SEARCA, PH and US universities set to hold 2nd int'l conference on food security-biodiversity-enterprise model

  • 8 November 2023

The Second International Conference on School plus Home Garden cum Biodiversity Enhancement Enterprise (SHGBEE2) is set for 14-17 November 2023 in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, Philippines. The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has partnered with the Central Philippines State University and the Kansas State University to convene SHGBEE2, which springs from a shared vision of attaining food and nutrition security while promoting sustainable agriculture and restoring biodiversity.

SEARCA, PH- and US-based universities set to hold 2nd int'l conference on food security-biodiversity-enterprise modelOver a hundred teachers and researchers from local schools, state universities and colleges and other higher education institutions; policymakers from local government units and personnel from other government agencies; and partners from the business and private sectors and from non-government organizations from the Philippines and from neighboring countries are expected to join the conference.

SHGBEE2 will be a venue to discuss lessons, impact stories, strategies, issues, and challenges related to nurturing healthy, biodiverse, and entrepreneurial communities. This will contribute to a better understanding of SHGBEE as an opportune entry point for schoolchildren, the youth, and local communities to be mindful of their food and nutrition while engaging in biodiversity restoration and protection and harvesting economic benefits from livelihood generation.

A vital component of SHGBEE2 is having a collective and transformative mindset in attaining local food and nutrition security, while maximizing the potential of its synergy with biodiversity enhancement, as well as in initiating sustainable agri-enterprises for the community.

The conference will focus on these four areas: (a) promoting food and nutrition security, (b) advancing people and planet health through sustainable agri-enterprises, (c) biodiversity enhancement and agriculture, and (d) harnessing collective action for SHGBEE. It will also feature mobile workshops that showcase studies and practices to increase understanding and appreciation of the indispensability of biodiversity, as well as the need to enhance and conserve it. Sustainable food production and local tourism will also be highlighted as alternative sources of income for individual households and the community.

SHGBEE builds on the wealth of experience of the School-plus-Home Gardens Project (S+HGP), a SEARCA banner program. S+HGP's overall goal is to improve the dietary habits and overall nutritional condition of school-age children by enabling and increasing the year-round production of locally adapted vegetables through school and home gardening.