It takes a village to raise competent teens!

As we begin to roll into the last few weeks of the MIIS Summer Program, we are proud to announce that in over 1,000 entries, MIIS bagged the Top 2 (Ysa Perez), Top 4 (Steph Leaño), and Top 9 (Yasumi Villareal) places in the Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL) International Schools Essay Writing Competition. PRO 4, Ysa’s team is also recognized as the Best Debating Group. The teams were mentored by Ms. Karen Ramos, Mr. Ken Montalba, and Mr. George Dungca of the Upper School.

Students from the Lower and Middle School also participated in the Trust for Sustainable Living Essay and Debate Competition. They were divided into different groups: Governments, Citizens, Business and Scientists. The goal was for each group to present their Top 10 Ideas to protect biodiversity then to agree on the final Top 10 Ideas that will benefit all stakeholders. Some of the most important ideas shared were about forming partnerships, using renewable energy and improving education about environmental issues. 

Gabrielle “Tabbie” Natalia P. Prado (Grade 6B) and Chino Mateo Lo (Grade 4A) represented the Philippines. Tabbie was part of the Scientists group and Chino was part of the citizens group. Although the Governments group was the overall winner of the debates, the Scientists group (Tabbie’s Group) received the judges’ commendation for giving evidence-based arguments and creative solutions. The Citizens group (Chino’s Group) also received the judges’ commendation for having strategic vision and demonstrating strong teamwork, with the highest number of active team members. 

Tabbie and Chino were chosen to represent the Philippines since they were finalists of the TSL International Essay Writing Competition about  “How can we protect biodiversity and prevent the sixth mass extinction?” They were chosen out of 1,350 students, TSL’s biggest record of submissions to date, with students coming from 213 schools and 59 countries.

Students have identified several key issues and causes of biodiversity loss including:

  • Climate change
  • Fossil fuels
  • Deforestation
  • Poaching
  • Overfishing and increased agricultural production
  • Pollution (particularly plastic)
  • Overpopulation
  • Lack of laws or suitable protection

and explored a number of exciting and innovative solutions including:

  • Renewable energies
  • Electric vehicles
  • Reforestation programs and individual tree planting
  • Creation of National Parks
  • Vegan or vegetarian diets
  • Organic food
  • Urban/vertical farming
  • The 3 Rs (Reduce, reuse, recycle)
  • Improved laws and enforcement
  • Increased public awareness (particularly via social media)
  • Improved environmental and sustainability education
  • Habit and mindset changes