The Philippine Environmental Science Association (PESA) and the School of Environmental Science and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, conducted the 7thAnnual International Conference on Environmental Science (ACES), last June 13 to 15, 2018 at the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP). With the theme, “Environmental Science, Green Technology and Society: Pushing the Boundaries towards Sustainability”, the conference aimed to update scientists, professionals, educators, advocates, development workers, and public servants on key environmental agenda: climate change, variability and air quality; environmental impact assessments; biodiversity and conservation; environment, resources and population dynamics; disaster risks management; land use and land cover change; human health and environmental hazards; best practices and green solutions for sustainable development; and integrated water resource systems.
The various oral presentations, speed talks and posters signified the variety of research and development works of scientists and other young researchers are doing in the country. Dr. Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon, SESAM Professor and ACES Scientific Session Chair, said that research and creative endeavors in the field of environmental sciences are thriving in academic and affiliated institutions. “We have not yet reached majority of 150 SUCs that offer environmental science in both undergraduate and graduate levels… hence, there is a wider world out there that we need to reach to create a strong synergy among the scientific community”, Dr. Espaldon said.
Dr. Maria Victoria Espaldon, SESAM Professor and Science Session Chair (top); Senator Cynthia Villar, guest Speacker (middle) and Dr. Ryohei Kada, Keynote Speaker (bottom), during the ACES at UEP, June 13-15, 2018.
Dr. Ryohei Kada, a resource economist from Japan, is the keynote guest speaker of the conference. He emphasized the importance and connection between environmental risks and degradation with food and health security in Asia. Meanwhile, the presentation about the journey of environmental science in the Philippines of Dr. Percy E. Sajise, former professor of SESAM, was also played during the keynote session.
In her speech, Senator Cynthia Villar, invited PESA to join her to help in searching for solutions to our environmental dilemma. “We are in the best position to contribute through improving science- and contribute to the Philippine society’s well-being”, she stressed.
The conference also invited five plenary speakers, namely: Dr. Christina Binag, Professor, University of Santo Tomas; Dr. Perry Ong, Dean, College of Science, UP Diliman; Atty. Asis Perez, former director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and now the Executive Director, Tanggol Kalikasan, Inc.; and Mr. Wilfredo Canto, DMO III, representing Mr. Livinio Duran, OIC-Assistant Regional Director for Management Services, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region VI.
Around 200 participants from 28 provinces joined the conference with 90 oral presentations, 19 speed talks, 48 posters. During the third day of the conference, participants were treated to a field trip to the stunning rock formations of Biri Island in Northern Samar.