University of the Philippines Los Baños
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 10:48

UPLB MODECERA Program holds forum on ecosystem, watershed monitoring

“One change in one ecosystem can actually change the whole link, the interconnected ecosystems, within a particular landscape,” said Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz, UPLB professor and former chancellor, during the 1st National Ecosystem and Watershed Monitoring Forum on Nov. 24 at Acacia Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

The forum is part of the “Monitoring and detection of ecosystems changes for enhancing resilience and adaptation in the Philippines (MODECERA),” a four-project research program that Dr. Cruz leads.

The changes in the ecosystems and watershed, in relation to one another, and their interaction with the direct and indirect drivers of change are what the MODECERA Program is trying to understand, Dr. Cruz said.

The wide scope of the Program was reflected in the eight presentations given by program leaders and experts, namely: Dr. Nelson Pampolina, on forest biodiversity; Dr. Leonardo Florece, on grasslands; Dr. Roselyn Paelmo, on agroforestry; Dr. Edna Aguilar, on crop growth; Prof. Moises Dorado, on agrometeorology; Dr. Annalisa Aquino, on rice yield; Dr. Decibel Eslava, on soil and water conservation; and Dr. Sheryl Yap, on insect biodiversity.

Dr. Celia Medina, project 4 leader of MODECERA, also presented a key policy issue on pest and disease outbreaks, highlighting the need for a government agency on pest monitoring and an emergency fund that would be used in pest problems.

Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., who delivered the welcome remarks, referred to MODECERA as one of UPLB’s landmark research programs. “MODECERA was able to gather a voluminous amount of data that will help guide our policymakers with clear scientific basis for addressing key issues in our country,” he said.

Aside from scientists and experts, key government officials were also present, namely: Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, undersecretary of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST); Dr. Reynaldo Ebora, PCAARRD executive director; Dr. Henry Adornado, ERDB director; Hon. Lerey Panes, assistant secretary of the Department of Agriculture; and Hon. Estrellita Suansing, chair of the House Committee on Ecology. Also present were other UPLB officials and representatives of MODECERA’s seven partner state universities and colleges across the country.

DOST and DOST-PCAARRD funded the 200 million-peso program, which includes the soon-to-rise Controlled Environment Research Facility. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)