The UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water Visited Angat Watershed for Possible Data Coupling

Angat insp

The research team visited one of the rain gauges used by the Angat Watershed Reservation. (Photo by: Jessa Aquino)

The UPLB Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water, led by Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez, Professor, School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), conducted a field visit on the hydro-meteorological station in Angat Watershed Reservation of the National Power Corporation (NPC), last November 8, 2018. This is in line with the Balik-PhD project entitled “Ridge-to-reef Disaster Risk Assessment and Climate Change Impact Assessment of Floods and Droughts in the Agricultural Sector of Angat Watershed, Philippines”.

The agenda of the on-site visit is to see actual instruments used by the hydro-meteorological station in operating the Angat Watershed. As the project is on its experimental phase, the UPLB research team, together with Mr. Allan B. Cruz, a service engineer from BP Integrated Technologies, Inc. (BPIT), checked the feasibility of coupling with the instruments for data collection.

Mr. Mark Aguilar, the senior hydrologist of Angat Watershed and Mr. Manuel S. Lampitao, Jr. guided the research team in visiting the flood broadcasting and warning systems station, the actual rain gauges, and the Angat Watershed spillway. 

The said project will start on setting up the instruments that will be used to get data from Angat Watershed. (Vanessa Camille A. Agbay)

Everyone is cordially invited! Lecture on LCA of Bioethanol production

RBD lecture2 2018

Everyone is cordially invited on this lecture


SESAM co-organizes Workshop on OneHealth/EcoHealth Towards Sustainable Livestock Production in Philippines and Southeast Asia

1healthSESAM and SEARCA co-organized the OneHealth/EcoHealth Seminar last October 25, 2018.

Livestock production plays a major role in Southeast Asia as it provides food, employment and income. The demand for livestock products is expected to continue to grow rapidly due to population growth and increase in demand as affected by prevailing lifestyles. With the growing livestock industry in the region comes the challenges of efficiently managing it to ensure sustainable development. The livestock sector in the region faces considerable wide-ranging challenges that encompass the economic, social, and environmental components of livestock production. OneHealth/EcoHealth is a holistic approach to health that integrates the various dimensions concerning humans, animals, and the environment as one. Given that most of the challenges in the livestock sector tend to be interrelated, this approach provides for inclusivity among humans, animals, and the environment that would be essential in attaining sustainable agriculture and efficient livestock management.

The Workshop on Applications of OneHealth/EcoHealth Approach Towards Sustainable Livestock Production in Southeast Asiawas held last 25 October 2018 at Los Baños, Laguna, and jointly organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) through SESAM. The whole-day workshop started through SEARCA’s Agriculture and Development Seminar Series (ADSS) where Dr. Flavie Goutard, a veterinary epidemiologist and coordinator of the GREASE Network CIRAD-Thailand, gave an overview on OneHealth and EcoHealth frameworks as well as its theories and practices. It was followed by ILRI’s (International Livestock Research Institute-Vietnam) Dr. Hung Nguyen as he provided a lecture on the contributions of livestock research to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Southeast Asia. Afterwards, several case studies on the current applications of OneHealth and EcoHealth frameworks in the Philippines were delivered by Dr. Loinda R. Baldrias from the College of Veterinarian Medicine-UPLB, Dr. Emelinda L. Lopez from Bureau of Animal Industry-Department of Agriculture, Dr. Mary Grace B. Dacuma from the Institute of Biological Science-UPLB, and Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Professor, School of Environmental Science and Management-UPLB.

During the afternoon session, Dr. Ancog spearheaded the workshop proper to come up with a project proposal that would operationalize the OneHealth/EcoHealth approach and incorporate it across different livestock farming systems in the Philippines. Professors, researchers, graduate students, and representatives from government and non-government organizations engaged in the promotion of sustainable agriculture/livestock sector in the Philippines attended the workshop to discuss the gaps and challenges in the livestock sector in the Philippines as well as its potential solutions. This exchange of ideas among livestock experts will serve as a starting point for research projects focusing on OneHealth/EcoHealth management approaches towards sustainable livestock farming in the Philippines and its neighboring countries in Southeast Asia (Louie Paolo D. Leynes).

Brazilian Professor discuss land change process

CaldasDr. Marcellus Caldas, a Brazilian Professor from Kansas State University, USA discussed land change process and the sugarcane industry of Brazil.

Land change process affects agricultural production and eventually making a big impact in the economy. This is how the sugarcane industry expansion affected the Cerrado (savannah) of the state of Sao Paolo and to the newly established Sugarcane Agro-ecological Zone (SAZ) in the states of Golas and Mato Grasso de Sul, Brazil. Dr. Marcellus M. Caldas, Assistant Provost of International Faculty Collaboration and Educational Programs, Office of International Programs, Kansas State University, USA, discussed these issues in his lecture entitled “Land Change Process in Cerrado and the Effects Climate Change in Sugarcane Expansion” last October 23, 2018 at SESAM Lecture Hall, University of the Philippines Los Baños. 


Dr. Caldas, who holds a two PhDs in Applied Economics from University of Sao Paolo and Geography in Michigan State University (MSU), said his study aims to examine the drivers of sugarcane expansion in the states of Golas and Mato Graso de Sul and to find out if the areas by the SAZ was suitable for production under climate change. 


Brazil is number one in the world in terms of production of sugarcane with 112 M hectares in 2018. Ethanol from sugarcane replaced 42% of gasoline needs of Brazil, which has currently at 25% blend. Production of ethanol in Brazil is driven by the price of oil in the world market. If the price of oil is high, farmers tend to produce more ethanol from sugarcane. 


The state of Sao Paolo is traditionally the biggest producer of sugarcane in Brazil. However, the number decreased to 52% in 2016 due to the increased plantation of sugarcane in non-traditional areas in the SAZ. With the land change process in the flat lands of Golas and Mato Grasso de Sul, farmers moved to these savannah states, which in turn, produced 1.3 B gallons of ethanol.  Price of land in Sao Paolo is also high and there is also competition with other crops. Sugarcane producers were also attracted to the tax exemptions given by the government and the established infrastructures, such as roads and ethanol pipelines in the non-traditional areas in the SAZ.  


Dr. Caldas added that sugarcane expansion to the new frontier was motivated to more government incentives, international market, technology development and regulations. Another reason why farmers moved to these new frontiers was the consolidation of the sugar industry in Sao Paolo, which introduced mechanization and development of genetically modified varieties. However, it led to unemployment of farmers and cost of mechanized production increased.


“Climate change will challenge the agricultural conditions for sugarcane in Cerrado. There are no irrigation systems there, farmers and producers rely on rain, so rain, no sugarcane”, Dr. Caldas stressed. He added that government allowed sugarcane to be propagated in the savannah so it will not compete with crops such as soybean and corn in other areas, since it will create a food crisis in Brazil. 


More than 50 faculty, staff and students attended the lecture of Dr. Caldas, who was a former classmate of Mr. Dante K. Vergara, University Researcher and Affiliate Professor of SESAM, at MSU, USA.

PNEE international conference highlights importance of Environmental Education

2018 11th PNEE2018 PNEE at Estancia, Iioilo. More than 200 environmental professionals attended this year's international conference and scientific meeting of the Philippine Network of Educators on Environment.

The Philippine Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE) successfully held its 11thInternational Conference and Scientific Meeting last 17-19 October 2018 at Estancia, Iloilo, Philippines with Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College (NIPSC) as its host. With a total of 54 higher educational institutions and non-government organizations represented by 202 professionals in attendance, that brought together 146 papers for oral and poster presentations, the conference has called for concrete actions among PNEE member institutions in response to the theme, “Environmental Education 2030: Integrating Science, Policy and Actions Towards Inclusive Growth.”


Now on its 32ndyear, the PNEE has been organizing its annual conference to: serve as a platform for educators to share knowledge and practices on Environmental Education for sustainable development; set directions how to enhance education, research and extension programs; and renew commitment on the development of innovative environmental education (EE) approaches designed to make every individual and institutional member of PNEE a champion of environment-friendly lifestyle.The PNEE being at the forefront in advancing the theory and practice of environmental education in the Philippines, its strong 68 member-institutions are in strategic positions to effect change via the formulation of strategies in instruction, research and extension. Overall, the conference focused on discussing several initiatives of its members on how to effectively promote critical thinking, problem solving, and operational decision-making skills among Filipino students. For this year, the PNEE also aims to highlight current and relevant work of its member institutions in three aspects: Science, Policy and Actions. 


The first day focused on “Science” covering papers and analyses highlighting the key results and findings of environmental education researches for improved environmental governance. The second and third day focused on “Policy” and “Actions” highlighting papers that espouse the value of environmental education in responding to policy/ies needs; innovations in linking research results and policy actions; impact evaluations of policy interventions; and governance systems. The conference brought four distinguished keynote speakers who provided distinct yet interrelated topics on Environmental Education. For the first day, Dir. Monica Collier, the Country Director of Peace Corps Philippines discussed the topic on volunteerism in development; and followed by Dr. Mikihiko Watanabe of Yamanashi University discussing various theoretical frameworks on Environmental Education. For the second day, the invited speakers were Dr. Nestor Castro of the Department of Anthropology of UP Diliman who elaborated on how the National Environmental Education Action Plan (2018-2040) of the Philippines were crafted; and, Atty. Ma Paz “Ipat” Luna, a current Regional Director of DENR-CALABARZON and former DENR Undersecretary elaborating who talked about the current environmental education challenges. 


For this year, the PNEE Board of Directors has issued a Resolution proclaiming its strong commitment to a long-term and comprehensive national roadmap for Environmental Education in the Philippines that systematically integrates the Science, Policy and Actions towards the achievement of inclusive growth.”After its plenary reading, a copy has been submitted to Atty. Ipat Luna of DENR. Also during the conference, the members of PNEE has started their discussion on the draft White Paper on Environmental Education in the Philippines, which aims to identify specific strategies how the NEEAP could be made more localized at the university level.


On the other hand, a total of 5 papers were adjudged as best conference papers representing various categories: Biological and Ecological Studies and its applications; Physical Sciences and its Applications; Linking Social Science and Management; Environmental Extension; and, Environmental Education and Pedagogical Studies. The best paper winners are from Cavite State University, UNESCO-IHE, Department of Agriculture-Region 5, Bukidnon State University, and John B. Lacson College Foundation-Bacolod, respectively. The Best Poster Award goes to the Surigao Del Sur State University.


Next year’s PNEE conference will be held in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan and to be hosted by the Palawan State University. (Rico C. Ancog)