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ETYCB holds ECO Con 2018

Ms. Lounelle Godinez of Haribon Foundation, one of the Plenary speakers of ECO Con 2018, sharing about the Philippines' unique biodiversity.

Working together to promote the protection and the strengthening of the country’s resources, third (3rd) year Tourism Management (TM) and Hotel Restaurant Management (HRM) students taking up Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibition (M.I.C.E.) Management organized a fundraising event last March 12 titled ECO Con 2018, with the theme “A Step Towards Nature Preservation.”

Short for “Ecology Congress,” ECO Con 2018 aimed to enlighten its audience on how to act responsibly while visiting Philippine tourist attractions.

Mr. Alex Orlino of Manila Vegans was present to discuss the cost of meat, livestock, and animal agriculture in the environment.

The event included a Sponsor Exhibit at the E.T. Yuchengco Building Lobby and a Plenary at the Francisco Balagtas Auditorium.

The first Plenary speaker was Ms. Lounelle Godinez of Haribon Foundation. She presented facts about the Philippines’ unique biodiversity, its endemic or unique species and native trees, and shared human-induced threats to it and what humans can do to help conserve the environment.

“Spread the word. Be a biodiversity champion, like someone who is pursuing a greener and better environment,” she encouraged.

Tackling the environmental aspect of veganism, Mr. Alex Orlino of Manila Vegans named his presentation “Climeat Change: Meating the Truth for the Animals, for the Planet, for Other People, and for Our Health.” Here he discussed the real cost of meat, livestock, and animal agriculture in the environment, which he dubbed as the “thirsty” industry, revealing that it is the number one industry responsible for habitat destruction, species extinction, ocean death, and water pollution.

He also made clear the definition of veganism: “It is a belief system that denotes a way of living which is to exclude as far as possible all forms of exploitation of and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, and any other purpose, and promotes the use of animal-free alternatives.”

The last speaker for the event, Ms. Iona Lacson-Dy of Blue Water Consultancy, covered the topic of sustainability towards ecotourism.

Mr. Orlino ended his presentation by letting the audience watch “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret,” an environmental documentary that reveals the devastating environmental impact of large-scale factories, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.

The last speaker was Ms. Iona Lacson-Dy of Blue Water Consultancy, who covered sustainability towards ecotourism. According to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.”

Prof. Florenda J. De Vero said that ECO Con 2018 was a concept that the students came up with. It was chosen because it is timely with the current situation of our environment and is related to the program’s objectives.

ETYCB Dean and HRM Program Chair Prof. Maria Rhodora R. Austria hoped that through this event the audience would have a burning desire to help the Earth, since “it is the only planet that we have.”

“Each of us, as we do our little thing, we can do a lot to conserve our environment.”

ECO Con 2018 was held for the benefit of MCL’s adopted community, Pangil, Laguna, in support to its community-based ecotourism. Proceeds will be allocated in the promotion of its tourist spots. More photos from the event are up on the official MCL Facebook page.

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