UPOU Faculty and Staff present papers at the 4th Philippines-Japan International Workshop – GIAHS Twinning for Sustainable Development

On 5-6 February 2018, faculty and staff of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) attended the 4th Philippines-Japan International Workshop – Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) Twinning for Sustainable Development held at Noto Airport, Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.

The activity started off with a keynote presentation from Dr. Osamu Saito, Academic Director/Academic Program Officer of United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IASS and UP Open University Visiting Professor regarding the role of sustainability science for building a resilient and sustainable society. Dr. Koji Nakamura, Project Leader of Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) and also a UPOU Visiting Professor, shared about the future plans for the next batches of ISMTP as well as the future collaboration between various institutions with the aim of sustaining the project for the next years. This was followed by the presentations from the Japanese speakers focusing on collaboration between region and academic organization and the next set dwelling on activities of local practitioners.

The presentations from the UPOU team focused on sustainable development in relation to projects that the university has been involved in since 2012 like the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP), the Youth for Ifugao Rice Terraces (#Y4IRT) and the UPOU-UP Rural High School Capstone Project. These were:

  • Strengthening Conservation and Sustainability of the Ifugao Rice Terraces through Academic and Community Partnerships presented by Assoc. Prof. Consuelo Habito
  • Communicating Sustainability: Narrative of Youth’s Involvement in Sustainable Development presented by Assoc. Prof. Joane V. Serrano and Noreen Dianne S. Alazada
  • Use of Video Ethnography in Documenting Ifugao Culture and Farming Practices presented by Ms. Luisa Gelisan; and
  • Incorporating Philippine Biodiversity in Capstone Projects of Senior High School Students: A Step Towards Education for Sustainability presented by Asst. Prof. Aurora Lacaste.

Another participant of the conference was Ms. Alvie Alip, a university researcher of UPOU and is currently a student at UNU-IAS. Ms. Alip presented a paper on Building sustainable learning communities: The Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines Case Study.
Attendees of the workshop were faculty, staff, students, researchers and local government representatives from Kanazawa University (KU), UP Open University, Ifugao State University, United Nations University, United Nations University Operating Unit Ishikawa / Kanazawa (UNU-OUIK), Noto Prefecture and Suzu City. The workshop was organized by Kanazawa University and the Ifugao-GIAHS Support Committee (IGSC).

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Article by Noreen Dianne S. Alazada