A religious administrator of the University of San Jose-Recoletos was recognized by a leading group of environment advocates for his works in bringing environmental campaigns to the grassroots level.
Bro. Jaazeal Jakosalem, OAR, Property Administrator of USJ-R, was given the first ever “Green Ring Award” during the closing ceremony of The Climate Reality Project Leadership Core Training last March 16 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City.
Bro. Jakosalem received the award from former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore, founder of The Climate Reality Project (TCRP), organizer of the 3-day TCRP Leadership Core Training which attracted more than 700 participants from 58 countries.
“I am humbled in receiving the award in the midst of dedicated environmental activists and the 700 new ‘Climate Warriors’,” Bro. Jakosalem posted on his Facebook account “Greenheart Hermitage” afterwards.
“I felt small because I am aware of their amazing work for the Earth,” he added.
The training of 700 new climate leaders from all sectors of society in 58 countries was organized by TCRP in order to empower them to work for and find solutions to the climate crisis. Bro. Jakosalem said it was also an avenue to form linkages and establish a network of like-minded environmental advocates worldwide.
He was invited to be one of the mentors for the training, as he had already undergone the same training in Beijing, China in 2010.
Other environmentalists present were Gore, Sen. Loren Legarda, Dingdong Dantes of the National Youth Commission and Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin, S.J., head of the Climate Studies Division of the Manila Observatory.
USJ-R sent three delegates to Gore’s TCRP training. They were VP for Business and Finance and Recoletos de Cebu Community Prior Rev. Fr. Vicente Ramon Jr., OAR; Engr. Irene Rosell Doños of USJ-R’s Win on Waste (WOW) program; and Jasel Faith Cempron of the Property Office.
Bro. Jakosalem, who is also the chairman of the Commission on Social and Ecological Concerns-Recoletos in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno, was recognized for the “outstanding work towards solving the climate crisis” by providing climate change education in the grassroots level.
The affable brother of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects (OAR) started his environmental works in Bacolod where he initiated the Tsinelas (Slipper) of Hope Campaign which provided education for students in the barangays on the climate crisis.
Bro. Jakosalem, who is also a visual artist, has been organizing eco-education for the youths through visual arts, where they end up doing pro-environmental mural paintings across cities.
He is also at the forefront of pro-environment rallies and marches and has been a staunch defender of the environment in his writings published in national and international publications, and online news sources like Rappler.
USJ-R, Bro. Jakosalem said, looks to involve the Josenian Community in the environmental advocacy by integrating climate change education in the curriculum.
Just last year, USJ-R launched the ten-hectare Recoletos Ecopark in Danao City, northern Cebu, which will be planted by native fruit-bearing trees by the Community.
“This is our journey for the planet, let us be together on this — offering our lives for God, earth and humanity,” he said.
We envision the University of San Jose-Recoletos to be a premier Gospel and Community-oriented educational institution committed to lead in instruction, research, community engagement, and innovation in order to transform Josenians into proactive and compassionate leaders, creators of communion, and dynamic partners of society in the 21st Century.
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947