The University hosted several talks today, August 1, at the European Documentations Centre at the Henry Sy Sr. Hall as part of the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Discovery Camp 2016.
Geared towards this year’s theme of building environmental and cultural awareness in the Asia-Pacific region through Philippine indigenous environment, culture, and arts, today’s workshop focused on ensuring climate resiliency through education and culture.
University Vice Chancellor for Lasallian Mission Br. Michael Broughton FSC emphasized in his opening remarks the need for the world to recognize environmental problems as global issues and not merely national issues. He lamented that we will not be able to pass on to the next generations some aspects of our environment due to these problems.
He expressed hope, however, that universities will be at the forefront of finding solutions to address these problems through research. “Our world will live on if we do our part [to save it],” he said.
Objectives of the conference
Norby Salonga, development specialist for social enterprise at the DLSU Center for Social Concern and Action, presented the objectives of the conference to the delegates, who came from various universities part of the UMAP consortium.
He recalled United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 6 (clean water and sanitation), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 13 (climate action), 14 (life below water), and 15 (life on land). “These are clear manifestations of a global commitment from the 193 nations, including those from the [Southeast Asian region like us] to step back and look at the environment holistically,” he expressed.
“Hence, we are here to take steps backward, to take a look at our culture as members of the ASEAN region, appreciate what we have in common—our local culture, tradition, and knowledge—and build from each other’s strengths,” Salonga continued.
Salonga also expressed that understanding the link between culture and disaster and risk management is crucial in addressing the environmental realities faced by the world today. He stressed that, ultimately, the objective of the conference is to inculcate environmental and cultural awareness in its participants.
Today’s workshop featured four resource speakers. Atty. Lucille Karen Malilong of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts delivered a talk on building environmental and cultural awareness through education and culture, in which she emphasized that we must reconnect with the earth and become stewards of our natural and cultural heritage to address environmental problems such as climate change.
Meanwhile, Easterluna Canoy of the Kitanglad Integrated NGOs and Waway Saway, a Talaandig artist and environmental advocate, spoke about linking culture and disaster and risk management, placing a special emphasis on the indigenous people of Mount Kitanglad in Bukidnon.
DLSU Campus Sustainability Office Director Antonio Maralit and Coordinator Mark Joseph Tinao also spoke about initiatives of the University in propagating climate resiliency and climate adaptation strategies. The Lasallian One Million Trees and Beyond Project was also discussed in the workshop.
UMAP Discovery Camp 2016 is organized by the Commission on Higher Education, DLSU, Lyceum of the Philippines Batangas, and Ateneo de Manila University. It is a week-long conference which brought together some 50 students from universities all over the Asia-Pacific region.