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Sustainability conference says we need to change the way we live

“In these times of intense crisis, we respond as if we live in normal times,” said Dr. Arnim Weik to the participants of the 1st International Conference on Sustainability organized by UP Visayas on February 26-27, at the District 21 Hotel, Iloilo City. Weik was one of the plenary speakers of the conference.

Addressing them via Skype, the Professor in the School of Sustainability of Arizona State University also said that sustainability science cannot help in addressing the intense crisis of our time if humanity is not willing to change the way it lives.

“Just to be clear the willingness to change includes you and me,” he added.

For sustainability to work, he bared that three things should come together. First, our source of energy should come from a 100% renewable source. Second, the business sector must cooperate in sustainability efforts. Third, peace efforts in conflict areas need to be worked on.

Meanwhile keynote speaker Dr. Patrick Christie stressed that "We need to challenge academics to make their work relevant...engage in participatory action research in communities.”

The professor from the University of Washington emphasized the need to establish a learning network, a group people that would learn together and co-design together in crafting sustainability plans and efforts within communities.

At the end of the two-day conference the 100 or so participants crafted this resolution:

“We, the participants of the 1st International Conference on Sustainability, have resolved that we shall define sustainability using the “triple bottom line” conceptual framework.”

The “triple bottom line” conceptual framework” advocates that, to be truly sustainable, an organization or community needs to embody practices that are 1.) environmentally sound, 2.) economically viable, and 3.) socially equitable.”

Other plenary speakers included, Dr. Lourdes Cruz - National Scientist and UNESCO Awardee; Dr. Gem Castillo - Chair and President, Resources, Environment, and Economic Center for Studies, Inc.; Dr. Rosemarie Edillon - Undersecretary, NEDA; Dr. Mari-Ann Acedera - Director, Marine Resources Research Division, PCAARRD – DOST; and Dr. Gabriel Pamintuan Jr. - Assistant Professor, College of Engineering, UP Diliman.

Dr. Rodelio Subade and Prof. Pepito Fernandez, Jr., faculty members of the Division of Social Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, along with colleagues from the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the School of Technology and the College of Management organized the event.

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