During last week’s conference of the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA) attended by more than 80 researchers and experts, various research topics were presented tackling issues on climate change, water, pollution, forests, biodiversity, energy conservation, aquatic agriculture and other environmental economic topics.
For the past seven years, around 87 EEPSEA-funded studies, including 58 on-going research for 2014, were focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation. The total number of projects granted from 1993 to 2014 is already 373.
“ We see to it that we create a platform to understand what is taking place in the research arena in tackling various issues on environmental economics, the wealth of knowledge shared, and the engagement of experts involved in the field,” said Herminia Francisco, EEPSEA Program Director.
Francisco said EEPSEA always aim to contribute to building knowledge and expertise in the field; to deliver policy-relevant research; and to support researchers in coming out with quality projects.
“ We saw that academic influence through both training and research is high and can be expanded. Policy influence is taking place albeit more difficult to measure and monitor. So it is better for us to engage more with group of influencers like the natural resource managers, justices, journalists and non-government organizations,” Francisco added.
At the conference, more than 40 research proposals, interim reports and final research were presented before fellow researchers and experts for collaboration and suggestions.
Jaime Kim Arias, assistant professor from the University of the Philippines Los Banos College of Economics and Management, said more and more research in Southeast Asia are becoming more relevant for policymaking.
“ Our goal is to aid in policymaking. With the limited resources of the government, we wanted to help them identify the best possible use of their funds so as to maximize the welfare of the society,” Arias said.
Archilles Costales, a professor from the University of the Philippines Baguio who is proposing a research on Baguio City’s air pollution, said, “ the importance of research is that when you investigate something through research, you will be able to show what the problem is, how grave the problem is and how it affects the people.”
“ Policymakers need more compelling evidence or basis in order to decide on good policies, and that is where our solid, high-quality research comes in,”
Aside from presenting their research at the conference, dozens of them also took part in a whole-day writing and editorial workshop so the researchers themselves would be able to write publishable articles about their research.
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