In an effort to improve the climate change mitigation and adaptation capabilities of the country’s higher educational institutions (HEIs), the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities (PACU) recently launched “Climate Smart Academia 2050.” The long-term, nationwide program aims to:
- Develop Net-zero Emission (NZE) or Decarbonization or Low Carbon Diet Roadmap for the academic sector through the Green House Gases (GHGs) accounting;
- Develop and implement a Climate Change Adaptation-Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (CCA-DRRM) Solution for the country; and
- Conduct regional trainings, capacity buildings, and consultation workshops on climate and sustainability financing
To achieve these goals, PACU enlisted the aid of UN-awarded science diplomat Glenn Banaguas. As president and founder of the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute (ECCRI), Banaguas established the “Climate Smart Philippines” to bring science to the public and capacitate all levels of stakeholders in addressing disasters and preventing losses from climate change and other hazards.
“It is an honor for me to be able to help our country’s future generation of leaders to become more empowered and better prepared for the challenges of tomorrow,” Banaguas said.
“Moreover, this initiative helps extend and complements our existing efforts to provide public and private schools across the country with much-needed climate and resilience competencies.”
For his pioneering work, Banaguas received the prestigious UN Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Asia Leaders Award for Sustainable Leadership, and other international accolades. He is also the Chairman of the ASEAN Science Diplomats and the US-ASEAN Fellows for Science and Technology, and a member of the EU-Asia Expert Panel for Climate Diplomacy and Environmental Security. He is also the Executive Fellow of the renowned Geneva Centre for Security Policy in Switzerland. Recently, he was chosen as the distinguished Lee Kuan Yew Senior Fellow in Public Service, the most prestigious programme in Singapore.
The PACU is the oldest and most esteemed umbrella organization of private institutions of higher education in the Philippines, originally established in 1932 as the Association of Filipino Private Universities and Colleges (AFPUC) at the suggestion of patriots Justice Jose Abad Santos and Conrado Benitez. PACU aims to contribute to nation-building through transformative private higher education in a deregulated environment imbued with a global perspective and anchored on social responsibility and mutual cooperation.