SM Prime, WWF-Philippines Launch Leadership Program to Nurture Future Sustainability Champions
Recognizing the youth’s key role as tomorrow’s guardians of the environment, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) and World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF-Philippines) have teamed up to launch YOUth are the Future, a leadership program aimed to equip young student leaders on environmental conservation, climate change, and sustainability issues.
The program commenced with a grand launch on October 10, 2023, where student ambassadors from various Metro Manila high schools participated in a discovery tour around the SM Mall of Asia Complex to learn about SM Prime’s sustainability efforts and disaster resiliency practices. The formal introduction of the YOUth are the Future Ambassadors was held at the SMX Convention Center, along with a pinning ceremony. Leaders and representatives from SM Prime, WWF-Philippines, government agencies, and foreign dignitaries were also present at the event.
In a message she delivered during the event, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said, “Our journey is really about the race to resilience. As our climate changes, society is changing. Sustainability is our pathway to survival as a planet, and that is what resilience is really about—the ability to withstand the impacts of the hazards that we know and those that we could face in the future.”
The youth ambassadors will participate in a three-day eco-camp at the Pico De Loro Beach and Country Club in November, where they will learn about waste and energy management, resource optimization, and climate mitigation and adaptation strategies from some of the country’s experts. The camp will also serve as an immersive natural classroom in environmental conservation, where the youth ambassadors will develop a Green Manifesto that outlines their plans to effect change and a storybook module co-authored by all the participants. The program will culminate through a series of mall and school tours throughout Metro Manila to boost youth engagement and student ambassador recruitment.
In a message sent by her excellency Vice President and Department of Education Secretary Sara Z. Duterte, she said, “This visionary program embodies the transformative power of education and empowerment in shaping a more sustainable and resilient future. Taking advantage of this program will give you all a head start on becoming influential figures in creating a more sustainable and ecologically aware culture.”
SM Prime and WWF-Philippines believe that the youth are the key to a more sustainable future. By providing them with the knowledge, skills, and support they need to become effective changemakers, the YOUth are the Future program is helping to create a brighter tomorrow for all.