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UP lays down “green” options in pursuit of operational excellence

Duty-bound to contribute to sustainable development, the University of the Philippines (UP) convened its system officials and stakeholders at the Green UP Summit on December 6-7, 2016 at the University Hotel in UP Diliman.
The UP Office of the Vice President for Administration, Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, and Center for Integrative and Development Studies worked together to make this intimate yet historic gathering of about 120 representatives from all over the UP system possible.
Owing to President Alfredo E. Pascual’s vision of operational excellence, UP initiated for the first time the integration of UP’s various green programs aimed at developing strategic options for the national university. This is also part of the UP community’s pursuit of environmental sustainability and resilience to climate change impacts and disaster risks.
Envisioned as a program that brings together researches, technologies, and best practices of all UP constituent units (CUs), the summit featured a series of presentations that revolved around the theme, “Catalyzing Climate Change Resilience and Environmental Sustainability, 2017 and Beyond.” This included notable projects such as Project SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as Industry in the Philippines), MODECERA (Monitoring and Detection of Ecosystems Changes for Enhancing Resilience and Adaptation in the Philippines, Resilient Seas Program, Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment Hazards), Resilience Institute, UP-Resilience Web Portal, Sustainable Energy Project, UPPEG (UP Program for Environmental Governance), Green UP Baguio, and UP Cebu’s UI Green Metric among others.
Experts from different UP CUs served as resource persons during the event. They include Project SARAI Program Leader Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon and MODECERA Program Leader Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz of UP Los Baños. The presenters from UP Diliman were Resilient Seas Program Leader Dr. Porfirio Alexander M. Aliño, Project NOAH Executive Director Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Resilience Institute Executive Director Dr. Benito M. Pacheco, UP-Resilience Web Portal Project Leader Dr. Kristoffer B. Berse, Sustainable Energy Project Program Leader Dr. Mili-Ann M. Tamayao, UP College of Engineering’s Prof. Ferdinand G. Manegdeg, Institute of Civil Engineering’s Dr. Maria Antonia A. Tanchuling, College of Science Dean Dr. Jose Maria P. Balmaceda, and UPPEG Director Atty. Mark Anthony M. Gamboa. Completing the summit’s roster of speakers were UP Baguio Department of Communication Chairperson Prof. Cecilia S. Abalos, UP Cebu Vice Chancellor for Administration Dr. Leahlizbeth A. Sia, and  Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies Executive Director Engr. Roberto Verzola.
Also gracing the event were Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna, Department of Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Director Carmencita A. Bariso, and Climate Change Commission Deputy Executive Director Romell Antonio Cuenca.
On its second day, the summit hosted parallel workshops on Academic Programs, Research Programs, Policy and Public Affairs, Renewable Energy, Water Management, and Environment to help articulate desired green goals for the university.
Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo R. Serrano and Department of Budget and Management National Capital Region Director Ruby R. Esteban witnessed and served as reactors to the presentation of workshop outputs.
Assistant Vice President for Administration Prof. Nestor Rañeses deems the summit has succeeded in bringing about the interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary character of Green UP. He said the wisdom and practices elicited during the event may serve as platforms for Green UP in 2017.
Meanwhile, Vice President for Public Affairs Dr. Edna Estifania Co believes that the workshop outputs should be reviewed to determine crucial points that could be picked up for further action under the Green UP program.
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