With the theme, “ M a i n s t r e a m i n g B i o d i v e r s i t y Conservation and Management of Lake and River Ecosystems in Mindanao”, the 1st Mindanao Lakes and Rivers Summit was held on December 6, 2018, at Sarangani Highlands, General Santos City. The summit aimed to provide a platform to bring aquatic sciences and limnology into focus while promoting cooperation towards conservation and management of Mindanao freshwaters. Senior Science Research Specialist, Eduardo V. Manalili presented a talk while Dr. Dalisay Fernandez delivered the keynote message, both under the supervision of the Executive Director of DOST-PCAARRD, Dr. Reynaldo Ebora. They shared their successes, challenges and learnings from work in Laguna de Bay, Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, Buayan-Malungon River Basin, Lake Mainit, and Lake Sebu.
The College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) hosted the said summit. It connected 70 participants from the DENR, EMB, BFAR, DOST specifically DOSTPCAARRD, LGUs, in-line agencies and academic institutions from Luzon and Mindanao. The DOSTPCAARRD sponsored the event as part of the project entitled, “Trophic Status and Aquatic Biodiversity Assessment for Sustainable Upland Freshwater Ecosystems in the Municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.” Based on the sharing of scientific information, there is an urgency to establish partnership and to collaborate through a research consortium so as to amass quality information that could be transformed into tangible and measurable outputs. As a result of the summit, Dr. Jaime A. Namocatcat, Summit Chair, spearheaded the signing of the contract together with DOSTPCAARRD Officials. It was a declaration of involvement of those in attendance to endeavor partnership and support each other’s work to further the field. The event also espoused for the launching activity of the Environmental and Sustainability Science Research Center (ESSRC). ESSRC is the first research center approved through a BOR resolution in 2018.