Written by Anna Pineda
Illustration by Ciara Del Rosario
Published 30 June 2021
The Department of Advocacy (DOA) showcased online one of the Ateneo Biological Organization’s advocacies, particularly animal and plant welfare through Wildlife Week on June 7-11. Having the goal of raising awareness for animal and plant welfare, the core team featured infographics, games, and a donation drive. The organizers closed the event by hosting a culminating webinar on the Philippine Marine Biodiversity with Oceana Philippines alongside BOx’s Bioeducation Webinar core team.
Programme and Objectives
By opening to the public, the organizers had the following objectives: conveying relevant information on animal and plant welfare; gaining positive feedback from the Loyola Schools (LS) community; and supporting external causes revolving on biodiversity and animal welfare.
“I believe that due to the pandemic, issues regarding wildlife and the environment took a back seat. [We should] highlight the prevalent issues of wildlife and environment as they are still important especially in these trying times. […] Advocacy Week must focus primarily on wildlife and environmental conservation while keeping the core advocacies of BOx,” Project Head Oona Barnes said. She added that the event wanted to raise awareness for plant and animal welfare, especially those that are most vulnerable from the pandemic.
AVP for Bioactivism Gavin de Vera mentioned that from June 7-10, they posted infographics tackling relevant issues in the Philippines and added crossword puzzles to gauge the readers’ understanding of the topics. Additionally, de Vera said that participants who excelled received prizes.
Beneficiary and Reevaluation
Wildlife Week chose Haribon Foundation’s Adopt-A-Seedling program wherein one tree is planted for every 312 pesos donated. Barnes and de Vera declared that the event raised 2808 pesos to plant 9 seedlings from donations.
“We can say that Wildlife Week is the 2021 and pandemic rendition of Advocacy Week [and] can also be considered as online alternatives to physical advocacy-based initiatives such as Marine Rehabilitation and Biotag Revitalization as Wildlife Week allows participants to engage in BOx’s advocacies from the comfort of their homes,” de Vera said.
Compared to the previous years’ events, the wildlife and environmental conservation-focused event also had more sponsors and partners. The previous Advocacy Weeks, Advocacy Week 2020: Biodiversity in Health and Universal Habitat Advocacy Week (UHAW) 2019, had broader scopes that focus on showcasing BOx’s advocacy-based initiatives to the LS community.
“No action is too small and I hope this initiative continues in the future. […] I do believe that advocacy week will still be part of next school year’s projects as it is central to the advocacies of BOx. […] In the next year, it will surely be something that still showcases the organization’s core advocacies, in whatever form the next set of officers deem it best,” DOA Vice President Nina Antonio said.
De Vera and Barnes also pointed out room for improvement due to the event’s nature of games and short amount of time for planning. They added that they want the event to be “more interactive” for the coming years.