To extend and concretize the Green UP vision, the UP System held the “Green UP Summit: Catalyzing Climate Change Resilience and Environmental Sustainability in 2017 and Beyond” on December 6 and 7, 2016 at the University Hotel, UP Diliman.
Held for the first time since President Alfredo Pascual expounded in his vision statement on Green UP as a subtheme of operational excellence, the summit aimed to help articulate a more strategic agenda for Green UP.
To help participants do this, the organizers presented various UP initiatives in the field of climate change resilience and environmental sustainability in UP, as well as key UP contributions to the country’s efforts in the same field. Input was also solicited from the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Energy (DoE), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The discussions pointed to UP becoming the expertise communicator and model institution for climate change resilience and environmental sustainability.
According to Pascual, Green UP initially consisted of conducting energy audits, laying down building design standards, reducing utilities consumption, preserving used materials, managing waste, introducing new transport systems, and using solar panels, within UP.
Responding to UP’s national university mandates, Green UP needed to evolve as a harmonized effort to serve the country and humanity, especially incumbent in the wake of extreme natural events that occurred during Pascual’s term and demanded harmonized university expertise.
Despite its teaching, research and public service efforts for climate change resilience and environmental sustainability, however, UP appeared to have a dismal scorecard in terms of its own “green” operations. According to Assistant Vice President for Administration Nestor Rañeses, only two small campuses have formal and consolidated assessment and reporting of the greenness of their campuses. He said UP, as a whole, has had no formal “green system.”
The workshops divided the participants into groups to map out goals and success indicators for mainstreaming climate change resiliency and environmental sustainability in UP’s academic, research, and public service programs; and for promoting green governance in UP based on parameters involving campus environment, renewable energy, water management, policy, planning, budgeting, and monitoring.
The speakers from government were: CCC Deputy Executive Director Romell Antonio Cuenca, DENR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Maria Paz Luna, DoE Policy and Planning Bureau Director Carmencita Bariso, DBM National Capital Region Director Ruby Esteban, and DA Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano.
The featured initiatives addressing UP were: the UP Resilience Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, the UP Resilience Web Portal, the UP Sustainable Energy Project, the UP Diliman Academic Building Energy Audit, and a study of UP Diliman solid waste management. Presentations were made on the green lifestyle implemented in UP Baguio and the University of Indonesia Green Metric system, in UP Cebu.
The featured UP-led projects for the country were: Project SARAI (Smarter Approaches to Reinvigorate Agriculture as an Industry in the Philippines), Project MODECERA (Monitoring and Detection of Ecosystems Changes for Enhancing Resilience and Adaptation in the Philippines), the Marine Protected Area Network and Resilient Seas Program, and Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards).
UP Diliman (UPD) College of Science Dean Jose Maria Balmaceda presented how far climate change has been integrated in UP’s academic programs; while Atty. Mark Anthony Gamboa of the UPD School of Urban and Regional Planning presented the UP Program for Environmental Governance.
Campus administrators from all constituent universities participated in the summit, which was organized by the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, the Office of the Vice President for Public Affairs, and the Office of the Vice President for Administration. The conference output is being consolidated.
For more photos of the event, please click through the album below.