Dr Linda Anne Stevenson of the APN Secretariat attended the 4th International Conference on Integrated Natural Resources and Environment Management (INREM) held from 21-23 November 2023 at Central Park Hotel, Manila, Philippines. Considered a Strategic Partner for the INREM conference, APN was listed as an organiser of the conference, and two APN projects and activities were disseminated. These included:
- APN project CBA2021-05MY-Pulhin on Resilience-building and future-proofing strategies in a multi-stressed scenario in the province of Albay, Philippines
- APN Project CBA2023-05MY-Cruz on Building the technical expertise of LGUs for the robust implementation of Ridge to Reef approach (watershed ecosystem approach) to local and provincial land use and development planning in the Philippines
The conference successfully facilitated the exchange of ideas and experiences about resilience-building, sustainable development, and integrated management of agriculture, environment, aquatic and natural resources in the Asia Pacific Region. Throughout the conference, knowledge on the integrated management of lake and river basins, landscapes and seascapes, small islands, and rural-urban areas was shared and discussed, exploring their interrelationships. The event also established a network of professionals, practitioners, and communities of practice, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among stakeholders involved in integrated natural resources and environmental management in the Asia-Pacific Region.
The objectives of the 4th International Conference on INREM were to:
- Facilitate sharing of ideas and experiences on resilience-building, sustainable development, and integrated management of agriculture, environment, aquatic, and natural resources in the Asia Pacific Region;
- Synthesise knowledge on INREM of lake and river basins, landscapes and seascapes, small islands, and rural-urban areas and their interrelationships; and
- Institute a network of professionals and practitioners/communities of practice among INREM stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific Region.
In her keynote presentation titled “Sustaining Ridge-to-Reef Transformation through Capacity Development at Multiple Scales – Insights from the experiences of APN projects conducted in the Philippines and countries in Southeast Asia,” Dr Stevenson emphasised that the Ridge-to-Reef perspective aims to enhance ecosystem resilience from highlands to coastal regions, emphasising improved environmental management practices and capacity building. Drawing from APN’s experiences, she showcased various initiatives promoting nature-based solutions, sustainability, resilience and successful collaborative science-governance-people-centred approaches across Asia.
Watch the conference highlights below:
Parallel Science-Policy Session
The APN project on Resilience-building and future-proofing strategies in a multi-stressed scenario in the province of Albay, Philippines being undertaken by the University of the Philippines Los Baños – INREM convened a science-policy forum addressing resilience in communities in Albay province, convening researchers, Early Career Professionals and stakeholders from Local Government Units of the province. Discussions focussed on impact visualisations, multi-hazard risk assessments, and land cover changes, aiming to translate findings into local climate change policies and strategies for multi-stressed scenarios.
Dr. Stevenson’s presentation highlighted the work of APN, which has been conducting policy-relevant global change research for over 25 years. With 22 member countries in the Asia-Pacific region and additional “approved countries,” APN focuses on promoting regional cooperation, enhancing capabilities for global change and sustainability research, and strengthening interactions between scientists and policymakers. The network’s strategic goals include stakeholder engagement, capacity development, and science-policy linkages. In its current phase, APN prioritises projects led by researchers from developing countries and early career professionals, with approximately 77.6% of projects being led by researchers from developing countries. This reflects APN’s commitment to promoting scientific input in policy decision-making and supporting science-based decision-making in the region.
Dr Stevenson had an opportunity to meet with the Scientific Planning Group (SPG) member, Dr Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer, Director, and the alternate SPG member Dr Lynlei L. Pintor, both from the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau – Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines. Topics covered included the 2023 Call for Proposals, Philippines membership of APN and the 26th Intergovernmental Meeting to be held in Indonesia in June 2024.