Tanapag’s young eco-warriors step up

Micronesian Challenge Club member Dione Torres signs the symbolic check while, from left, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, CNMI-based Micronesia Conservation Trust board member Diego Benavente, Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan), and Tanapag Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Association president Kodep Ogumoro Uludong look on in last Thursday’s presentation at the Governor’s Office conference room. (Jon Perez)

Micronesian Challenge Club member Dione Torres signs the symbolic check while, from left, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, CNMI-based Micronesia Conservation Trust board member Diego Benavente, Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan), and Tanapag Middle School Parent-Teacher-Student Association president Kodep Ogumoro Uludong look on in last Thursday’s presentation at the Governor’s Office conference room. (Jon Perez)

Young eco-warriors from the Tanapag Middle School stepped up and donated $1,000 to the CNMI Micronesia Challenge Endowment Fund. The students are members of the TMS Micronesia Challenge Club that was formed in October last year.

Maria Agustin, Nikolas Iguel, Victor Iguel, Hana Mafnas, Jerylyn Olupomar, Hannah Palacios, Jenelyn Palad, Ezra Rabauliman, Robin Sablan, and Dione Torres were the members present in last Thursday’s check presentation. Acelia Dela Cruz is TMS’ Micronesia Challenge Club adviser.

TMS Parent-Teacher-Student president Kodep Ogumoro-Uludong said the money was taken from the MCC’s funds. “I’m proud of our students for doing this. It was them who decided to donate the money from their club funds to show their support for the Micronesian Challenge.”

The Micronesia Challenge is a collaborative effort agreed on among the chief executives of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau to preserve the natural resources that is critical to the traditions, cultures, and livelihoods within the region.

MCC members are mostly from the villages of Tanapag, San Roque, and As Matuis. The students held various activities to help raise awareness and encourage their fellow students in taking care of the environment.

The club has conducted beach cleanups from Tanapag to Pau Pau Beach and made a commitment in keeping the said areas clean through the Adopt-A-Beach program by the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality.

Some of their members also attended the Schools for Environmental Conservation workshop by the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance where they helped in producing a conservation action plan of increasing the number of mangrove trees in two streams in Tanapag.

Providing trashcans for TMS, supporting BECQ’s rain garden installation in the campus, and having a booth in this year’s Marianas Tourism Educational Council Summit where they shared information about the Micronesia Challenge and their conservation efforts to their peers are the other activities done by the MCC.

Ogumoro-Uludong and club adviser Acelia Dela Cruz both said that they are proud of their students and what they have achieved at their young age.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan), former lieutenant governor and Micronesia Conservation Trust board member Diego Benavente, Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee and CNMI point of contact Fran Castro, and MCT executive director Willy Kostka received the check donation.

Torres thanked the students for all the efforts they made about taking care of the environment. “Your generation and the next one will enjoy the benefits of your efforts in conservation. Thank you for stepping up.”

Demapan added that is why he is pushing for House Bill 19-105 or the Marine Resources Investment Act to become a law. “The House had already passed the bill and is currently at the Senate for discussion. The bill, if it becomes a law, will make sure marine resources will be properly managed and protected. We can be a model territory in the Pacific.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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