The participants giving their best smiles during the 2-day 2nd International Conference on Education Environment and Agriculture 2021. (Photo credited to the ICEEA messenger group)

The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau-Watershed and Water Resources Research Development and Extension Center (ERDB-WWRRDEC) has always been ardently joining webinars, meetings, conferences and many other online activities since the Covid-19 outbreak in the Philippines in 2020.

The recently concluded 2nd International Conference on Education, Environment and Agriculture (ICEEA2021)” with the theme “Sustaining food systems and livelihoods: Translating discoveries into solutions and applications” via ZOOM platform and Facebook Live was participated by four (4) personnel from the Center, selected as presenters of research findings last August 25-26, 2021.

The virtual conference was organized by the Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) in partnership with the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) and the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB).

Through the leadership of CBSUA, a total of 153 papers from different countries including USA, Japan, Vietnam, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Malaysia, Cambodia, Poland, South Korea, Liberia and the Philippines were presented. Most (79) of the papers were categorized under the Environment, which included entries from WWRRDEC, followed by Education (40 papers) while Agriculture had 34 papers presented.

The research studies which were presented by the WWRRDEC included: (i)Documentation of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices on Weather and Climate Forecasting of Selected Tribes in CAR” by Ms. Clivene O. Toctocan, CDO II; (ii) “Development of IPM Strategies for Bark Beetle in Pine Stands in Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya”  by Ms. Estrella E. Patrimonio, Sr. SRS and Ms. Shirley Jaene S. Valdez, SR Analyst; (iii) “Cost and Return Analysis of Oleoresin Tapping of Benguet Pine (Pinus kesiya Royle Ex Gordon) by For. Rhandy S. Tubal, Supervising SRS and (iv) “Assessment of Groundwater Quality in the Industrial Zone of the City of San Fernando, Pampanga” by Ms. Linda B. Sauyen, Science Research Assistant.

During the opening program, CBSUA Director and ICEEA 2021 Over-all Chairman Dr. Aries O. Ativo welcomed the participants. CHED Commissioner Dr. Aldrin A. Darilag served as the keynote speaker of the event. Also, key officials from the international and local research entities who delivered their messages were CBSUA President Dr. Alberto N. Naperi, VNUA President Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan and ERDB-DENR Director Dr. Henry A. Adornado.

Among the notable presenters of the conference include Dr. Andrew Flachs (USA) with his paper titled “Centering Farmer Learning in the Sustainable Agriculture Technologies”. Dr. Tomoko Adachi (Japan) presented on “How Does Gender Affect Gender Career Choice? Current Situation in Japan and Educational Intervention for Closing the Gap” ; DENR-Assistant Secretary for Field Operations for Mindanao and Legislative Affairs Dr. Joan A. Lagunda (Philippines) presented her paper titled “Political Will in Local Governance: Its Impact on Solid Waste Management and National Security”; and Dr. Quyen Dinh Ha (Vietnam) presented “Gender Lens on Climate Change Adaptation in Red River Delta Biological Reserve, Vietnam”. During the synthesis of the 1st day activity, Prof. Arthur B. Estrella of CBSUA played video clips of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing among all the organizers (CBSUA, VNUA and ERDB-DENR).

Despite technical glitches, e.g. power interruption and poor internet connection, the 2-day virtual international event was a resounding success for providing a platform to view the real situations happening in the surroundings, and on policies and on technologies in areas of Education, Environment and Agriculture, and of which, Dr. Estrella hoped that the issues/challenges presented on ICEEA be addressed.

Overall, the international conference hopes to rekindle in every participant about responsible stewardship of the environment, and continue working on improving lives through sustainable practices especially in addressing food security. Linda B. Sauyen. WWRRDEC