School-Plus-Home Gardens Project showcased at the Asian Confab on SDGs
The School-Plus-Home Project (S+HGP) of SEARCA, co-implemented with the the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and the Department of Education (DepEd)-Laguna has recently been presented at the 18th Science Council of Asia (SCA) Conference held at SCA's Headquarters, Tokyo, Japan on December 5-7, 2018. For this year, the SCA conference highlighted research, innovations, and programs that addresses the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across Asia.
Project Leader and SEARCA Adjunct Fellow Dr. Blesilda Calub presented the S+HGP under the oral presentation titled Addressing and Localizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through Grassroots-Based School-Plus-Home Gardens in the Philippines. During her presentation, she highlighted how the S+HGP's activities and outcomes have contributed to the achievement of SDGs in the localities where the Project was piloted. Some specific strategies to contribute to achieving targets of SDGs included the following:
For SDG #2, Zero Hunger: S+HGP showed that year-round production of diverse nutritious indigenous and common vegetables is possible by following a planting calendar.
For SDG#3, Good Health and Well-being: The promotion of organic agriculture in the S+HGP showed an alternative food production system that respects natural ecological processes and avoids using harmful synthetic farm chemicals that endangers the health of farmers, consumers, and the environment.
For SDG#4, Quality Education: Local government units were mobilized to allocate funds for school gardening + feeding programs to improve academic performance of school children and reduce absenteeism and early dropping-out from school.
For SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production: Parents, teachers, and students appreciated that food can be better produced through sustainable organic methods. The school gardens were utilized as learning laboratories for teaching composting and responsible waste management, among others.
The SCA is the official body of all science academies in Asia. For the Philippines, the National Research Council of the Philippines serves as the official representing member-organization. The SCA Conference is an annual conference, with the Science Council of Japan hosting this year.
Also present during the Conference was former S+HGP project assistant, Mr. Elson Ian Nyl Galang, who is currently finishing his graduate studies at the Tokyo-based United Nations University. Other Philippine delegates included professors and graduate students from the University of the Philippines- Manila, University of Santo Tomas, and Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University. Philippine National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz also gave one of the key discussions during the Future Earth session. (Elson Ian Nyl Ebreo Galang)