SESAM Conducts EIA Training

EIA 2019 Participants and the resources speakers of the 2019 SESAM EIA training at Obdulia F. Sison Hall, UPLB last August 5, 2019.

The School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) conducted a five-day training course on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) last August 5 to 9, 2019 at Obdulia F. Sison Hall, University of the Philippines Los Baños. The event was initiated by the School’s Continuing Education and Training (CET) Division headed by For. Sofia A. Alaira, University Researcher I from SESAM. 

Since the EIA procedure and its underlying policies are constantly changing in the country, the training aimed to update the environmental professionals on the current issues, methods, programs and the encompassing policies.

Resource speakers from the Environmental Management Bureau-Department of Environment and Natural Resources (EMB-DENR) namely, Mr. Fauzi Marc G. Abing, discussed the guidelines for coverage screening and standard requirements under the Philippine Environmental Impact Statement System; For. Corazon C. Gasapos lectured on the government’s efforts in ecological solid waste management under Republic Act 9003; and lastly, Engr. Marissa DC. Malabanan discussed the importance of toxic substances and hazardous wastes in relation to Republic Act 6969.

Professors and researchers of SESAM also presented various topics and were divided into the major components of EIA as well as the preparation and review of EIA documents. Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, gave a lecture on geophysical baselining, impact assessment, and mitigation which includes the Engineering Geological and Geohazard Assessment; Dr. Marisa Sobremisana talked about the air and water component of EIA; Dr. Loucel E. Cui gave lectures on water quality and quantity analysis; Dr. Carmelita M. Rebancos, discussed the overview of social impact assessment; Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon  focused on the Philippine National Framework Guidelines for environmental health impact assessment; Dr. Rico C. Ancog talked about the role of economic analysis in EIA; and Dr. Hildie Maria E. Nacorda focused on marine ecosystems. Retired SESAM Professor Dr. Nicomedes Briones presented the development of Environmental Management and Monitoring Plans (EMP; EMoP). 

Dr. Pastor L. Malabrigo, Jr., Professor, College of Forestry and Natural Resources-UPLB discussed the biological component particularly of terrestrial ecosystems. Meanwhile, Dr. Maria Lourdes Q. Moreno of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB)-DENR, shared her experiences and learnings in the review and evaluation of EIA documents. 

To further capacitate the participants in the conduct of EIA, a workshop was conducted on the last day of training wherein the participants were tasked to develop an EMP and EMoP based from sample project cases. The outputs of the three groups were presented by their respective team leaders and were evaluated by Drs. Ancog and Moreno. 

The training gave special focus on baseline data gathering. Baselining is an important environmental assessment activity before any project can commence because this provides the basis for assessment and monitoring of the impacts of the project. Almost 30 representatives from National Government Agencies, Local Government Units, Academe, Local and International-based Non-Government Organizations and the Private Sector attended the training course. The School is hopeful that through this activity, more environmental stewards will be engaged in these types of endeavors. With the overwhelming support that the CET Division has received for this training course, the conduct of other trainings will soon be planned as regular activities of the Division.(SAAlaira, JOAquino and RPMCabangbang)


PNEE GIS Romblon2Participants of the 3-day Training-Workshop on GIS in Odiongan, Romblon, Philippines.

The Philippine Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE), in partnership with Romblon State University (RSU) and UPLB Climate Disaster and Risks Studies Center (UPLB-CRSC), conducted the 5th PNEE National Training-Workshop on GIS and its Applications on DRR and CCA Planning in Small Islands in the Philippines last 14-16 August 2019 at DOBS Events Place, Odiongan, Romblon. The 3-day training-workshop was participated by 40 individuals coming from different State Universities and Colleges (SUCs)  in the country and some Local Government Units (LGUs) of Romblon. 


Small islands, due to its small size and isolation, are considered to be one of high risk areas to natural disasters, climate change impacts, and other environmental stresses. Identification of the areas where these inherent risks are most likely to occur are critical to disaster preparedness and risk reduction. As such, this training-workshop was aimed to capacitate researchers and faculty members of State Colleges and Universities as well as staff of Local Government Units to assess the vulnerability of small islands through spatial mapping 


The training-workshop was opened by Dr. Borromeo Motin, Director for Research in RSU and PNEE Board Member. Dr. Motin stressed the importance of the training-workshop and how it can serve as an avenue to strengthen the instruction, research, and extension of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Dr. Arthur R. Ilagan, the Vice President for Research, Extension and Training of RSU, welcomed the participants from different regions and emphasized the timeliness and relevance of the training to the current situation of the small islands in the country.


For. Jan Joseph Dida, an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (IRNR), College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR) of UPLB, lead the first two days of the training. He introduced the mapping software, Quantum GIS, and discussed about its features and functions. He also discussed the use of mapping techniques, through hands-on exercises, to make a susceptibility map particularly flood and landslide hazard maps. This was complemented by the lecture of For. Nico Almarines, Instructor 3 at IRNR, CFNR-UPLB, who talked about data acquisition from various sources and its corresponding preparation. He also thoroughly demonstrated the steps for georeferencing and vectorization, an important skill to acquire in utilizing the data that is available. 


The third day focused on integrating the susceptibility maps into planning wherein the University Coordinator of UPLB-CDRSC, Dr. Yusuf A. Sucol, who is also an Affiliate Assistant Professor at SESAM-UPLB, presented various concepts and frameworks on CCA and DRR both in the national and local contexts. He elaborated the entry points where spatial mapping is critical to planning and how the information shown in the maps are fundamental and relevant in order  to improve planning and disaster risk reduction and management. 


Overall, the participants were motivated to further explore the application of spatial mapping in instruction, research, and extension that could be integrated in developing or enhancing local planning in response to CCA and DRR in their respective institutions and local units (For. Jomari Baggay and Ma. Christina Corales). 


CHED taps JESAM for scientific writing workshop of Philippine HEIs

IMG 1039Participants of the Journal Capability Workshop at Sierra Hotel, Dumaguete City last August 13, 2019.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED), in partnership with the Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM), held a capability building workshop for journal editors, researchers and faculty of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The first capability workshop kicked-off in the Visayan region, with CHED Region VII hosting the workshop with the assistance of the Office of Planning, Research and Knowledge Management (OPRKM) of the CHED Central Office at Sierra Hotel, Dumaguete City, August 12-16, 2019.


More than 40 faculty and researchers from 21 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and private higher education institutions attended the workshop. With participants coming from non-Journal Incentive Program (JIP) recipient schools, the workshop aims to assist universities and colleges in the general aspects of journal management by holding a series of training-workshop on peer-review process, database management, similarity checking and other support services; to consolidate and improve the promotion of science journals through website and social media management across the regions in the country; to assist the journals in applying to indexing systems; and to train faculty members and researchers to enhance scientific writing skills.


The Dumaguete leg of the capability-building workshop series composed of HEIs from Regions VI, VII and VIII. The draft articles of the participants from their respective researches were further refined and reformatted based on the pointers from the scientific lectures presented by the JESAM team. Dr. Josefino A. Ronquillo, Supervising Education Program Specialist, CHED-Region VII, said he will follow up to the participants their ‘improved’ and ‘reformatted’ articles for possible publication in scientific journals. “I assure you that I will make the follow up and urge these participants to submit their articles to CHED. If these outputs will be published, it will be for their own good”, Dr. Ronquillo added.


In his opening message, National Scientist and former Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary and CHED Chairman, Dr. Angel C. Alcala, said he hope the region will produce the best papers as output of this capability building workshop. “Lets make our country’s track record equal to or better than Southeast Asian countries in terms of research”, Dr. Alcala stressed. Dr. Alcala is currently the Chair of the Technical working Group of CHED-JIP and Professor Emeritus of Silliman University,


CHED ACAAt the age of 90, Dr. Angel C. Alcala continues to share his wisdom and provide valuable advice to the younger generation of teachers and researchers. 


The JESAM team, led by Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Managing Editor, presented lectures on writing technical articles for scientific journals; preparing the review of related literature, materials and methods; and publication ethics. Meanwhile, Dr. Loucel E. Cui, Editorial Assistant, discussed writing results and discussion, conclusion and recommendations. Furthermore, Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas presented the practical guide to getting published in journals.


On the second day of the workshop, the participants enriched the outlines of their respective draft articles. As they presented the outlines of their researches, constructive critiques were given by other participants and it helped the authors further improve their articles. The sharing of ideas and commenting raised the confidence of the participants to enhance their scientific writing skills. 


Meanwhile, journal management was the theme of the presentations on the third day of the workshop. Dr. Ancog discussed the importance of the peer review process, while Dr. Lawas introduced the Clarivate Analytics Web of Science indexing system. Ms. Cherry S. Padilla, Editorial Assistant, presented how to manage a database of a scientific journal and scientific paper formatting. Lastly, Dr. Cui lectured on how to conduct similarity checking of journal articles.

The next leg of the capability workshop will be for the participants of Mindanao HEIs on September 2-6 in Cagayan de Oro City. The capability workshop series will also brought to Nueva Ecija this October for Northern Luzon HEIs and Lucena City, Quezon this November for Southern Luzon region HEIs.

JESAM Conducts Journal Management and Scientific Writing Seminar at UEP

UEP JMMP July 29 2019Journal mentoring. Dr. Rolando A. Delorino, President of UEP, welcomed the JESAM editorial team during the journal management seminar last July 29, 2019 (photo Dr. Loucel E. Cui).


The Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM), a Web of Science-indexed journal of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), conducted a journal management seminar-workshop at University of Eastern Philippines (UEP), University Town, Catarman, Northern Samar, on July 29 to 31, 2019.


This is part of JESAM’s Journal Management Mentoring Program which aims to assist universities and colleges in the general aspects of journal management by training-workshop on peer-review process; database management; journal lay-outing and formatting; similarity checking and other support services; to assist the journals in applying to indexing systems (Web of Science, Scopus, etc.); andto train faculty members on how to write scientific articles.


Dr. Rolando A. Delorino, President of UEP, stressed the importance to produce quality journal articles to lift the status of UEP, the first state university in the Visayas. “This is our priority now, I want to challenge our faculty members to write and publish their research outputs”, Dr. Delorino said during the opening program of the seminar. Dr. Delorino is an alumnus of SESAM, he graduated MS Environmental Studies in 1989 under the UPLB-Ford Foundation Fellowship Grant.


For his part, newly-appointed Vice President for Research, Development and Extension, Dr. Tito M. Cabili, said that he is excited for the rebirth of the Pacific Journal of Science and Technology (PJST). “I am looking forward for the new articles that could be included in the relaunch of the PJST after this seminar”, Dr. Cabili said. “The revival of the journal is my first goal as VP and I want it to be sustainable and hope to be indexed soon”, he added. An alumnus of SESAM, Dr. Cabili graduated PhD Environmental Science in 2009.


The JESAM team, led by the Managing Editor and SESAM Assistant Professor, Dr. Rico C. Ancog presented lectures on writing technical articles for scientific journals. Dr. Loucel E. Cui, University Researcher and JESAM Editorial Assistant, discussed the elements of a publishable journal article content, structure and form, particularly on the review of related literature and materials and methods of a scientific article.


On day two, Dr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, University Extension Specialist II and JESAM Production Editor, presented the practical guide to getting published research journals. Dr. Ancog also presented the principles in publication ethics. After lectures, the participants conducted a workshop on the application of the elements of publishable article. They were grouped based on their respective disciplines, as the authors worked on how to improve their articles for the future issue of PJST.


UEP participants JMMP July 2019The colleges and campuses of UEP were well-represented during the journal mentoring and scientific writing seminar. 


Day three highlighted the journal management part of the seminar, with Dr. Lawas presenting about JESAM: Role of journals and the importance of Peer Review Process and Clarivate analytics-Web of Science; Dr. Cui discussed similarity checking on journal articles; and finally, Ms. Cherry C. Padilla, University Research Associate II and JESAM Editorial Assistant, lectured on how to manage a journal database and scientific paper formatting.


More than 30 faculty and staff of UEP attended the seminar, representing the nine colleges, including the Catubig and Laoang campuses. More than five articles were prepared and ready for peer review for the next PJST issue.

Dr. Ancog served as plenary speaker in two scientific meetings

PSSNThe participants from UPLB during the 2019 PSSN conference held in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.


Recently awarded 2019 Outstanding Young Scientist Dr. Rico Ancog served as plenary speaker of two separate scientific meetings in the first two weeks of July 2019. The assistant professor and UP Scientist III of SESAM discussed topics on inter- and trans-disciplinal science, and environmental governance and valuation imperatives related to Invasive Alien Species in the Asia-Pacific region. 


The first conference was the 19thInternational Conference on Nature Studies of the Philippine Society for the Study of Nature (PSSN) held last 2-6 July 2019 at Palawan State University, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. In support to the conference’s theme “Nature, People, and Development: Making Connection Matters,” Dr. Ancog discussed a paper defining transdisciplinal approach to effectively link various sustainability dimensions across the project development and project evaluation phases. He discussed the importance of crafting a inter- and –transdisciplinal praxis, along with systematic methodological framework that would effectively operationalize the formulation and implementation of a research project related to environmental problem. Overall, the well-attended conference was instrumental for attendees to exchange information and discuss potential collaborations in the future for a deeper understanding of the connection between nature, people and development. In addition, the paper of Mr. Christian Cuevas, a recent MS graduate of SESAM and advisee of Dr. Ancog was also presented. It tackled the use of choice experiment (CE) method in the estimation of tourists’ willingness to pay for the recreational serve of Mt. Macolot in Cuenca, Batangas, Philippines. 


Dr. Ancog was also invited to also serve as a plenary speaker during the R&D Conference on Invasive Alien Species (IAS) Management and Biosecurity Measures in the Asia Pacific Region held on 8-12July 2019 at Diamond Hotel in Manila, Philippines. The IAS has been considered as among the major threats to biodiversity such that the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has called on parties to find mechanisms for the introduction, control and eradication of alien species. Organized by the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), the research arm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the IAS conference aimed to enhance the R&D partnerships and cooperation between and among Asia-Pacific countries, better understanding of the institutional and capacity developments necessary for an effective IAS management, and in strengthening strategies and policies to address issues on IAS. 


Dr. Ancog proposed a general framework to determine the appropriate method to measure the spread dynamics of an IAS, and from there elaborate on some facilitative to sufficient conditions to strengthen management of IAS. Joining Dr. Ancog are Jomari Christian Baggay and Stellah Aclan, university research associates at SESAM, who also presented a paper on some IAS control strategies in a national park in the Philippines. Along with Dr. Leonardo M. Florece and Dr. Ancog, they comprise the research team of a SESAM-implemented project on IAS in Allah Valley Protected Landscape (AVPL) in Mindanao funded by the Foreign Assisted and Species Projects Services (FASPS) of DENR.


Overall, the papers presented during the plenary talks of Dr. Ancog were products of research projects implemented by SESAM signifying the School’s active research culture, as well as its aim of ensuring that its research results are disseminated to the widest possible, especially government regulatory agencies.

SEARCA, IdSC Water conducts workshop on Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Security

SEARCA water

Participants of SWRM Program Workshop spearheaded by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (SEARCA Director), Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez (UPLB IdSC Water Chair), Ir. Abdullah Isnin (AWGWRM Chair) and representatives from SEA government units working on water.


Water plays a vital role in global food security as 50% of agricultural production is seen to increase to feed nine billion population by 2050. A holistic management on water resources is deemed necessary as the population increase puts more pressure to water resources. In response to this, a collaborative workshop on Program Development of Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Security in Southeast Asia was conducted by SEAMEO Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and UPLB Inter-disciplinary Center for Water (IdSC Water) at Los Baños Laguna from June 26-28, 2019. 


Representatives of the ASEAN working group on Water Resource Management (AWGWRM) member countries together with SEA country representatives (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao PDR, Indonesia), ICHARM, Tohoku University, Philippine National Agencies, Academe, Local Government Units, International Non-Government Organizations and Civil Society Organizations attended the workshop in crafting the Sustainable Water Resource Management for Food Security in Southeast Asia. 


Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director, emphasized the food security challenges due to diminishing water resources. Water scarcity has been prominent as demand for competing users arise raising water security concerns, not just in Philippines, but in the whole SEA region. 


The workshop was conceptualized to establish the important link between food security and water security. The 3-day workshop distilled needs and gaps to be addressed in research and development, capacity building, and knowledge management focusing on current initiatives on sustainable water resource management for food security in SEA. 


With this, SEARCA seeks to develop an umbrella program focusing on research convergence towards sustainable water resource management in Southeast Asia, which will be included in SEARCA’s 11th 5-year plan. (C.B.Gigantone and J.O.Aquino)