LAKBAY participants from PH and Taiwan explore UPRI’s SDG-aligned initiatives

 

Sixteen Taiwanese and five Filipino students of a cultural and learning immersion camp visited the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute (UPRI) last 23 January 2024 to learn about its programs and activities especially aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The visit is part of the Project Learning Actively through Knowledge-Based Appreciation for Youth (LAKBAY), an immersion camp that highlights the significance of sustainability and the perspectives of youth in sustainable development plans. This initiative is facilitated through a collaborative partnership between UP Open University (UPOU) and Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Foundation – Taiwan.

The visit is part of the Project Learning Actively through Knowledge-Based Appreciation for Youth (LAKBAY), an immersion camp that highlights the significance of sustainability and the perspectives of youth in sustainable development plans. This initiative is facilitated through a collaborative partnership between UP Open University (UPOU) and Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Foundation – Taiwan.

With reference to the term “LAKBAY,” which translates to “journey” in Filipino, Project LAKBAY participants partake in institutional visits and hands-on social learning experiences within local communities. The activities aim to raise awareness among youth participants and motivate them to actively participate in global sustainability initiatives spanning diverse development fields.

UPRI was selected as a key destination because of its efforts in benchmarking innovative information vital to the nation’s efforts on climate change mitigation and adaptation and to empower local communities through multidisciplinary actions toward resilience.

Fellows of Project LAKBAY, led by Edu-Connect Southeast Asia Association Executive Director Dr. Eing-Ming Wu, toured the NOAH Center and learned about the operational work being done by the researchers.

On behalf of Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, Prof. Ruben M. Gamala, UPRI Director of Education, welcomed the Project LAKBAY participants. Ms. Hannah Peña and Ms. Denisse Aubrey Soriano of the UP NOAH Hazards Assessment Team also shared with the participants their expectations for their upcoming enrollment in master’s degree programs in Taiwan.

UPRI staff from each division presented an overview of the functions and outputs of the institute and its divisions, which served as an opportunity for students to ask questions regarding the work being done at the UPRI. A participant, for one, asked about the source of the data used in the projects. Staff of the UP Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) Center shared that actual data such as elevation data from NAMRIA, rainfall data from PAG-ASA, and land cover, curve number, and soil characteristics data from Bureau of Soils and Water Management are being used to make flood models.

The UPRI staff presented the functions of the different divisions.

 

When asked about the steps that were considered during the construction of the Internet-of-Things infrastructure to avoid any form of data alteration that may originate from human error, UP NOAH staff responded: “anomalous data streams may be generated if these sensitive errors are subjected to external ‘human errors’. These errors may include intentional amelioration of water volume by means of intentional/manual dispensing of water toward the rain sensors (in the case of rain sensors), and intentional water flushing and swamping for flood sensors. These possible human errors were taken into account by installing rain sensors on relatively higher elevations such as high-rise buildings that are high enough to prevent any forms of intentional/manual dispensing of water. Flood sensors on the other hand were discreetly installed in an enclosed metal case and are regularly cleaned to remove stalled water.”

Aside from the innovations and tools being developed by the UPRI to reduce risks and mitigate disasters in communities, creative works, such as resilience songs and social science research outputs were also presented to the participants.