A total of 159 researchers participated in the 8th International Conference on Environmental and Rural Development (ICERD) “Approaches to Environmental and Sustainable Development”, hosted by Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) in Thailand on 25-26 February 2017.
The United Nations University – Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) has been a collaborator of ICERD, since its launch in 2010 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia together with RCE Greater Phnom Penh (GPP) as co-organizer. The ICERD series is co-organized by the International Society of Environmental and Rural Development (ISERD), and the Institute of Environmental Rehabilitation and Conservation (ERECON), Japan. Over the years, ICERD has attracted researchers worldwide not only from academia but also from international, governmental and non-governmental organizations. The conference has proved to be an effective platform for RCEs in the region and beyond to present their research. In 2015, the Asia-Pacific RCEs Meeting was organized in conjunction with the 6th ICERD, co-hosted by RCE Bohol and RCE Cebu in the Philippines.
ICERD participants, the majority of them coming from developing countries, heard presentations on infrastructural systems, education for sustainable rural development, rural development, environmental management, and agricultural systems. A keynote presentation on ‘Research for Sustainable Development’ by the Deputy Director of the Thailand Research Fund highlighted Thailand’s pathway to achieving the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The important role of university research in the implementation of the SDGs was emphasized. Outstanding oral and poster presentations were acknowledged and awarded certificates.
RCE Greater Phnom Penh, Cambodia presented research papers on weed impact in biosphere reserves and irrigation systems. RCE Yogyakarta, Indonesia presented a research paper on partnerships between credit Farmers and independent farmers. RCE Bohol, Philippines presented research papers on local traditional materials in the construction industry and pottery, disaster preparedness, and sustainable fisheries and coral transplantation. RCE Bohol was awarded the Excellent Paper Award for the research entitled “Application of Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) Model to Predict Streamflow and Sediment Yield in Wahig-Inabanga Watershed, Bohol, Philippines”.
The next ICERD is expected to be held in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar on 23-25 February 2018. The conference would be a good opportunity for further establishing linkages among RCEs as well as between RCEs and other ESD networks in the region.
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