ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE & ATENEO DE MANILA UNIVERSITY
Sylvia Miclat of Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) reports on an inter-institutional collaboration effort between the ESSC, the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), and their international partners: “Field activities and initial surveys in some Upper Pulangi villages and corn trading areas in Aglayan, Cabanglasan, and Valencia in Bukidnon and in Cagayan de Oro were undertaken in July and August. Two PhD students have been spending time with communities of corn farmers and traders, seeking information on the GMO corn varieties planted, harvested, and sold, and the use of glyphosate (which is banned in many countries) as a common weed killer, Roundup Ready. This is an initial run as the 400-household survey will be done next year for the Bukidnon area, an additional 100 in Iloilo, and another 100 in Isabela, Cagayan.
These activities are part of the five-year academic research collaboration between ESSC and the University of Namur in Belgium, and in collaboration with the economics and philosophy departments at the ADMU. ESSC, ADMU, and the University of Namur are pursuing a project on the social justice implications of land-use change in the Philippine uplands. This study attempts to analyze the social and economic drivers for various agricultural-economic activities, and their impact on the land and its people. The project is receiving support from the Académie de Recherche et d’Enseignement Supérieur, the Belgian university commission on development.”
In related news, Sylvia also reports that the work with community foresters in assisting the return and regeneration of natural forest areas in the Pantaron continues as part of the
Jesuit Conference of Asia and the Pacific’s “Flights for Forests” initiative. This effort has also aided in the establishment of a two-hectare organic farm that produces organic food for the Apu Palamaguwan Cultural Education Center school kitchen and dormitories.
MARY THE QUEEN PARISH
As part of Mary the Queen Parish’s (MTQ) efforts to support the Bukidnon Mission District (BMD), Ms. Jay Tan has led the MTQ parish team in assisting the various mission schools and parishes, as well as the Jesuit Retreat House in Malaybalay, in various fundraising, renovation, and construction efforts. She has focused particularly on organizing the traditional weavers of Zamboanguita, helping them make their weaving activities economically viable. In this regard, she has arranged for their various products and handicrafts to be featured at the upcoming Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) fair at the Glorietta Mall in Makati, from 20-22 October 2017. The CITEM is the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry of the Philippines.
In conjunction with their promotion efforts in behalf of the BMD, Jay and Ms. Lynda Sibal, another MTQ parishioner, commissioned a short video on the Bukidnon Lumad Missions. This video was shown during the Donor’s Appreciation Night organized by MTQ a few months ago.