In celebration of the upcoming World Turtle Day, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU), through its Institute of Environmental Governance (IEG), hosted the third IEG Digital Caravan in La Union with the theme “Engaging Communities in Saving the Pawikans in La Union” on May 19, which was attended by almost three hundred teachers and students via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Sharing the previous initiatives of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and some trivia on sea turtles in the Philippines, Atty. Asis Perez, Senior Legal Advisor of Tanggol Kalikasan and representative of the Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation 3 project welcomed the attendees. Dr. Jaime Manuel Jr., University President of DMMMSU, gave the University’s support to all sea turtle conservation initiatives in La Union through a video message.

For the first part of the event, Ms. Sheila Mae Capoquian, Environmental Management Specialist ng DENR Region I, discussed the roles of sea turtles in the ecosystem as one of the keystone species. It was followed by a talk from Mr. Carlos Tamayo, Program Director ng Science of Identity Foundation, on the CURMA Project, a local effort to protect sea turtles using community-based strategies.

The second part of the event was allotted to introduce the Wildlife Philippines Podcast Channel as a campaign for biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection, and encourage participants to support it by utilizing it not only as a podcast but as an educational resource.

The IEG Digital Caravan is supported by the Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation 3 of the USAID and the US Department of the Interior-International Technical Assistance Program.