Students propose ways to sustainable development

Students propose ways to sustainable development

by Tet Rivera on January 3, 2012 - 5:36 pm

A top oil firm assembled students leaders in the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) to seek solutions to current challenges encountered by efforts toward sustainable development, an approach to growth where resources utilized at present will not compromise the needs of future generations.

Shell Corporation sought the support of UA&P’s Center for Research and Communication (CRC) to hold the first youth congress last November to put sustainable development into action within the sector by providing a venue for students to propose projects for growth.

More than two hundred student delegates from various universities with various academic disciplines, including 30 Shell scholars, attended the conference.

CRC executive director and famed economist Dr. Bernardo Villegas lived to his reputation as “the prophet of boom” and gave a forecast of seven to nine percent economic growth for the next ten to twenty years. Moreover, he emphasized that this generation will experience not only inclusive growth but also sustainable growth.

Dr. Villegas also commended Shell for its contributions to sustainable development to be witnessed soon, as well as the company’s efforts to meet the global demand for more greener measures and efficient operations.

Shell country chairman Mr. Edgar O. Chua talked about how the organization is preparing for the increase in demand for energy as a by-product of growth.

Mr. Chua said the Shell is taking steps to ensure it meets the challenge by collaborating with research partners to upgrade their technologies for further efficiency and quality.

Energy undersecretary Jose M. Layug, Jr. also outlined the department’s new energy reform agenda that involves finding potential alternative energy resources seeking incentives to developers.

European Union ambassador Hubert d’Aboville , Gawad Kalinga chair Mr. Tony Meloto, Mr. Colin Hubo of UA&P Center for Social Responsibility, and UA&P Business Economics president Jorenz Perez (V IEP) served as panelists of the event.

A group of student delegates that proposed education on waste management for local communities through public schools was honored as the most viable and relevant sustainability development project. The proposal also listed a campaign of waste segregation to be used as biomass energy for the oil firm and as recycled building materials for Gawad Kalinga’s housing efforts.

San Beda student Justiene Ortega, a member of the winning team, said that “sharing the advocacy with the youth sector was a great step towards its realization. She is also “hoping” that the team’s idea would really help Shell uphold its advocacy.

Jemima Landong, a senior Political Economy student said that she “was surprised that this just-one-day conference of Shell is enough to motivate students on how to responsibly use energy.”

Ateneo de Manila University’s Raymon de Asis also realized that different universities can collaborate to push for projects toward sustainable development.

The challenge, however, remains standing for the young participants whose learning from the event  is only the start of a bigger battle–to translate the shared vision into action. #

Photo credit: Center for Research and Communication
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