COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC) – Maguindanao with Cotabato City and Special Geographic Areas (MagCotSGA) and its partner institutions kicked off Tuesday, June 28, the 2nd Peace and Environmental Youth Peace Camp (PEYC) at the Cotabato State University (CSU) Mini Park, Cotabato City.
The three-day youth camp, which will end on Thursday, June 30, is being participated by 40 in-school youth from CSU, Mindanao State University (MSU)-Maguindanao and University of Southern Mindanao (USM)-Kabacan, and 10 participants from BYC-accredited youth organizations in this city.
The PEYC is an annual program of BYC that aims to raise environmental consciousness among youth and increase their participation in the peace process and conflict resolutions.
This year’s PEYC is being co-implemented by CSU through its University Student Council (USC) and MSU-Maguindanao through its Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) and other institutions, in which the former serves as the host institution.
Settie Ivy Ampatuan, BYC Regional Office representative, said the youth play an imperative role in addressing peace and environmental problems in the community.
“When we talk about determining our local prosperity and peace, we do believe that the youth is our region’s greatest power reserve if we can unlock their potential,” Ampatuan added.
As the host institution of this year’s youth camp, CSU President Prof. Sema Dilna welcomed the youth participants during the opening program.
In his message, Dilna stressed that the camp is “in support of the advocacy of the national and regional government to promoting peace and preserving the environment.”
“It is important to the youth to be organized for this advocacy … because this our treasure. This is the treasure of our ancestors that we need to value,” he said.
The opening program was also graced by the presence of BTA Parliament Member Susana Anayatin and CSU-USC Adviser Kundo Pahm, who both expressed support for the initiative.
Throughout the camp, the participants will undergo various learning sessions and workshops on peacebuilding and environmental issues. They will also conduct a tree planting activity, which will be facilitated by the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy (MENRE).
The BYC’s 2nd Peace and Environmental Youth Camp is being conducted as part of the nationwide celebration of the Philippine Environment Month this month of June. (BYC PR Unit)