As part of their environmental awareness campaign, senior environmental management (Envi Mgt) students at VSU assessed the level of awareness among students on the value of the campus’s environmental resources which revealed unexpected results.

The small-scale research, which involved occupants of three dormitories in the campus, showed an unexpected lack of deep awareness on the value of the terrestrial and aquatic resources around VSU despite their usage of them, Johannes Reiner Asio, a senior Envi Mgt student, said.

“In terms of importance, the majority see Mt. Pangasugan [only] as a safety blanket and a source of viewing pleasure,” said Asio. Mt. Pangasugan is a 3,770-feet tall mountain range in Leyte whose peak is visible at the VSU campus.

Contrary to common belief, Asio said there is more to the environment than what meets the eye; it supplies natural renewable and non-renewable resources, assimilates wastes, and helps in the sustenance of life through its diversity.  

Moreover, only very few see the relationship of the ridge to the reef, Asio revealed.

However, most of the students involved in the research signified the willingness to pay for ecological services, the research disclosed.

Some 83% of the students interviewed said they are willing to increase their tuition fee for the maintenance of the campus’s ecological services.

“[There are also a few students] who feel deeply for the environment that they are willing to spend more than what they have [for the maintenance of the environmental resources],” said Asio.

envi mgt students

In an open forum, the Envi Mgt students said they are willing to create collaborations with students in other majors to help create awareness in ecological services. The initial research was meant to support the lobbying of incorporating basic courses in environmental management in the college curriculum, the students said.

The research was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Marlito Bande, a faculty member of VSU’s Institute of Tropical Ecology and Environmental Management.