Samantha Nuñez Genova, a senior BS in Agribusiness Management student, and Dr. Salvador Catelo, advisor of International Students Forum, represented UPLB during the 16th International Students Summit (ISS) held last September 29-30 in Tokyo, Japan.
This event is an annual event of the Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo NODAI) which gathers students from NODAI and its global partner universities, and gives them the opportunity to exchange views and ideas on global food, agricultural and environmental issues and to discuss their own roles in sustainable development.
This year, UPLB, together with twenty-eight other universities from around the world participated in the event which was themed “Students Promoting Environmental Justice in the Globalization of Intensive Agricultural Systems”. Ms. Genova presented a research paper titled, “Serving Environmental Justice through Community Knowledge Extension and Involvement”. In the paper, she described the role of education in analyzing the effects of farming on the environment, and how some UPLB student organizations take part in this.
ISS was started by the opening speeches of Dr. Katsumi Takano, President of Tokyo NODAI, and Dr. Yoichi Sakata, Director of NODAI’s Center for International Programs (CIP), who gave their warmest welcome to everyone. The keynote speaker, Professor Kent Anderson, Deputy Vice Chancellor of The University of Western Australia. Prof. Anderson challenged listeners in his presentation, “The View from the Top of the World: The UWA Journey from a Local Agricultural Focus to an Interconnected Globalized Environmental Food Hub Helping to Feed the World by 2050”. The opening ceremony was then followed by the main part of the event, the sessions, wherein the participating students presented their research papers as related to the theme. A total of twenty-six countries were represented in the same stage; issues regarding students’ actions in the fields of food security, agricultural development, environment, and education were addressed. A poster session was also conducted. A general discussion session concluded the event. Here, all the students went on stage, announced next year’s ISS theme, and discussed their plan of action as students regarding the promotion of environmental justice in today’s world that embraces intensive farming when they go back to their respective universities.
Although the main event (ISS) was only for two days, the student presenters stayed in Tokyo NODAI for more than a week (September 24 – October 2). September 24 was the day allotted for the student presenters’ arrival. September 25 was the day for the field trip; the students were brought to the Railway Museum and the Bonsai Museum. September 26-28 were the days allotted for workshops (students polished their research papers and Power Points, discussed case studies and proposed solutions, and came up with the theme for the next ISS). October 1 was the free day given to the students for them to explore Tokyo with their student-coordinators (Tokyo NODAI Japanese students); an allowance that the students can spend was also provided. October 3 was the last day of the students and also the day of their departure.
This event did not just provide the students a platform to present their ideas to everyone, it was also a platform where they were enabled to interact and gain insights from differing perspectives. This helped the students become more open to the world, more knowledgeable and creative in viewing the problems in their countries from a bigger perspective and consequently, realizing that they cam become part of the solution.
Ms. Genova’s participation in the summit was facilitated by DAAE’s Dr. Salavador P. Catelo. S.N. Genova