The University of the Philippines Los Baños-School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB-SESAM) participated and co-organized the 10th Annual International Conference on Environmental Science (ACES 2022) on 26-27 May 2022 via video conference. This year’s ACES was hosted by the University of the Philippine Visayas Tacloban College particularly through its Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.
UPLB SESAM is a founding member of PESA together with different higher education institutions such as UP Diliman, Ateneo de Manila, and De La Salle University. With the theme “Lambo Kalibungan: Anchoring Ecosystem Restoration to the Local Ecological, Cultural, and Socio-Economic Environments,” this year’s conference highlighted the 7th and 8th principles for Ecosystem Restoration that guides the United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030. The Principle 7 describes ecosystem restoration as “based on well-defined short-medium- and long-term ecological, cultural and socio-economic objectives and goals”. Meanwhile, Principle 8 states “ecosystem restoration is tailored to the local ecological, cultural and socio-economic contexts, while considering the larger landscape or seascape”. ‘Lambo kalibungan’ is a phrase in Bisaya that means the flourishing of the environment.
The PESA President Dr. Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, SESAM Professor and former Dean, and Dr. Patricia B. Arinto, Dean of UPV Tacloban, delivered the opening and welcome remarks, respectively.
In his keynote address, Jean-Philippe Salcedo né Schwab, the UN Environment Programme’s Partnership Coordinator for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, talked about the “Decade to launch a global #GenerationRestoration movement.” He highlighted the importance of collaborating and working together in taking actions to scale up ecosystem restoration efforts for the benefit of present and future generations.
The first plenary session featured Dr. Nathaniel C. Bantayan, UPLB Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, who presented the “3 Es for People-Centric Ecosystem Restoration: Engagement for Effective Enforcement”. Dr. Bantayan was followed by Dr. Dino M. Campilan, Regional Director for Asia, International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), who talked about the “Nature-Positive Future for All: Building Common Ground for Environment and Development.”
During Session B, National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Academician Dr. Jurgenne H. Primavera, NAST President Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza, and UP Marine Science Institute (MSI) retired professor Dr. Miguel D. Fortes discussed on the topic “Local perceptions and attitudes towards the blue carbon ecosystems: the key towards successful ecosystem restoration efforts.”
Meanwhile in the third session, Prof. Dr. Michael Fabinyi of the School of Communication, University of Technology Sydney; NAST Academician and UP MSI professor Dr. Marie Antonette Juinio-Meñez; and Prof. Dr. Lawrence M. Liao of the Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Life, School of Applied Biological Sciences, Hiroshima University talked about “Governance and social context for marine ecosystem restoration, drawing on cases from coral reef restoration and mangroves”.
Finally in Session D, Prof. Dr. Wolfram H. Dressler of the School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Melbourne, Prof. Dr. Rodelio F. Subade of the UP Visayas College of Arts and Sciences, and Asst. Prof. Jessica Dator-Bercilla of the UP Visayas Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies shared their presentations about the topic “Policy and governance in relation to natural resources management, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable development” the speakers were
A special plenary session was held during the first day of the conference. Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon, Professor and UPLB-SESAM former Dean and Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension presented “The State of Environmental Science in the Philippine”. Meanwhile, Dr. Ben Malayang III, also a former Dean and Director of UPLB-SESAM and a Professor Emeritus at Silliman University that talked about “Mainstreaming Environmental Science Education and Research”.
The conference concluded with 30 oral paper presentations and 23 poster paper presentations on blue carbon ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems, aquatic (fisheries) ecosystems, and environmental policy and governance. Eighteen papers from students, faculty, and researchers of UPLB-SESAM were presented in the conference covering various areas of interest in environmental science. (RDAreglado)