The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) through its Continuing Education and Training Division (CETD) conducted its 6th short online course on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) 2022 last August 14 to 18, 2023 via Zoom. This online training course is in partnership with the Philippine Network of Educators in Environment (PNEE).
This year, more than 120 participants from the academe (22.1%), national government agencies (15.3%), government owned and controlled corporations (5.3%), local government units (19.8%), while others are connected with non-government organizations, private companies and freelance practitioners (37.5%) also joined the online course.
“We are very much pleased to do this kind of extension work, the reason being is that our mandate is to make sure that there are more or higher, stronger human capital with regards to environmental management and governance” Dr. Rico Ancog stressed in his opening message. Through SESAM-CETD, a number of trainings ranging from EIA to ecosystems valuation, to climate disaster risk assessment, as well as forum on research impact series and environmental challenges and solutions are regularly conducted.
For his part, Dr. Ramon M. Docto, PNEE and Palawan State University President, mentioned that PNEE will always support for this training course. “PNEE has demonstrated its strong support for these learning endeavors, we firmly assert that this capacity building plays a crucial role in ensuring the sustained success of delivering services to the people”, Dr. Docto said.
According to For. Sofia A. Alaira, head of CETD-SESAM, this EIA course aims to provide participants with knowledge about the technical aspects and administrative procedures of the Philippine EIS System; discuss the key elements of the current EIA procedures and processes, including the existing laws and policies relevant to the conduct of EIA impart knowledge on how to identify and predict the impacts of proposed development projects and programs relevant to the fields of specialization of the participants; strengthen the technical capabilities of the participants in environmental management, especially in environmental compliance and monitoring; enhance the participants’ skills and knowledge on how to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); and provide a better appreciation of the application of science in the methods of EIA preparation.
In the first day of the training, experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) namely, Engr. Divina Camarao, Chief of EIA Section and For. Riza C. Arjona, Senior Environmental Management Specialist were invited to discuss introduction and overview of PEISS and EIA: EIA as a planning, management, and regulatory tool and laws, policies and institutional arrangements for EIA system; and categories of EIA and EIA process and decision-making. In the afternoon session, Dr. Alma Lorelei D. Abejero discussed EIA in the context of sustainable development and air and climate.
In the succeeding lectures, resource speakers from UPLB-SESAM were also invited. Among them were Dr. Decibel F. Eslava (biophysical assessment: geology, soil, and land use); Dr. Loucel E. Cui (water quality and aquatic biodiversity assessment); Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez (water quantity); Dr. Badi R. Samaniego (marine ecosystem assessment); Dr. Evaristo Niño T. Cando III (social impact assessment); Dr. Eduardo C. Calzeta (climate change); Dr. Rico C. Ancog (resource economics assessment); Dr. Marisa J. Sobremisana (environmental risk assessment); Dr. Nicomedes D. Briones (EMP and EMoP).
Dr. Victorio Molina, Professor, UP Manila and SESAM alumni, lectured on health impact assessment. Meanwhile, Dr. Pastor Malabrigo of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR-UPLB), and Dr. Hussein S. Lidasan of the School of Urban and Rural Planning (SURP), UP Diliman were again invited to discuss terrestrial biodiversity and review of EIA quality and decision-making, respectively. Dr. Lidasan also provided the critique of the workshop outputs of the participants, as they were divided into four groups. The four groups were given one topic each, which include expressway, quarry, reclamation and hydropower.