Dr. Rodel Lasco, executive director of the OML Center, was among the resource speakers during Day 1 of the Visayas leg of the National Academy of Science and Technology’s (NAST) Regional Scientific Meeting last April 13, 2021. The Regional Scientific Meetings are held in partnership with the Regional Offices of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and are part of NAST’s long-standing commitment to bring science closer to the Filipino people.
With the theme “COVID-19 Pandemic: Learning from the past, coping with the present, moving to the next”, the virtual meeting had six panel discussions tackling connections among food, environment, and health; viral evolution dynamics and modeling interventions; systems approach to address present-day hazards; impacts of the pandemic to basic and higher education; balancing the economy and health; and health systems response and preparedness.
Speaking at the Nexus of Health Risk – Natural Resources Degradation panel, Dr. Lasco highlighted several studies showing the increasing frequency of outbreaks that can be linked to the degradation of ecosystems due to human activities. Dr. Lasco underscored that natural and human systems are interconnected and that long-term resilience will be possible if hazards are addressed holistically.
Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio, a member of the Agricultural Sciences Division of NAST, moderated the discussion. Panel reactors include Dr. Reildrin G. Morales of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry, Dr. Josephine M. Castanares of the Department of Chemistry in the University of San Carlos, and Dr. Rico C. Ancog of the School of Environmental Science and Management in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Dr. Tonette Laude of the UPLB College of Agriculture and Food Science consolidated learnings from panelists.
Dr. Lasco also shared the OML Center’s series of advisories on the combined risks of extreme weather and COVID-19. Published last year, the series surfaced important adjustments that local and national government units must consider to effectively address multiple hazards.
Dr. Lasco is a member of the NAST. The NAST held the Mindanao Regional Scientific Meeting last April 27 and 28, while the Luzon leg was held on May 11 and 12.
Resolutions generated from the discussions will be consolidated and presented during the 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting that will be held on July 13-15, 2021.
Video recordings of the Regional Scientific Meetings are available on the Facebook page of NAST.
Read the OML Center’s series on COVID-19 and extreme weather via our website:
Part 1: Typhoon Ambo threatens COVID-weary communities, modifications to current response strategies required
Part 2: Response and recovery to prevent climate-health system chaos
Part 3: No quick fixes: Defining a new normal that is pandemic-ready and climate-resilient
You may also want to check the PhilCCA Sectoral Snapshot on Human Health which underscores how the changing climate affects human health.