SESAM, ICLEI and Santa Rosa City LGU Conducts Capacity-building for Urban Agriculture

Urban Agri1

From left to right: Mr. Garry Hidalgo (Urban Agriculture Expert), Noel Villodres (Horticulturist), Mr. Ranell Dedicatoria, Program Manager, ICLEI, Dr. Rico Ancog (Project Leader), Ms. Linda Creencia (City ENRO) and Dra. Sonia Algabre (city councilor) during the ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiling of the urban agriculture demo park.


The pioneering project Building Capacity for Urban Agriculture in the City of Santa Rosa, Philippines, funded through the ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability South East Asia, Inc.-ACCCRN (ASEAN Cities Climate Change Resilience Network) Engagement Building Small Grants program was implemented by the School of Environmental Science and Management-University of the Philippines Los Baños together with the City Government of Santa Rosa. This initiative identifies strategies on how to integrate urban agriculture in local planning. One of the major outputs is to raise awareness on urban agriculture through a capacity building training targeting various stakeholders from both private and public sector groups.

A whole day capacity building training was held last October 13 at the Santa Rosa City. Representatives from the City Agriculture Office, City Planning and Development Office, City Engineering Office, City Assessor’s Office, City Cooperative and Development Office, Sangguniang Panlungsod, Philippine National Police and barangays Dita, Balibago and Aplaya attended. Representatives from Toyota Autoparts also attended the training.

Councilor Roy Gonzales of Santa Rosa City identified some of the projects of Santa Rosa that are geared towards environment protection, one of their priority projects included urban agriculture. Ranell Dedicatoria, program manager of ICLEI-South East Asia, also shared a welcome message to the participants. Meanwhile, Dr. Rico Ancog, project leader and faculty at the SESAM-UPLB, presented the project overview and a review of the project activities including the completion of the pilot site construction at Barangay Sinalhan, Santa Rosa City.

Urban Agri2

The Urban Agriculture demo park in Barangay SInalhan, Santa Rosa City, Laguna features different tyoes of containerized farming.

 The training consisted of two sessions. The morning session involved lectures covering topics on sustainability of the production system and urban agriculture as a strategy for climate change adaptation. The afternoon session of the training included the ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiling of the urban agriculture demo park in Barangay Sinalhan followed by the on-site training. Project consultants Noel Villodres (Horticulturist), Garry Hidalgo (Urban Agriculture Expert) and Architect Therese Santiano (Urban Planner) served as lecturers and facilitators.

The training was coordinated and organized by the urban agriculture project staff Ayesha Sarapuddin and Clarissa Ruzol, with the support from the City Environment and Natural Resource Office of Santa Rosa City headed by Ms. Linda Creencia. (Ayesha Sarapuddin)

EIDR Project Conducts Focus Group Discussion

EIDR FGDDr. Antonio J. Alcantara, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer (MENRO) of Los Baños LGU and former professor, SESAM, elaborates some environmental issues affecting the municipality during the FGD of the EIDR project last October 21, 2016 at SESAM-UPLB. 

The Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) Program conducted a Focus Group Discussion on Assessing Socio-Ecological Systems (SES): Visioning Sustainable Futures of Laguna de Bay, last October 21, 2016 at SESAM Lecture Hall, UPLB. 

The FGD was attended by local government officials of Laguna, national agency officers, Bantay-Lawa officials and representatives from the academe. The EIDR Program Cycle 6 is implementing the project "Ten Years After the Millenium Ecosystem Assessment of Laguna de Bay: towards a Sustainable Future". 
It aims to study geophysical hazards in the area and understand their potential impacts to communities for their consideration in their development plans; pollution, which characterize the lake in terms of pollution levels through the analyses of water and sediment samples and develop pollution monitoring proxies using environmental magnetism; socio-eco millennium ecosystem assessment, which aims to produce a synthesis of state-of-the-art information on Laguna de Bay and generate new baselines and provide indicators on how the targets recommended after the MA have been met or missed; and watershed, which aims to characterize the biophysical aspects of the watersheds and evaluate land use changes and identify critical areas through watershed vulnerability assessment.
EIDR is a collaboration of the School of Environmental Science and Management, College of Forestry and Natural Resources-UPLB, Rushurgent Working Group, National Institute of Geological Sciences-UP Diliman, Institute of Chemistry, Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics-UP Manila and School of Civil, Environmental and Geologic Engineering, Mapua Institute of Technology. 

DENR Usec. Jonas Leones is SESAM's 2016 Outstanding Alumni

Usec Leones

2016 Outstanding Alumni. Atty. Jonas R. Leones, Undersecretary, DENR (left) lectures on the latest ventures of the DENR. Dr. Rico Ancog (middle), President of SESAM Alumni Association and Dr. Decibel F. Eslava (right), Dean of SESAM, led the Alumni Homecoming activities of SESAM.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones is SESAM's 2016 Outstanding Alumni for Government Service. Atty. Leones, who is the Undersecretary for International Affairs and Foreign Assisted Programs, is an MS Environmental Science graduate in 2000. 

This year's theme "Strategic Environmental Governance by Sustainable Develoment Goal", the SESAM Alumni Homecoming and symposium invited more than 70 faculty, staff, students and alumni, as part of the 98th UPLB Loyalty Day celebration, October 10, 2016.

According to Usec. Leones, DENR is conducting several activities such as hazard mapping, the National Greening Program (NGP) and coastal resources management. "We cannot really mitigate the effects of climate change, what we can only do is to protect the future generations", Usec. Leones said.

"The first NGP was a learning experience for us", Usec. Leones stressed. He added the NGP is is now expanded starting this year until 2028. According to Usec. Leones, it is envisoned to plant 1.5 billion tress. 


Landslide Early Warning System Wins NAST 2016 Best Poster Contest


Best Poster. The Landslide Early Warning System research won the best poster during the 2016 AASSA-NAST PHL Workshop 2016. (From left) Dr. Rodel Lasco, Academician, NAST; Ms. Loucel E. Cui, University Resarch Associate, SESAM; Dr. Rhodora Azanza, Academician, NAST; Dr. Decibel F. Eslava; Dean, SESAM; and Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Academician, NAST.

The poster entitled “Developing a Multi-parameter Landslide Early Warning System for Geothermally Altered Regions” wins the best poster award during the Association of Academes and Societies in Asia-National Academy of Science and Technology (AASSA-NAST) PHL Workshop on the Role of Science Academies in Sustainable Development, held in Taal Vista Hotel, Tagaytay City last September 28 to 29, 2016. This workshop is in conjunction with the 2016 Climate Conference on Addressing Climate Risk for Sustainable Development.

The poster is co-authored by Dr. Decibel F. Eslava and Ms. Loucel E. Cui of SESAM; Drs. Nathaniel C. Bantayan, Rex Victor O. Cruz, Cristino L. Tiburan, Jan Joseph V. Dida, Edwin Combalicer of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources-UP Los Baños; Drs. Noelynna T. Ramos and Carla B. Dimalanta of the National Institute of Geological Sciences- UP Diliman; Dr. Graciano P. Yumul, Jr., Apex Mining Co. Inc.; Mr. Ozzy Boy Nicopior, College of Arts and Sciences, UP-Los Baños.

This research aims to develop a basic early warning system for geothermally altered areas by developing enhanced landslide susceptibility map and a dynamic rain intensity-duration threshold monitoring system; and to respond to disasters on time and avoid unnecessary losses.  

According to Dr. Rodel Lasco, Academician, NAST, the poster was both the top choice of the judges and it also got the highest number of votes from the participants of the workshop.

Scientists from the different national science academies of Japan, India, Jordan, Korea, United Kingdom, Kyrgyz Republic and the Philippines attended the AASSA-NAST PHL workshop and agreed to formulate a resolution to improve inter-academy partnerships and focus in climate change studies. Aside from these academicians and scientists, faculty members and researchers from private and state colleges and universities participated in the workshop.

Also part of the workshop exhibit, the Journal of Environmental Science and Management (JESAM), a Sciverse-Scopus and Thomson Reuters-Web of Science indexed journal, gave complementary issues to increase its reach to other schools and agencies. The editorial team, led by its Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Felino P. Lansigan, also invited more scientists and professors to submit articles for possible publication.


Dr. Alcantara, an Outstanding Citizen of Los Baños

dr alcantara

Former SESAM Professor Dr. Antonio J. Alcantara was awarded as one the Outstanding Citizens of Los Baños, during this year’s 401st celebration of the foundation of the Municipality of Los Baños. The awarding ceremony was held last September 16, 2016 at the General Paciano Rizal Park in Brgy. Baybayin. The Outstanding Citizens of Los Baños were honored after the Bañamos celebration foot parade.

Dr. Alcantara, still involved in the academe as a Senior Lecturer of SESAM, is also the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer of Los Baños. He helped in the crafting of the municipality’s solid waste management program and other environmental initiatives of Los Baños.

Download SESAM Disaster Proof Camp App now!

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This mobile app is an output of the project entitled “Documentation and Evaluation of Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness and Response Projects in the Municipalities under the WFP DPR Programme in 4 Provinces: Cagayan, Benguet, Sorsogon, and Laguna”, funded by the United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP). Get it now free at Google Play Store! Click: