PNEE International Conference Highlights Importance of Environmental Education


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)

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