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SESAM’s PhilCORA project presents results in a conservation conference in New York

Philcora NY1Participants of the SCCS 2017 at the American Museum of Natural History,  New York

The PhilCORA coral reef rehabilitation impact assessment project of the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) took part in the 8th Annual Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) held at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York, USA last 11-13 October 2017. The conference was hosted by the Center of Biodiversity and Conservation of AMNH, and the only international conference series designed for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early career professionals pursuing the field of conservation science. The 3-day international conference was participated in by more than 100 graduate students and young professionals from different universities around the world, and along with 65 advisors, reviewers, and mentors.

With assistant professor Dr. Rico Ancog as the project lead, PhilCORA is a pioneering undertaking aimed at evaluating the coral transplantation technology that was tested by the Filipinnovation Program of DOST-PCAARRD in selected degraded reef ecosystems in the Philippines. Overall the project aims to analyze the biophysical impacts of the coral transplantation technology and its subsequent effect to the economic and social aspects of coastal communities in the Philippines particularly in Mabini in Batangas, Panglao in Bohol, Boracay in Aklan and in Tawi-tawi.

In behalf of the PhilCORA team, Christina Corales and Annelyn Balatayo, PhilCORA research associates and students at SESAM, were selected to present a paper arguing that the timing and equity considerations of the costs and benefits of conservation need to be clearly ascertained and carefully choreographed. This is important specially in a country like the Philippines where less than 5% of its coral cover is in pristine condition amidst its perceived status as “the center of the center of marine biodiversity” while majority have been perennially poor. The paper noted the willingness of stakeholders to pay more than current environmental fees in their areas, thereby providing more support for coral rehabilitation and conservation efforts. Likewise, the PhilCORA Team related how environmental analysis could be significantly improved by combining economic valuation techniques with biophysical assessment and stakeholders engagement.

SESAM posters, paper bag top awards during the PNEE Int'l conference

best paper and posterBest posters and paper. Mr. Jonathan Makuroy (left) won 2nd best poster; Ms. Ann Clarisse Siababa (middle) won the best poster; Mr. Aldous Bertrand Santillan (right) won best the paper award during the 10th PNEE international conference and scentific meeting at the Tarlac Agricultural University, Camiling, Tarlac.

The competing posters and paper by SESAM faculty, researchers and students won the top awards during the 10th International Conference and Scientific Meeting of the Philippine Network of Educators on the Environment (PNEE) this October 24 to 26, 2017, held at Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU), Camiling, Tarlac.

The poster entitled "Monitoring Heavy Metal Contamination Using Environmental Magnetic Proxies”, by Mr. Melanio Louie Cunanan, Ms. Ann Clarisse SV. Siababa, Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, Mr. Jonathan T. Macuroy, Dr. Bechaida D. Payot, Mr. Juan Miguel Guotana, Dr. Loucel E. Cui, Dr. Carla B. Dimalanta and Dr. Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon won first place, while the poster entitled "Comparative Analysis and Validation of Five Different Gridded Precipitation Datasets in Modeling Streamflow in Selected Watersheds in Laguna de Bay” by Mr. Macuroy, Dr. Eslava, Ms.  Siababa and Dr. Espaldon won second place. Both posters are based on the studies under the Emerging Interdisciplinary Research (EIDR) Program of SESAM-UPLB.

Meanwhile, the paper entitled "GIS-Based Analysis of Urbanization and Water Quality Trends in Laguna de Bay" by Mr. Bertrand Aldous L. Santillan and Jeffrey Andrew Losioso was awarded best paper. Mr. Santillan and Mr. Losioso are both Master of Environmental Science students at SESAM.

About 200 participants from state colleges and universities, government agencies and private higer education institutions attended the conference. Aside from paper and poster presentations from the faculty, REPS and students, SESAM also promoted the Journal of Environmental Science and Mangement (JESAM) and gave free complimentary copies of the journal to the participants during the conference.






SESAM joins 10th PNEE International Conference

IMG 6186Dr. Andrew E. Tan, PNEE President and SESAM alumnus, formally opened the 10th PNEE at Tarlac Agricultural University, Camiling, Tarlac.

The School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) participated in the 10th International Conference and Scientific Meeting of the Philippine Network of Educators on the Environment (PNEE) this October 24 to 26, 2017, held at Tarlac Agricultural University (TAU), Camiling, Tarlac.

With the theme “Environmental Education for Sustainable Development Innovations and Solutions”, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaculture and Natural Resources Research and Development-Department of Science and Technology (PCAARRD-DOST) supports this year’s PNEE conference.

Dr. Andrew E. Tan, President, PNEE and Carlos Hilado State College, Negros Occidental and SESAM alumnus, said he is confident that the speakers for the three-day event will be sharing more information on technological advancement and its sustainability. For his part, Dr. Max Guillermo, President of TAU, also a SESAM alumnus, expressed his gratitude to the PNEE board for selecting TAU as this year’s host.

Hon. Erlan C. Agustin, Mayor, Camiling, Tarlac, welcomed all the guests and he is pleased to have this international conference to held in his town and he hopes that Camiling, Tarlac will also benefit from the technology being developed by state college and universities.

On her behalf, the message of Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, dean of SESAM, was delivered by Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Professor, SESAM. In her message, she encouraged the PNEE as environmental educators to continue to teach us the process of weighing sides through critical thinking. Dr. Ancog is concurrently the Secretary of PNEE and SESAM is the host of the PNEE secretariat.

Among the papers presented by SESAM is the research of Dr. Loucel E. Cui, University Research Associate II, entitled “Knowledge and Training Needs of Filipino Farmers: SARAI TNA Survey Results”. This paper is co-authored with Dr. Eslava, Ms. Rosemarie Laila D. Areglado, Ms. Maria Regina V. Regalado, Dr. Ma. Victoria O. Espaldon and Dr. Yusof A. Sucol. Also presented is the paper entitled “Evaluation of Disaster Mitigation, Preparedness and Response Projects in the Municipalities Under the WFP-DPR Programme in Four Towns in Sorsogon”, authored by Mr. Thaddeus P. Lawas, Ms. Alma Lorelei D. Abejero, Mr. Simplicio Q. Veluz, Ms. Minji Na and Ms. Ailynn A. Gonzales; “Biological Invasion: Concepts and Criteria for Determining Bio-invasiveness of Invasive Alien Species (IAS)” authored by Dr. Leonardo M. Florece, For. Sofia A. Alaira, Ms. Evangeline L. Alcantara and Ms. Ma. Luisa G. Mendoza; “Determining the Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal Requirement for Improved Solid Waste Management of an Agricultural Municipality: the Case of General Nakar, Quezon”, authored by Mr. Ryan Cristil R. Real, Mr. Timothy John A. Pasicolan,, Ms. Clarissa D. Ruzol, Ms. Kathleen Joy O. Soriano, Ms. Chardy Joy B. Ilagan, Ms. Stella Grace P. Aclan and Dr. Ancog; “Enhancing Flood Regulation Potential of a Protected Area Through Buffer Zone Conservation: are Households Willing to Pay for it?” by Dr. Ancog, Ms. Josephine Bo, Ms. Karen Burdeos, Mr. Melchor Deponio, Ms. Aileen Jara, Mr. James Leyte, Mr. Efren Linan, Mr. Junser Magpantay, Mr. Glenn Oca, Ms. Elizabeth Ompad, Ms. Maripres Sarinas and Ms. Armi Torres.

Aside from papers, SESAM faculty and researchers also joined the poster presentations. The poster entitled “ Comparative Analysis and Validation of Five Different Gridded Precipitation Datasets in Modeling Streamflow in Selected Watersheds in Laguna de Bay” by Mr. Jonathan T. Macuroy, Dr. Eslava, Ms. Ann Clarisse SV. Siababa and Dr. Espaldon; “Digital Age and the Rural Farmers in the Philippines”, by Ms. Areglado, Dr. Eslava, Dr. Cui, Ms. Regalado, Dr. Espaldon and Dr. Yusof; “Monitoring Heavy Metal Contamination Using Environmental Magnetic Proxies”, by Mr. Melanio Louie Cunanan, Ms. Siababa, Dr. Eslava, Mr. Macuroy, Dr. Bechaida D. Payot, Mr. Juan Miguel Guotana, Dr. Cui, Dr. Carla B. Dimalanta and Dr. Espaldon; “The Fish that we eat and the Jobus Dye: Know What can Harm us and the Environment”, by Dr. Sucol, Dr. Eslava and Dr. Carmelita M. Rebancos; and “Visioning and Socio-Ecological Systems Assessment Through Community-led Scenario Building for South Bay Communities of Laguna Lake, Province of Laguna, Philippines”, by Dr. Espaldon, Ms. Siababa, Dr. Rebancos, For. Alaira, Mr. Gene Laurence B. Dimasuay and Mr. Celso L. Tatlonghari.

There were 117 papers and 72 posters presented during the conference. As part of the event, the participants will be treated to an island-hopping tour at the Hundred Islands, Alaminos, Pangasinan on the last day of the conference. 

ACIAR Country Manager talks about research partnerships in ‘Talakayan’

Talakayan Alagcan

Ms. Gay Maureen Alagcan, Country Manager of the Australian Center International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), discussed about the research partnership of Australia and the Philippines.


The UPLB Environmental Science Society (UPLB EnSci), in cooperation with the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), conducted the 40th Talakayan Series on Environment and Development (TSED) at the SESAM chimney, October 24, 2017.


The 'Talakayan' series is part of the regular activities of the UPLB EnSci Society and it invites different experts to discuss current issues happening in the environment. Sesam faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the lecture series, as well as other NGOs and sectors. 


This 'Talakayan' tackles the issue on the crafting and framing of environmental and developmental programs. Part of a job of a researcher is the writing of research proposals and packaging it to get possible funding from research grants. Funding agencies and organizations are considered vital stakeholders in the academe.


For this topic, the UPLB EnSci Society invited Ms. Gay Maureen Alagcan, country manager of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to discuss how researches are crafted and implemented. Ms. Alagcan is also a graduate of BS agricultural Economics at UPLB.


“Donor organizations are development partners, ACIAR continues to invest and broker agricultural research partnerships in the Philippines”, Ms. Alagcan stressed. The top purpose of the cooperation is technical and advisory support and mobilizing private funding, according to Ms. Alagcan. “ACIAR also aims to improve the food security and natural resources management of the Philippines and we continuously support the improvement the capacity of our partners ”, she added.


Ms. Alagcan said that Australian Aid aims to promote prosperity, reducing poverty and enhancing stability. It includes a strategy for aid investment in agriculture, fisheries and water. “Most of the projects are conducted in the southern Philippines, since the region is more affected by issues of climate change and environment... and among the 17 ACIAR projects in the country, 4 are related to environment” she said.


According to Ms. Alagcan, a proposal starts with a research question. Further, she stressed that funding of project proposals are based on the expressed interest of the Philippine government and ACIAR conducts a thorough review to validate this. Then, ACIAR also checks the background or track record of the research agency who will implement the study. For example, she said that ACIAR and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) have already 30 years of partnership, and they look at the fruitful cooperation based on previous successful undertakings. Further, Ms. Alagcan also reminded researchers about proper time frame of their study. “ACIAR invest in a research for at least five years”, said Ms. Alagcan.


More than 100 faculty, staff and students attended this 40th Talakayan. Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, dean of SESAM, congratulated the UPLB EnSci Society for this latest Talakayan and assured that SESAM will continue to support the organization in this venture. 

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. Reappointed!

Congrats Chancellor Sanchez2