8-12 November 2022
"Restoring Biodiversity, Regenerating Agriculture, and Building Businesses"
Achieving food and nutrition security, promoting sustainable agriculture, and restoring biodiversity are indispensable components of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The synergy of these essential and thus indispensable components leads to income generation and other benefits for the community. We can call this 'BioAgversity' and can be experientially learned in K-12 schools through the School-plus-Home Gardens cum Biodiversity Enhancement Enterprise (SHGBEE).
SHGBEE builds on the wealth of experience of the School-plus-Home Gardens Project (S+HGP), a banner program of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). S+HGP's overall goal was to improve the nutritional condition and dietary habits of school-aged children by increasing and enabling year-round production of locally adapted vegetables through school and home gardening. This also included improving knowledge and skills of students and teachers in participating schools. Eventually, the school gardens led to the development of home gardens. This contributed to reducing expenses, creating savings, and providing an alternative source of income for families in the community.
In 2012, the Philippines' basic education curriculum shifted to the K-12 program (kindergarten and 12 years). This introduced two additional grade levels or senior high school. It offers students options to choose a track based on their aptitude, interests, and school's capacity. This may be academic, technical-vocational-livelihood, sports, or on arts and design.
Mindful of the importance of youth engagement in the AgriFood systems, BioAgversity can be brought into K-12 schools. Integrating SHGBEE in lessons and activities on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, the Humanities and Social Sciences, and in Livelihood and Home Economics can be opportunities for the youth to be exposed and be actively engaged in BioAgversity garden enterprises in their homes and communities.
It is equally important that this initiative be aligned with concepts of biodiversity conservation and restoration by integrating native flora as habitats for fauna while producing food in schools and communities. Furthermore, this must also be aligned with sustainable agriculture principles. Current agriculture practices need to change since it degrades soil, water, air, and biodiversity health. It also generates greenhouse gases that further exacerbate climate change. As a response, SHGBEE promotes Conservation Agriculture for Organic Agriculture (CA4OA). Conservation agriculture regenerates degraded soil, water, air, and biodiversity health while increasing yield and sequestering soil carbon, hence a climate change resilient and mitigating technology. On the other hand, organic agriculture is an artificial- chemical-free nutritious food and biodiversity-friendly production system.
About the Conference
With this background, Kansas State University, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and the Regalo ng Kilit Foundation is convening the First International Conference on School-plus-Home Gardens cum Biodiversity Enhancement Enterprise (SHGBEE1).
SHGBEE1 aims to provide a platform for sharing of experiences and best practices related to school and home gardens and its contributions to biodiversity enhancement in the Southeast Asian region, highlighting different lessons, impact stories, strategies, issues, and challenges faced during the implementation. This will contribute to a better understanding of how school and home gardens can be an opportune entry point for the youth to be engaged in biodiversity restoration and protection while improving nutrition, health, and economic well-being of their families, and the communities they live in.
Specifically, SHGBEE1 intends to:
- Present different applications of conservation and organic agriculture for sustainable school and home gardens;
- Share experiences on how SHGBEE is being integrated in lessons and activities under the K-12 curriculum;
- Present strategies on harmonizing S+HGP with Biodiversity Enhancement;
- Share opportunities for scaling up SHGBEE for community enterprise and sustainable livelihoods;
- Engage the private sector, non-governmental organizations, universities, and national and local governments to provide enabling environments for SHGBEE to flourish; and
- Increase understanding and appreciation of the indispensability of biodiversity and its synergy with Agri-Food-Systems through case study and mobile workshop site visits.
The conference will focus on the following thematic areas.
- Paving the way for sustainable school and home gardens through CA4OA
- Wild food gardens – indigenous plants that were in the past part of the medicine and diet of local communities
- Scientific experiments
- Vermiculture / Composting/Organic Fertilizer
- Biological pest control
- Cover crops for green manure and weed control
- Urban food production
- Organic plant inputs and soil amendments
- Soil and water conservation
- Container gardening
- Edible landscaping
- Bio-intensive gardening (BIG)
- Natuculture, permaculture, and natural farming
- Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices
- Healthy plant-soil interaction
- Integrated and diversified farming systems
- Tools for CA Home Gardens
- Other Technologies
- Promoting SHGBEE through experiential K-12 Lessons
- Science - Biology (e.g., Plant Physiology, Ecology, Beneficial Insects), Chemistry (e.g., nutrient management for specific crops, preparation of organic pesticides, herbicides), Physics (e.g., energy, infrastructure and mechanization, capillary rise)
- Technology (manufacturing agricultural machineries and tools, installing surface, sprinkler, micro-sprinkler, or drip irrigation systems, rain gardens, rainwater harvesters, and digitalization of marketing agricultural products (i.e. GoNative App)
- Engineering (designing rain gardens, rainwater harvesters, irrigation-pump systems, appropriate agricultural tools and machineries, and postharvest machineries, application of robotic technologies, agricultural modeling, and others)
- Math – Calculations for farm sizes, ratio and proportion for agricultural inputs, use of geometry in designing school or community gardens, mathematics of investment, linear systems (for determining what to plant to optimize not just income earned but also nutrition benefits based on dietary requirements), etc.
- Nutrition, Livelihood and Home economics – preparation of business plans/models for marketing agricultural produce, ensuring quality in the preparation of safe and nutritious food; promoting preparation and consumption of native indigenous food such as communities will have food sovereignty
- Language, arts, and humanities – in journalism/broadcasting and communication, in designing gardens, in artistic presentations (drama, poetry, essays, etc.)
- Values formation – in fostering teamwork, sportsmanship, camaraderie, etc.
- Harmonizing S+HGP with Biodiversity Enhancement, Community Enterprise, and Sustainable Livelihoods
- Wild gardens
- Local flora for local fauna habitat and food
- Landscaping that combines Biodiversity Enhancement and Food Production
- Increase diversity and productivity of vegetable crops
- Community seed banking/saving of local and indigenous vegetable crops
- School gardens as an income-generating enterprise/business model
- Food Always in the Home (FAITH) gardens
- Circular economy (e.g., solid waste management, 3Rs)
- Agriculture as lucrative profession for the youth
- Fostering an enabling environment for SHGBEE through sound policy and NGO and private sector engagements
- Examples of national or local government policy that enabled S+HGP or SHGBEE (i.e. 'Gulayan sa Paaralan dalhin sa Tahanan,' Kilit as municipal bird of Coron)
- Engaging the private sector to invest in SHGBEE – (i.e. Coron Natural Farms, Coron Tourism Enterprises, Grassroots Enterprises)
- NGO's and SHGBEE – (i.e. Agriportal, Kilit Festival – NGO organized)
SHGBEE1 would like to gather teachers and researchers from local schools, state universities and colleges (SUCs) and other higher education institutions (HEIs); policymakers from local government units and other government agencies; and partners from the business/private sector and from non-government organizations both from the Philippines and from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia.
Mobile Workshops, SHGBEE Schools and Farm Visits
SHGBEE1 also feature mobile workshops, showcasing studies and practices that aim to increase understanding and appreciation of the indispensability of biodiversity as well as the need to enhance and conserve it while sustainably producing food and supporting local tourism as alternative sources of income for household and the community.
- Visit to at least Two SHGBEE Schools (Malbato ES and Decalachao NHS)
- Coron Natural Farm exemplifies farm tourism while practicing cultural conservation coupled with conservation agriculture for organic agriculture (regenerative agriculture). Visitors will have a front-row seat to how deliciously rich and nutritious farm to table food is produced organically in a way that enhances soil, water, air, and biodiversity health while helping mitigate climate change at the same time. Participants will also have a glimpse of indigenous culture while being immersed in biologically diverse marine, aquatic, and terrestrial sites. This includes a boat trip along a mangrove forest, on the way to a long white sand beach managed by Kingfisher Park. At Kingfisher Park beach delegates may choose to experience in a microcosm terrestrial (hiking), aquatic (kayak at a small lake), and marine biodiversity and learn how biodiversity is being enhanced and protected by Kingfisher Park.
- A case study and mobile workshop biological diversity immersion continues through a Coron Island-hopping ecological tour managed by eXpeditions, a sustainable tourism business enterprise. The staff of eXpeditions will explain how they manage tours such us income is shared to communities, especially the Tagbanuas who owns the sites. Delegates will experience biodiversity at its best through visits to several islands with options to swim at Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoons, and Calachuchi beach. In addition, delegates can experientially learn and swim, and be inspired from a case study and mobile workshop on how a site that had previously ravaged coral reefs is now recovering with vibrant biologically diverse living systems, the Siete Pecados Marine Park.
- The conference was also scheduled to coincide with the annual Kilit Festival. Kilit, Coron's Municipal Bird, is a blue-headed racquet tail parrot that is endemic only in Palawan and still abundant in Busuanga Island. It is vulnerable but can rapidly be an endangered species, since its habitat is threatened by rapid development. During the festival, several K-12 schools in Busuanga Island send delegations to compete and present what they have done in SHGBEE, and on household and community initiatives on biodiversity enhancement, food production, and enterprises. Participants will be judges of the garden competition of Malbato Elementary School.
The first conference on SHGBEE will gather insights from the experiences and presentations of resource persons and conference participants to guide future initiatives and projects, and policy recommendations related to school, home, and community gardens, food and nutrition security, biodiversity conservation, community enterprise and sustainable livelihoods in the region.
Submission of Abstracts
- Teachers and researchers from local schools, SUCs/HEIS; policymakers from local government units and other government agencies; and partners from the business/private sector and from non-government organizations both from the Philippines and from neighboring countries in Southeast Asia may send abstracts for oral and/or poster presentation.
- Submission format
- Abstracts must be submitted in English
- Use Times New Roman, font size 12, single spaced
- It should contain the proposed title of the presentation
- Conference thematic area it belongs to
- The complete names of authors and their affiliations
- Full name of participating author/presenter
- Contact details of submitting author/presenter (Mobile number and email address)
- Abstract (Maximum of 250 words)
- Keywords (Up to six keywords)
- Abstracts should be uploaded in PDF, DOC, or DOCX formats
- Abstracts should be submitted on or before 30 September 2022 (Friday). Interested presenters may submit their abstracts through either of the following:
- Accepted submissions will be communicated though the submitted e-mail address by 8 October 2022 (Saturday).
- Interested participants may register until 15 October 2022 (Saturday) through this registration link.
- To be included in the program, kindly settle at least half of the non-refundable registration fee starting before October 15, 2022. Payment channels will also be communicated soon.
- Please send the proof of payment (scanned document or screenshot) to as soon as the payment has been made. Please include the following details:
- Full name of participating author/presenter
- Contact details of submitting author/presenter (Mobile number and email address)
- An acknowledgment receipt will be sent to the participant.
- The registration fee's structure is below:
Participant Institution Country/Region REGISTRATION FEES OPTION A
Conference and Mobile Workshops1
Philippines PHP 6,000 PHP 12,800 Other Southeast Asian countries USD 200 USD 450 From other regions USD 300 USD 600
1 Options A and B only include lunch. Airfare, airport transfers to hotel, accommodation, and other meals are to be arranged by the participant.
- The conference will be held at TAG Resort, Coron Palawan. The organizers have arranged special discounted rates (for a limited number of slots) for conference participants.
- Interested participants may start booking their accommodation once they have registered for the conference until 15 October 2022 (Saturday). Please know that the hotel or the organizers will not be able to guarantee availability of discounted rates and rooms beyond this date or once the limited slots have been taken already.
- To book a room and avail of the discounted rates, please directly contact TAG Resort through Chit Buhay at +63 917 832 5576 or send an email to .