Just Wondering…3

Just wondering why Philippine Universities are not pushing Environmental science?

I recently spoke at a conference of Philippine public university Presidents about the shift to the SHS program. Throughout the day I realized they have a one-two year window to revamp a number their own programs as well.

Here are five reasons why Philippine universities should aggressively promote environmental science:

  1. Poor waste management: A recent study published in the Economist showed that the Philippines and Indonesia are a close second and third to China’s #1 status as ocean polluters. The main reasons stated are an exponentially growing population, poor waste management facilities and basic awareness. (Link 1 below)
  2. Location: Given the Philippines geographic location, global currents, and it’s unique geography, the Philippines is smack in line with want National Geographic is calling the ‘Western Garbage Patch’. (Link 2 below)
  3. Environmental and food security: Given that 70% of the population still relies on agriculture and fisheries for their livelihood, there is a dire need to protect what is left and revitalize a once pristine and envied country.
  4. Become a world leader: If science, business and governments can collaborate and work together for the next 10-20 years (yes I know you roll your eyes) to slowly reverse the trends in #1 and #2, then the Philippines will emerge as a world leader in environmental science. This expertise can then be exported to other parts of the Globe.
  5. Job creation: Apart from the thousands of scientists that are needed in a myriad of fields and specialties, project field staff, lab technicians and support staff would create a plethora of new jobs throughout the country. Not to mention a revamp of waste management and a real recycling program instead of using child labor to sort through garbage.

There is an emerging workforce in this country that is looking to sink their teeth into something interesting that will make a difference. I worked with some amazing young Philippine engineers and mathematicians a few years ago that just blew me away with their abilities, passion and drive. So why are Philippine universities not pushing environmental science?

Link 1: http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2015/02/daily-chart-14
Link 2: http://education.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/



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