Secondary students from all over the Philippines participated in a poster and short filmmaking contest on climate change and rice farming last July 2015.
Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This is applicable not only in issues such as social change and equality, but also in climate change. To be able to solve problems related to climate change and agriculture, organizations must look for more novel ways to raise the people’s awareness and get them involved.
The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), together with the Department of Education, launched a nationwide poster and short filmmaking contest in July 2015 for secondary students. This was supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA), as a part of the Infomediary Campaign of PhilRice.
“A picture is worth a thousand words…”
The competition, themed Climate Change at Pagsasaka: Kabataan may Magagawa (Climate Change and Farming: Youth Can Do Something), invited students from public and private schools, particularly agricultural technical vocational (TechVoc) schools across the country. It aimed to increase the youth’s understanding and appreciation of climate change issues, and translate these into strong messages as works of art.
The contest was also designed to bring young people to the center of climate change and agriculture discourses through their artistic interpretations of these issues. Engaging youth and integrating their expertise in visual arts into the climate change campaign is essential in disseminating and developing globally relevant climate change efforts.
Notably, the contest attracted 97 entries for posters and 11 for short films from all over the country. More impressive however is that a lot of non-techvoc and private schools have also participated in the contest, which illustrates the level of awareness and interest of Filipino youth of this global issue.
A panel of judges from PhilRice selected the five best posters and videos. The shortlisted entries were announced and posted via the Infomediary Campaign’s Facebook page. As a part of the campaign’s aim to promote climate change and rice production advocacy via the social media, a People’s Choice Award was given to the entry with the most number of likes.
During the initial selection, the judges were instantly drawn to the immense talent and creativity reflected in the submitted entries, particularly on the poster category.
A poster entry from Taguig Science High School won the first prize, while Batasan Hills National High School topped for the short film category. The winners were announced through the Infomediary Campaign’s Facebook page.
Winning poster from Elaine Fernandez of Taguig Science High School (Photo by: Jayson Berto)
Winners in every aspect
Winners of the competition will receive cash prizes and a plaque of appreciation. Although the organizers of the competition hope they have planted the seed of awareness of climate change, through this fun, creative and interactive challenge. The young people should be encouraged to take an active part in the issue of climate change, rice production and agriculture in general.
As stated above, the competition is a part of the Infomediary Campaign, which aims to mobilize high school students to serve as information providers in the rice farming communities of the country. Ultimately, it aims to address the dearth of information on climate change and its impact on rice production, especially in the remote rice farming communities.