Adolescent Summit, Air, March 1-4, 2017

Adolescent Summit, Air, March 1-4, 2017

Catching Our Breath: Addressing Declining Air Quality with Environmental, Energy and Engineering Solutions

Host School: The Abba's Orchard

Students will stay with host families provided by the school.



Adolescents are uniquely suited to address the critical issues of the world. Only by directly experiencing the complexities of society and working in a global community will adolescents develop an authentic understanding of the human condition as their social and moral selves evolve.


To encourage hope and positive action for the future, the adolescent needs to feel part of the solution by their efforts to solve one problem at a time. When a group of Montessori students from different parts of the world collaborate, they become advocates for what is true human progress. This is their developmental task.

In 1988, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) partnered to create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC was set up to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation. In 2013, the IPCC released its Fifth Assessment Report stating that climate change is real and human activities are the main cause. Due to industrialization, including clear-felling forests and certain farming methods, the increase in greenhouse gasses has been rising steadily for the past century and a half. The concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere has been directly linked to the temperature on Earth. Ecosystems and planetary climate systems are at risk of irreversible change.

The Erdkinder students of the Abba’s Orchard have embarked on a long-term project to turn a government-owned, 4-hectare, barren, and sloping terrain near its campus into a rainforest. While rainforests inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen for humans to breathe, they also contribute to the formation of rain clouds. Rain naturally cleanses the air of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The project was started last school year, as one of the action plans after the MISP summit on water in Washington, DC. The student leaders have already visited with the regional director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to make known their intentions. A memorandum of agreement has already been signed with the designated steward of the area. Seedlings of the calandria tree are being propagated. They will be planted first to naturally take out the cogon grass presently covering the slopes. The canopy of the calandria tree will block the sunlight causing the cogon grass to die. In the dry season, the cogon grass serves as fuel for forest fire and can endanger the forest trees to be planted. When the cogon grass is naturally gone, indigenous forest trees will be planted in place of the calandria trees.


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