Dr. Alexander G. Flor (Top Left), Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) and environmental communication expert, represented UPOU at the Earth Day 2021 Virtual Stage.

Earthdayinitiative.org, together with March for Science NYC, organized the grand Earth Day 2021 Virtual Stage and Festival to kick off the Earth Week 2021 which is celebrated every 22 April of each year. The University of the Philippines (UP) through the UP Open University (UPOU) took pleasure in being a part of this global event. 

Dr. Alexander G. Flor, Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) and environmental communication expert, represented the university  and shared the perspective of the climate communication science community.

He was part of the round table discussion for the third part of the event, which was dedicated to Communicating Climate, specifically focusing on effective communication strategies. Along with Dr. Flor are Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and founder of Hip Hop Caucus, an organization that advocates climate action that will stop and reverse the impacts of the climate crisis; Saad Amer, co-founder of PlusOne Vote, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization dedicated to getting out the vote and creating a democracy that is more representative of its people, and is engaged in various campaigns, including Climate Change; and Kate Yoder, journalist with Grist, a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future.

Ms. Yoder started the discussion with how climate change can be intimidating and feel overwhelmingly big, especially the science behind it. Her advice to people is to just talk about things that matter to them, and communicate by actions taken and let it resonate and repeat in various media over time. Mr. Amer stated that climate change is an intersectional issue – it includes human rights, social justice, economics, health, democracy. Once there is an understanding of how issues are connected, people will be more equipped to push the conversation forward and instigate real changes across the world. Mr. Yearwood’s advice is for people within the climate change movement to communicate personal stories better to be more successful in communicating change. For him, climate justice is racial justice and racial justice is climate justice. 

As the Father of Climate Communication, Dr. Flor shared that UPOU published the book “Environmental Communication’‘ where it was observed that not much emphasis is given to environment  or climate communication as the scientific community classifies climate action only as (1) climate mitigation and (2) climate change adaptation. He proposes that a third category for climate action be recognized which is climate communication or climate advocacy.  He emphasized, however, that there are implications to this proposition in terms of budget, resources and support. Scientific research centers in the global south doing work on climate communication have limited resources compared to corporate communication. Dr. Flor also raised an important question on whose voice is being represented? Is it the voice of the climate scientist? The politicians? Or the deniers? How about the vulnerable communities where climate change is a reality? He pointed out that for the majority of the global population, especially in the global south, climate change is a day to day reality. Dr. Flor also surfaced the notion that when we talk about climate communication, the climate itself is a participant. “Oftentimes, we rely on climate or bio signals but beyond that we do not have the agency or the means to communicate and it’s up to us to serve as their agents to amplify these signals. “

UPOU is a staunch advocate of environmental protection. It offers the Diploma in and Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management programs, as well as Integrating Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management in Policies, Plans and Investments toward Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ICCARDM4ISARD) and Responding to Climate Risks in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (RCRANRM).

The  Earth Day 2021 Virtual Stage and Festival included four more parts that included topics on Climate and Environment Policy, Public Health, Technology and Infrastructure and Individual Action meets Systemic Change. It was held on 18 April 2021 via Facebook but is available for viewing anytime.

Written and Screen Capture by Anna Cañas-Llamas

Edited by Joane V. Serrano

#UPOpenUniversity

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JUST TODAY: DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 x UP Open University (UPOU) Webinar Program for Educators on Remote Teaching is among the 90 Champions for World Summit on Information Society Prizes 2021, a contest hosted by International Telecommunications Union.DICT and UPOU launched the training program in mid-2020 as a response to the drastic and necessary transition to digital of many activities including education. The 9-session series equipped 84,632 teachers (56,242 or 66% of whom were women) with various techniques for remote teaching.“The pandemic has disrupted education affecting millions of learners all over the world. Schools were forced to embrace remote learning to ensure that knowledge-sharing continues amidst the global fight against the COVID-19. Our cluster, DICT MC1, launched this project with the UP Open University to help the academe thrive in the new normal by maximizing ICT,” shared Director Maria Teresa Camba, Regional Director of DICT MC1.As DICT’s official partner for this endeavor, UPOU prepared the session plan and provided the experts and resource persons for the online seminar sessions free of charge. UPOU is the prime institution for providing online teaching and learning in the country. It has pioneered digital education and continues to play a leading role in the study and practice of open learning and distance education in the Philippines. “Working with DICT MC1 on this initiative was really a good opportunity for UPOU to broaden or widen the reach of our capability-building programs. This global recognition is an affirmation of the value and the impact of what we did. It inspires us to do more of this kind,” said UPOU Chancellor Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria.Over 1,270 projects from around the world were submitted for the 2021 run of the competition. 360 of these projects were nominated for the voting phase of the contest, including 3 other projects of DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 under Infrastructure, Cyber Security, and e-Government categories. Last year, DICT MC1’s Digital Hub was also recognized as Champion for WSIS Prizes 2020.WSIS Prizes is a global contest developed to create a platform to honor projects and activities that harness ICTs to advance sustainable development. 18 winners from the list of champions will be announced during the Awarding Ceremony scheduled on May 17-21, 2021. To check out other champion projects for the year, go to wsis.org/prizes.JUST TODAY: DICT x UPOU Webinar Program for Educators on Remote Teaching is among the 90 Champions for World Summit on Information Society Prizes 2021, a contest hosted by International Telecommunications Union.DICT and UPOU launched the training program in mid-2020 as a response to the drastic and necessary transition to digital of many activities including education. The 9-session series equipped 84,632 teachers (56,242 or 66% of whom were women) with various techniques for remote teaching.“The pandemic has disrupted education affecting millions of learners all over the world. Schools were forced to embrace remote learning to ensure that knowledge-sharing continues amidst the global fight against the COVID-19. Our cluster, DICT MC1, launched this project with the UP Open University to help the academe thrive in the new normal by maximizing ICT,” shared Director Maria Teresa Camba, Regional Director of DICT MC1.As DICT’s official partner for this endeavor, UPOU prepared the session plan and provided the experts and resource persons for the online seminar sessions free of charge. UPOU is the prime institution for providing online teaching and learning in the country. It has pioneered digital education and continues to play a leading role in the study and practice of open learning and distance education in the Philippines. “Working with DICT MC1 on this initiative was really a good opportunity for UPOU to broaden or widen the reach of our capability-building programs. This global recognition is an affirmation of the value and the impact of what we did. It inspires us to do more of this kind,” said UPOU Chancellor Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria.Over 1,270 projects from around the world were submitted for the 2021 run of the competition. 360 of these projects were nominated for the voting phase of the contest, including 3 other projects of DICT Mindanao Cluster 1 under Infrastructure, Cyber Security, and e-Government categories. Last year, DICT MC1’s Digital Hub was also recognized as Champion for WSIS Prizes 2020.WSIS Prizes is a global contest developed to create a platform to honor projects and activities that harness ICTs to advance sustainable development. 18 winners from the list of champions will be announced during the Awarding Ceremony scheduled on May 17-21, 2021. To check out other champion projects for the year, go to wsis.org/prizes. ... See MoreSee Less
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Engage with the sharing of Asst. Prof. Betsie Kruger and Asst Prof Wen Raymundo as we highlight research relationships. Doc Wen will focus on her own experiences undertaking the 'Special Problems' under the UPOU FED's masters program.
For inquiries, email edukussion@upou.edu.ph.

The UPOU Office of Gender Concerns in collaboration with the Diploma in/Master of Social Work and Diploma in Women and Development programs of the UPOU FMDS will be releasing the 2nd GADTalk podcast episode on 20 May 2021, 4:00 PM.
https://www.upou.edu.ph/announcement/upou-ogc-will-release-its-second-gadtalk-podcast-episode-this-may/
#GADTalk #MentalHealth

The University of the Philippines (UP), who takes part in the quincentennial celebration will bring to life some of the familiar persons involved that made history 500 years ago and beyond. This will be done in a unique contest, a cosplay competition.
https://www.upou.edu.ph/news/up-to-relive-historical-characters-in-cosplay-competition/