Dr. Glenn S. Lubugin, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (middle), presides over the water agenda workshop last September 20, 2018 (photo: Office of Public Relations)
The School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños (SESAM-UPLB) Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water spearheaded a workshop on the research agenda on water last September 20-21, 2018, at the Office of the Chancellor, UPLB. It aims to discuss the past and current initiative and research agenda on water of each campuses of UP system. Representatives from UPLB, UP Baguio, UP Visayas and UP Mindanao attended, as this was part of the agreement made last June 28, 2018 during the meeting of the eight campuses to create blanket proposal on water research.
During the opening program, Dr. Glenn S. Lubugin, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, stressed the importance of integrating various disciplines in addressing water-related issues.
Representative from each campus were invited to discuss the past and current initiatives on water, framework, research agenda and priority projects. In his talk, Dr. Roger Luyun, Chair of Research and Development Committee of the center, discussed how the water center was institutionalized. He mentioned that agriculture and watershed management were some of the research niches of UPLB. However, he reiterated that there is a lack of repository of database in the country, so the water center envisions to do water resource assessment and database management.
Mr. Jeffrey Javier of Cordillera Studies Center presented the research areas of UP Baguio. Most of the studies that they are conducting is related on disaster management. He highlighted that water is one of the concerns in their area due to its geographical location.
Meanwhile, UP Visayas, represented by Dr. Rosalie Hall, Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, revolved on their focus area such as fisheries and domestic water. She also revealed that their university is planning to have their own water center.
Dr. Joseph Acosta, Assistant Professor from UP Mindanao said that their framework includes different activities on the filed of mapping, GIS application, modeling, land use planning, among others. It has different thematic areas and water is one of these.
“To solve the fragmentation or at least address other issues on water, we should at least agree to have a unified research direction on water” as stated by Dr. Agnes Rola, Chair of the Networking and Partnership Committee of the water center.
The group formulated set of objectives and an operational framework for the proposal with the main goal of attaining “water security for all at all times”. (Jessa O. Aquino, EnP)