UPLB SESAM marks success of its first overseas environmental education conference 

The UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB SESAM) successfully held the International Conference on Environmental Education in Southeast Asia, or iCEESEA 2023, in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Oct. 25-27.

As the secretariat for the Philippines Network of Educators on Environment (PNEE), UPLB SESAM spearheaded iCEESEA. This is the first time it was held outside the Philippines. 

iCEESEA 2023 had for its theme “Futures Thinking in Southeast Asia: Environmental Education Matters.” 

The event, which marked the 15th PNEE International Conference and Scientific Meeting, aimed to shape the direction for enhancing education, research, and extension programs in higher education institutions.

It served as a platform for educators to exchange knowledge and best practices in environmental education for sustainable development. 

Oral presentations of research papers addressed the advancement of environmental education internationally and their alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Present at the event were UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. and PNEE President Ramon M. Docto who delivered opening messages; Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture and GREASE Network Coordinator Etienne Loire who delivered welcome remarks. GREASE, or Gestion des Risques Emergents en Asie du Sud-Est, is a regional network on emergent risks management in South East Asia.

Also present at the event to express support and deliver the opening remarks was the Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam, His Excellency Meynardo LB. Montealegre. 

On the first day, Michael Drabble, World Bank Education Cluster Leader for Vietnam and Laos and Dr. William G. Padolina, Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology, were the keynote speakers. 

Plenary speakers included Nguyen Thi Dien, a sociologist at the Vietnam National University of Agriculture and Dr. Ria Lambino, deputy director of the Future Earth Global Secretariat Hub Japan.

Dr. Gregorio delivered the keynote talk on the second day. The plenary session featured Dr. Loire; Dr. Mari-ann Acedera, director of the Marine Resources Research Division of the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD); and Dr. Antonio Contreras, professor at UPLB SESAM.

An optional field tour on the conference’s third day included visits to the Tran Quoc Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh Complex, Hoa Lo Prison, Temple of Literature, and Bat Trang.

This conference was held in collaboration with the PNEE, DOST-PCAARRD, SEARCA, and GREASE Network. (Jewel S. Cabrera and Ricel Iana Marie Banayos)