The UP Open University (UPOU) Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), in collaboration with the Office of Gender Concerns (OGC), will host a hybrid event in celebration of the World Environment Day and Pride Month 2024 entitled “Towards a Sustainable Campus: A Call to Action”. 

This year’s themes, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience” for World Environment Day and “Reflect. Empower. Unite.” for Pride Month, resonates deeply with UPOU’s contribution and commitment in the success of achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets. The SDGs represent a collective vision for a sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future.

Nearly five years before meeting the UN’s 2030 deadline, the world stands at a crucial juncture to meet the challenges posed by climate change, land degradation, extreme drought, and among others. This is a moment that demands both reflection and concrete action. As we evaluate our progress, it is clear that while significant strides have been made, substantial challenges remain. Records show low levels of participation from actors involved in policy making and the academe, resulting in ineffectiveness of current initiatives to help address these challenges that may disrupt university operations and beyond.

On 23 August 2023, the UPOU, as spearheaded by FMDS, unveiled to the public during the 5th International Conference on Open and Distance e-Learning (ICODeL) a pioneering initiative called “Sustainability in Action – a Living Laboratory Campus” or SiALLC, as a response to the urgent call for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to actively participate in accelerating sustainability efforts and serve as drivers for sustainable development through its various functions such as instruction, research, and public service. 

UPOU, FMDS in particular, recognizes the need for immediate action and attention to the grave challenges that we are facing. However, transitioning towards a sustainable campus is a complex endeavor that FMDS should not partake in alone. It requires collective effort from the different university stakeholders. Through this hybrid event, FMDS aims to build a platform to raise awareness among UPOU constituents about its ongoing sustainability initiatives, including discussions on women empowerment, gender equality, and inclusivity which goes hand-in-hand with OGC’s dedication to mainstreaming gender across all sectors. Participants can also expect insightful presentations on the FMDS Perma G.A.R.D.E.N (Growing Appreciation toward Resilience, Development, Entrepreneurship and Nutrition) and Alitaptap Community Currency—two of the most active components of SiALLC as of writing. 

While UPOU is often called the cyber campus of the UP system, its physical campus in Los Baños, Laguna serves as an extension of Mount Makiling’s wildlife corridor, providing spaces for learning and research where biodiversity can flourish. The SiALLC initiative has come to fruition by opening UPOU’s doors to students, researchers, and practitioners. As an accessible living laboratory, it allows theoretical knowledge to be applied and tested in a real-world setting. It serves as a sustainable and resilient campus model through operating in harmony with nature and starting in its own backyard.

Hence, UPOU extends an invitation to its students, alumni, faculty, employees, and staff to join the celebration on 05 June 2024 (Wednesday), from 1:30 to 3:30 PM at the Centennial Center for Digital Learning (CCDL) Auditorium, UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, both in person and online via Zoom. Following the event, there will be a tree planting activity as part of the Arboretum or “Tree Parks” restoration project, in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology and Energy Development Corporation (UPIB-EDC) BINHI. This hybrid event addresses SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15 and 17.

Interested participants may register through this link:

Written by: Janelle G. Ebron • Edited by: Larry N. Cruz

Sustainable Development Goals

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