SESAM hosts international meeting on collaborative action for regional sustainability

The UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB-SESAM), alongside Future Earth Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus Knowledge-Action Network (KAN) & Asia Hub, co-organized the 2023 Monsoon Asia Integrated Research for Sustainability – Future Earth (MAIRS-FE) Scientific Steering Committee Meeting and Side Events on November 16 to 17, 2023 at Century Park Hotel, Manila. This gathering brought together sustainability leaders and experts with the aim of collectively addressing critical sustainability challenges prevalent across the Asian region.

The primary focus of the meeting was to foster cross-disciplinary exchanges and collaborative efforts among various institutions across Asia. Distinguished experts from prominent universities and organizations gathered to deliberate on pressing issues and emphasize the intricate relationships between water, energy, and food systems that are integral to ensuring sustainability in the region.

Attending the meeting were representatives from the Center of Excellence for Soil Research in Asia, Indian Institute of Science, Institut Pertanian Bogor University, Michigan State University, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines, Peking University, PIAREA Institute, University of Information and Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and UPLB.

Esteemed guests such as UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. and Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), also graced the meeting and contributed their insights.

Throughout the sessions, the presenters highlighted regional climate challenges and ecological imbalances while stressing the urgency of proactive measures. The discussions centered on devising actionable strategies to manage resources more effectively, strengthen climate resilience, and promote inclusive development.

A recurring theme emerged during discussionsโ€“the call for collaborative action. Participants emphasized the need for precise data, innovative solutions, and impactful policy interventions to effectively address sustainability challenges. They underscored the critical role of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary collaboration in this pursuit.

As the conference concluded, the participants reaffirmed their shared commitment to influencing future initiatives, guiding policy-making endeavors, and facilitating partnerships to steer the Asian region toward a more sustainable and resilient future.ย (Laurenz B. Cruz and Jewel S. Cabrera)