The 5th UC Faculty Forum, with a theme Sustainable Agriculture Under Changing Climate, has recently gathered faculty researchers to share and discuss the pressing challenges and opportunities in agriculture in the context of a changing climate. The event was held on 20–21 September 2023 in Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines. The Forum was the first major event hosted and co-organized by the Visayas State University (VSU) for the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC).
The opening ceremony was graced by key officials of the UC led by Dr. Edgardo Tulin, VSU president, Dr. Glenn Gregorio, SEARCA director, and Dr. Buncha Chinnasri, assistant to the president for quality development and deputy dean of the International College of Kasetsart University in Thailand.
The welcome message by Dr. Maximo Aljibe, regional director of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), emphasized the challenges brought about by climate change. He added that the Forum was a timely opportunity to share knowledge, expertise, and experiences to develop strategies to help adapt to these challenges while ensuring sustainable food production for future generations.
The Forum became a venue for discussions and interactions, in which a total of 31 papers were presented in four parallel sessions. Session 1 tackled smart agriculture and precision farming for resilience and sustainable development, Session 2 discussed natural resources conservation and management, Session 3 on food and nutrition security, and Session 4 on risk communication and prediction. The session presenters were experts from IPB University, Universitas Gadjah Mada, and Universitas Brawijaya, from Indonesia; Universiti Putra Malaysia; University of the Philippines Los Baños, Central Luzon State University, and Visayas State University from the Philippines; Kasetsart University and Maejo University from Thailand; and National Taiwan University. Central Mindanao University from the Philippines, a new affiliate member of the UC, also sent representatives to the Forum.
The UC Faculty Forum is an annual event that started in 2019. It aims to provide an opportunity for faculty members from the UC to develop camaraderie, encourage transdisciplinary studies, and promote greater integration of research through strategic partnerships. At least two projects for collaboration by the UC were proposed in this year’s Faculty Forum.