Mon, 11/20/2023 - 15:58

Davao City, Philippines - With the theme "Forging Partnership for Climate Action”, the Mindanao State University-Maguindanao Campus is taking the lead to host the 4th International Conference on Environment and Forest Conservation commenced at Acacia Hotel from November 15-17, 2023.

This gathering is a direct response to the call within the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) to combat climate change. Aligned with President Marcos’ vision, which emphasizes public participation, the conference is convened in collaboration with the Climate Change Commission, the nation’s authoritative body on climate change policy.

Dr. Bai Hejira Nefertiti M. Limbona, PhD, Chancellor of Mindanao State University - Maguindanao, extended a warm welcome to guests and participants. In her opening remarks, she underscored the significance of a shared vision for climate action. Emphasizing the need for constructive approaches, she framed the 3-day International Conference as a pivotal platform to strengthen cooperation between national and local government units and the global scientific and academic communities.

President of Mindanao State University System, Atty. Basari D. Mapupuno, highlighted the institution’s commitment to environmental research and forest conservation.

“As the president of the Mindanao State University, I take pride in leading an institution dedicated to environmental research and forest conservation. Our commitment extends beyond academic pursuits. It is a pledge to pioneer solutions for environmental challenges and climate change issues that affect our planet.” he mentioned.

President Atty. Mapupuno also emphasized the forging of partnerships with esteemed international institutions, including Kastamonu University, Turkey, and IPB University, Indonesia. These collaborations are viewed as integral to the continued success of research endeavors, demonstrating the transformative power of global cooperation in addressing environmental challenges.

Additionally, keynote speeches were delivered by distinguished figures including Professor 9 Decibel V. Faustino-Eslava, PhD, from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. She shed light on the nuanced concept of resilience among Filipinos, cautioning against overuse and misinterpretation.

“There is particularly one trait that we may need to address and truly move forward towards taking action against climate changes. This is what we know as ‘resiliency’, especially the Filipino version of resiliency. This resilience of us in our culture, is a characteristic that is very prone to abuse. In fact, resilience has been so overused that several sectors have started to regard the term negatively to the point of being an insult. While the term celebrates strength in the face of adversity, over glorification, romanization and misconstruing the resiliency of historically marginalized communities is dangerous. It sidelines the changes that really need to happen”, she highlighted.

Vice Rector Prof. Omer Kucuk, PhD, from Kastamonu University in Turkey, stressed the critical importance of protecting the environment and forests. He positioned sustainable forest management as a pivotal step in combating climate change and preserving biodiversity.

The conference's impact extends beyond academia, with partnerships established with key government agencies. Aligned with the mission of fostering dialogue and actionable measures, these include the Climate Change Commission, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform, Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy, and the Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute-Regional Training Center XII (DA ATI- RTC XII).

As part of the collaboration, DA ATI- RTC XII announced that professionals in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering and Forestry attending the conference will receive 10 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.

The 4th International Conference on Environment and Forest Conservation is co-hosted with Kastamonu University, Turkey, Mindanao State University - Marawi, Mindanao State University - Tawi-Tawi, Mindanao State University - Naawan, Institut Pertanian Bogor, Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization, and the University of Eastern Philippines.