Eco-Walk Children of Baguio City
Eco-Walk Children of Baguio City in the Philippines, established in 1992, is a series of children-oriented hikes to Busol - Baguio's main and endangered watershed. The children have turned this precious water source into a laboratory and playground for experimental learning. They have succeeded in increasing the area's forest cover and its water production.
Their visits deter tree poaching, bird hunting, fires and encroachment on natural habitats. Their example has spurred adults in the community to volunteer their time to protect the environment and has helped raise environmental awareness. Their success has also resulted in eco-walks being integrated into the curriculum of the elementary school system's grade five and six and in greater media focus on environmental issues. The teaching modules have been integrated into all the subjects to prepare children for their actual hikes and exploration of the forest, and to give them an opportunity to discuss what they have learned during their walks.
Several indigenous communities in the Cordillera Highlands, the watershed cradle of Northern Luzon, have adopted the programme to help revive their own traditional forest management systems. Eco-Walk has been replicated in other local government units (LGUs), which are drawn to the programme by its simplicity.
Eco-Walk is used by the Asian Institute of Management as a model environmental and governance case study and by the Swedish Government's 1999, 2000 and 2001 international watershed management course, which is held every January. It has also been used by the International Institute on Rural Restoration as a case study in watershed management. The Canadian International Development Agency supported and documented it in 1998 as one of six action research programmes on effective local governance in Southeast Asia, and senior Philippine environment officials plan to adopt it nationwide.