to let the delegates acquaint themselves and build network and teamwork.
As part of the first day, several themes were covered such as: “The Power of Three Marine Ecosystems”(corals, Mangroves, seagrass), “The State of ADABOSS”, “Role of the Youth in Marine Conservation”, and “Pits and Limits: Sustainable Spearfishing”. These discussions provided the participants with a clear view of the purpose of the SEAklab Coastal Camp 2023, which is to protect our marine environment.
The participants are divided into two groups on the second day of the camp: Information, Education, and Communication Campaign (IEC) and Snorkeling Survey. Before the “Breakout Session,” the delegates completed quizzes based on the themes covered on the first day of camp. The first group proceeded to Barangay Granada, Boljoon, Cebu, for the “Breakout Session,” offering information and learnings on the importance of our three maritime habitats (corals, mangroves, seagrass). On the other hand, the other group went to Boljoon’s well-managed MPA to get the full Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment Training (PCRA) experience. Later that day, the delegates submitted their entries for the Photography Contest, Advocacy Making Video, and Unity Dance Presentation.
On the third day of the camp, the delegates were interviewed about their camp experiences and realizations. During the “Commitment Signing,” everyone vows to be the key movers of change and claims to be coastal warriors in marine defense. Finally, the three-day coastal camp came to an end with the participants being awarded and recognized, as well as a picture opportunity. Marfen Ances of Talisay City crowned as this year’s SEAklab Coastal Camp: Most Outstanding Delegate.