News & Updates

FEATURED | 22 May 2024

SESAM now part of Asia Hub

The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) is now a member of the Asia Hub. This is an initiative of the Michigan State University, USA, that redefined the concept of institutional partnerships and collaboration models in Asia.

Asia Hub (formerly Asia Nexus) is a conglomerate of 13 countries, 26 international institutions and seven international organizations. It offers an enhanced platform for expanded faculty and student engagement in Asia by engaging key partners, exploring new strategies to co-fund and leverage investments, and facilitating collaborations to advance integrated research and novel academic programming. 

As a member of Asia Hub, SESAM will have joint research, teaching and capacity building with over 30 key partner institutions and organizations in Asia, Europe and North America. 

The Asia Hub platform offers unique partnership models that embody the strategic dimensions of MSU’s international objectives: innovating global solutions, creating global citizens, and generating global investment. 

Asia Hub partners and research teams are creating a synergistic network of networks within and across Central Eurasia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the world in order to advance the frontiers of knowledge while building capacity among all partners to address global challenges, particularly within the context of food and agriculture; education and capacity building; health and nutrition; and environment, water, and energy.

SESAM’s first official engagement with Asia Hub was during the visit of Dr. Isabella Tirtowalujo, the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Center and Asia Hub of MSU in October 17, 2022. During the meeting, Dr. Tirtowalujo introduced the MSU Asia Hub initiative, and the network of institutions in East, Central and Southeast Asia. The meeting also started the collaborative relationship between SESAM, MSU and Nanjing Agricultural University of China, which also produced a trilateral Asia Hub memorandum of agreement.

This was followed by the lecture of Dr. Jiaguo Qi, Director of Asia Hub in MSU, during the SESAM Exchanges webinar in December 7, 2022. The warm reception of the webinar made Dr. Qi more interested to collaborate with the school. 

Asia Hub has also lined-up some events for this year, including the annual meeting which will focus on water-energy-food (WEF) nexus research in Asia on November 12-13, 2024 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

146 participants joined SESAM’s 1st EIA training for 2024

The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) concluded its five-day training on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) held on May 6-10, 2024 via online conferencing. 

Offered by SESAM’s Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD), 146 participants representing various national and international sectors: Academe, National Government Agencies (NGAs), Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC), Local Government Units (LGUs), Private Organizations, and individual practitioners.

Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Dean of SESAM, thanked the all the participants and the Philippine Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE) for partnering again for this 8th short online course on EIA. “EIA is very important for the country’s development while protecting the environment,” Dr. Ancog said. Meanwhile, Dr. Cecilia S. Navasero-Gascon, President of PNEE, also graced the occasion through her inspirational message.

The speakers during the first day of the event were from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau, Engr. Divina C. Camarao (OIC Chief, Clearance and Permitting Division) and For. Riza C. Arjona (Senior Environmental Management Specialist); and Dr. Alma Lorelei DJ. Abejero, a University Researcher of SESAM. 

During the second day, SESAM Faculty members starting with Dr. Eduardo C. Calzeta gave a lecture on EIA in the context of sustainable development and carrying capacity as integrated in the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System (PEISS); followed by Dr. Loucel Cui on water quality analysis and terrestrial aquatic ecosystems; and Dr. Badi R. Samaniego on marine ecosystems. Prof. Antonio Gabino P. Sobremisana, from the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology gave a discussion on water resources quantification.

Dr. Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr. of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources tackled biodiversity for terrestrial ecosystems in the third day; followed by Prof. Eduardo F. Roquiño who discussed environmental economics. Meanwhile, Dr. Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, Professor and former SESAM dean, discussed the geophysical (geology, soil, and land use) and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation as integrated PEISS; while a lecture on health impact assessment (HIA) was delivered by Dr. Victorio B. Molina, Professor on environmental and occupational health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila.

The lecturers on the fourth day were Dr. Evaristo Niño T. Cando III, who discussed the people component of the PEISS and Social Impact Assessment; Dr. Marisa J. Sobremisana lectured on on environmental risk assessment; Dr. Calzeta also returned to lecture on Environmental Management Plan (EMP), Environmental Monitoring Plan (EMoP), Social Development Plan (SDP), and Preparation of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

In the last day, Dr. Hussein S. Lidasan, Professor and Former Dean at the School of Urban and Regional Planning in UP Diliman and a member of the EIA Review Committee of the Environmental Management Bureau, presented the Review of EIA Quality and Decision-Making. Dr. Lidasan also critiqued the presentations of the participants after the workshop.

During the testimonial, one of the participants, Ms. Jovencia Ganub of the Bohol provincial government, said that she is honored to be part of the 8th batch of the EIA training. “I was so excited because I haven’t had any formal training and I consider it a great opportunity, as the days of training went on, I realized that the entire EIA process is no joke, its components are so huge, complex and interrelated. You can’t negotiate, no shortcuts,” she added. Another participant, Ms. Kay Olivas of the Department of Agriculture Region II, said CETD-SESAM had a great training management. “I learned the different components of an EIA– air, land, water, biodiversity and of course the HIA,” she stressed.

In the closing program, For. Sofia A. Alaira delivered the training synthesis and Dr. Angela Grace Toledo-Bruno, Vice President of PNEE, gave the parting message for this event. This short online course on EIA, delivered via Zoom, was organized by CETD-SESAM, headed by For. Alaira with members: Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, Ms. Cherry S. Padilla, En.P. Jessa O. Aquino-Cando, and Mr. Robert Patrick M. Cabangbang, and PNEE Secretariat, Ms. Evangeline L. Alcantara. (TPLawas and JOAquino-Cando)

Threat to planet earth and environment a national security concern- Jimenez

This was stressed by Atty. Angelo A. Jimenez, President of the University of the Philippines System, during the signing ceremonies of the environmental diplomacy and negotiations last April 29, 2024, at the School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) Academic Quadrangle. Atty. Jimenez was the distinguished guest of the event, entitled “Toward a Common Ground: Forging Partnerships for the environment and groundbreaking ceremony for the SESAM Annex Building.” 

Atty. Jimenez is the 22nd president of the UP System. He said that he studied his first year in the university here in UPLB. He later finished BS Sociology and Bachelor of Laws from UP Diliman. A former resident of the FOREHA dorm, he said he loves the environment and fresh air of UPLB. Now he is proud to see that SESAM is now offering the PhD Environmental Diplomacy and Negotiations program. 

“When I fought for the approval of the PhD program on environmental diplomacy, there were very serious questions about it, the first question is why UPLB? Because we put the word ‘diplomacy’, you talk about people in ties and suits, it is a diplomat-level. But of course, we realized that the world has changed and much of what we know about national security has to do on what we call today as ‘non-traditional security threats,’ and one of the biggest threats today is the threat to planet earth and the environment,” Atty. Jimenez stressed. 

UPLB signed two memoranda, namely a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Security Council (NSC), represented by Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. (Ret.), Deputy Director; and a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Foreign Service Institute, represented by Atty. Francisco Noel R. Fernandez, III, Director General. UPLB was represented by the Chancellor, Dr. Jose V. Camacho, Jr.

After the memoranda signing, SESAM relaunched its website. The SESAM official Facebook Page and the link to the Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM) webpage at the UPLB Journals Online website can now be accessed thru the new SESAM website. New links of interdisciplinary centers and SESAM projects will also be accessed from the school’s website soon. Also during the event, audio visual presentations of the school, PhD EDN and SESAM Annex Building were also shown. 

In the SESAM annex building groundbreaking, Chancellor Camacho said that with the new facility, SESAM will efficiently carry out the instruction and research functions. “This is for our students,” Dr. Camacho said, as SESAM’s population increases and pushes for internationalization.

Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Dean of SESAM thanked the UP System and UPLB officials for the continuing support and he hope that in a few years SESAM will have a new building. “We dreamed and it is now almost a reality,” Dr. Ancog said. He also thanked the previous deans of SESAM who started this endeavor.The Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD) led the facilitation of the memoranda signings and groundbreaking activities. The event invited SESAM students and alumni, university officials, faculty members and partner agencies of the school. 

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SESAM now part of Asia Hub

The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) is now a member of the Asia...
22 May 2024

146 participants joined SESAM’s 1st EIA training for 2024

The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) concluded its five-day training on Environmental Impact Assessment...
16 May 2024
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