UPLB, SEARCA host intl meet on human ecology

  • 10 December 2017

Source: BusinessMirror
10 Dec 2017

The first international conference on human ecology in Asia was held in the Philippines. It focused on global practices, initiatives and possibilities that contribute to shaping a more sustainable world. It was hosted by the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

The 22nd International Conference of the Society for Human Ecology (SHE), held from November 28 to December 1, had the theme "Envisioning pathways to just and sustainable futures: Celebrating diversity, pursuing integration, and developing livable communities."

Some 200 global and regional practitioners, researchers, policy-makers, experts and academics gathered to discuss contemporary research and practices in promoting a just and sustainable future.

It also aimed to strengthen partnerships among human-ecology institutions in the region, through the creation of an alliance or network of human-ecology institutions in Asia, and closely link it with SHE.

For its part, SEARCA organized the session on Pathways to the Promotion of Human Ecology in Southeast Asia to promote human ecology as a field of study that would help address the problems or needs faced by the region, such as on food security and nutrition, natural-resource degradation and climate change.

"Through this conference, we hope to put a face to human ecology and mainstream it as an important field of study and practice in addressing complex development issues affecting Southeast Asia and other developing regions of the world," SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. said.

"Our hope is for human ecology to be recognized for its unique and important role in agricultural and rural development," he added.

SEARCA convened key officials from members of the SEARCA-initiated Southeast Asian University Consortium (UC) for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources that have existing colleges or faculty in human ecology presented their academic programs in human ecology education, research and extension.

The presenters were Dr. Husniyah Abdul Rahim of Universiti Putra Malaysia, Dr. Arif Satria of Indonesia's Institut Pertanian Bogor and Dr. Raden Piadozo of UPLB.

On the other hand, representatives from other UC members discussed the relevance of instituting a program in human ecology in their institutions. They were Dr. Buncha Chinnasri of Thailand's Kasetsart University, Dr. Dyah Hizbaron of Indonesia's Universitas Gadjah Mada and Dr. Bagyo Yanuwiadi of Universitas Brawijaya, also in Indonesia.

Dr. Jose V. Camacho Jr. of the UPLB Graduate School and Dr. Robert Dyball of the Australian National University discussed a number of strategies to promote human ecology in the region. One of which is the strengthening of networks among universities that offer and may potentially offer the program.

More experts from Australia, Brazil, Japan, Portugal, the United States and Vietnam also shared their views on the promotion of human ecology.