The UP Open University launched its latest project, the two-year “Youth Capacity Building and Exchange Program toward Sustainable Development and Conservation of Ifugao Rice Terraces”, on January 24 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.
The project, funded by the Mitsui Co., Ltd. Environment Fund and done in collaboration with UP Los Baños, is led by UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies Associate Professor Joane Serrano. Also involved in the project are: Kanazawa University, Japan; Ifugao State University; the Ifugao Provincial Government; and, Ifugao local government units.
Program activities will focus on training Ifugao youth on sustainable tourism and farming practices, local food security, agricultural heritage systems, and cultural heritage preservation. In addition, there will be an exchange program between Ifugao youth and students from UPOU, UPLB, and nearby areas in Los Baños, to facilitate cultural and knowledge sharing.
The project also aims to create partnerships between countryside and urban communities and provide opportunities for hands-on experience, exchange programs, and internships to rural and urban-based youth.