Kim Alvin C. De Lara

Roles at NAAEE:

30 Under 30

Environment and Space Science, Special Education

Pililla, Philippines                                       SEE OTHER BIOS HERE
Age: 28

Kim Alvin is a public school teacher educating children and youth about climate change adaptation in the Philippines through innovative, evidence-based, and localized approaches.

Tell us about yourself!

I’m a Science Teacher in the Niogan Elementary School, a public elementary school in the Province of Rizal, Philippines. I’m also a researcher and advocate of zero waste and climate change adaptation. In these roles, I have created localized and evidence-based materials and projects, which have been adopted by many schools, to help communities and schools take actions on climate change and waste management. This approach gives students the opportunity to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and values about climate change awareness, and reduce the effects of calamities through educational, agricultural, and environmental mitigation and resilience. The approach also gives students the opportunity to use these ideas in productive ways as they apply them to their daily lives.

My research and projects are also directly aligned with multiple frameworks and strategies for environmental education and waste management in the Philippines. As a youth, climate advocate, and teacher, I also visit schools and communities to engage, harmonize, and educate youth with the goal of improving the quality of education through environmental education.

What inspired you to become a champion for environmental education?

My students inspired me to become an advocate for environmental education.  One of the most significant responsibilities of being a teacher is supporting children to retain the sense of awe and wonder that they are born with, to be stewards, and to desire to nurture and protect our Earth. As an educator, I have to embed principles of sustainability in my teaching, take an active role in environmental protection, and promote encourage children to grow their sense of responsibility for the environment.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders that are looking to bring about positive change in their communities through EE?

Your passion, motivation, and initiatives in environmental education are the key to a wonderful and sustainable earth. We need you to bring the best of your great ideas and strengths to take action for the betterment of society. Be creative and innovative, and unleash your drive and passion to lead platforms and initiatives for environmental education!

What keeps you motivated, inspired, or hopeful for the future?

Youth are my inspiration. My heart crushes every time I hear experiences of children who are severely affected by climate change. I do believe that the world needs the next generation of leaders to be key stewards for the environment, and to inspire and educate more people to be aware and protect the environment. Most importantly, they must understand their roles as stewards of the planet and as responsible global citizens.

If you could be any animal or plant, what would you be and why?

I would be a shark. Sharks actually feast on weak and sick fish to prevent disease from spreading across marine life, and to help to maintain species diversity and bolster the gene pool. This effect trickles down to organisms like algae, which if not controlled could create devastating changes on Earth. As a result, sharks maintain the proper balance in the ocean (including seagrass and coral reef habitats) by keeping the food web in balance.