Left to right: Asst. Prof. Dr. Surat Bualert, Former Dean of the Kasetsart University (KU) Faculty of Environment; Dr. Rico C. Ancog, Current Dean and Professor of UP Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management; Assoc. Prof. Sasivimol Meeampol, DBA, Current Dean of KU Faculty of Business Administration; and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bordin Rassameethes, Former Dean of KU Faculty of Business Administration
Academic and research institutions are key players in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as “they”, according to the United Nations, “serve as incubators of new ideas, inventions and solutions to the many global challenges we face”. The 17 SDGs are reflected in the 2023 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which all United Nations Member States, including the Philippines, committed to adopt.
As the country’s national university, the University of the Philippines is committed to work and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs. In its Sustainability Report for AY 2021-2022, the UP Systems’ accomplishments in six of the 17 SDGs were presented: SDG3: Good Health and Well-being; SDG4: Quality Education; SDG5: Gender Equality; SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG13: Climate Action; and SDG17: Partnership for the Goals.
At the University of the Philippines Los Baños, seven SDGs are aligned with its thrusts through its research and extension agenda- the AGORA or Accelerating Growth through One Research and Extension in Action. These seven SDGs are: SDG2: Zero Hunger; SDG4: Quality Education; SDG7: Affordable and Clean Energy; SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG12: Responsible Consumption and Production; SDG13: Climate Action; and SDG15: Life on Land.
On environmental concerns, the UP Los Baños School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) leads the University in advancing environmental education, research, and public service at the core of sustainability. It operates with the strategic framework, Sustainability and Accelerated Innovation in Learning and Solutions (SAILS), to contribute in the achievement of a more sustainable future.
In 11-15 December of last year, SESAM joined several countries from Asia in a series of lectures and discussions on impact measurement and management, sustainable leadership, best practices, among other topics that relate to the attainment of the SDGs. The event was the first SDG Impact Week of the National Central University (NCU) in Taoyuan, Taiwan organized by the Asian Institute of Impact Measurement and Management. This 5-day event also allowed considerable opportunity for networking and initial discussions of potential partnerships.
As a spin-off of this successful assembly, SESAM, through the Dean, Dr. Rico C. Ancog, is reconnecting with the universities that participated in the event. Among which is the Kasetsart University, a public research university and the largest in Thailand. Sharing the same commitment to provide excellent academic programs and to advance high quality research, creative works, and innovation, several potential areas for collaboration relevant and beneficial to both parties have been initially discussed. Focus is on the SDGs, environmental management and business in Asia.
Moreover, the Philippine delegation to the NCU’s 2023 SDG Impact Week who are from SESAM are now actively participating in the three committees organized during the event. The committees have already embarked this month for initial discussions on potential teaching, research, and training activities to be implemented across the region. Dean Rico C. Ancog was selected as Coordinator for the Research Committee, Assistant Professor Eduardo F. Roquiño for the Teaching Committee, and For. Sofia A. Alaira for the Training Committee. Dr. Jessica Villanueva-Peyraube is the Secretary of the Research Committee and a member of the Teaching Committee while Cherry S. Padilla is a member of the Training Committee.
These initiatives are part of the action plan of SESAM to position the School and the University in international efforts concerning impact management and as a way to contribute to the country’s success in meeting the UN SDG targets. (Cherry S. Padilla)