Ateneo Institute of Sustainability at the Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Philippines
SDSN Philippines engages higher education institutions in promoting and achieving the SDGs, as well as connecting the needs of business groups and other stakeholders with actions and solutions that advance sustainable development in the country.
SDSN Philippines Solutions Forum
SDSN Philippines organized its first Solutions Forum on February 28, 2020, at the Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. Modelled after the Global Solutions Forum, which brought together some of the best solutions from the SDSN networks around the world, the Philippines Solutions Forum highlighted key challenges, gaps, and solutions initiatives of various member universities and partner institutions. Through short presentations that showcased projects, programs, and partnerships designed to achieve the SDGs, the event sparked discussion, action, and collaboration.
Nine solutions were presented during the Forum, including from member-universities (Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Manila, De La Salle University Manila, Far Eastern University, Mapua University, the Philippine School of Business Administration), from partner organizations (Alyansa Agrikultura, an alliance of farmers and fishing communities, Philippine Business for Social Progress) and from the SDSN PH Youth Network.
The solutions presented by the member universities included a framework for partnerships for sustainable development among businesses, academia and local communities in Davao and Cotabato cities, two major cities in the southern island region of Mindanao (Ateneo de Davao University), sustainable transportation solutions in five cities and municipalities in the country (De La Salle University), and partnerships for strengthening capacities of local governments to address climate change (Ateneo de Manila University and the Philippine School for Business Administration). Other solutions focused on water, including improving water quality in the Laguna Lake, one of the major freshwater lakes in the country, (Mapua University), addressing agricultural challenges in the country (Alyansa Agrikultura), and increasing water access among poor communities (Philippine Business for Social Progress). Finally, SDSN PH Youth presented its initiative on addressing reproductive health and livelihood concerns.
The members agreed that the forum had allowed them to understand how universities could address the sustainable development challenges.
Strengthening Networking in Sustainable Development
The network continued its work towards strengthening the linkages between member universities, local businesses, and local communities in sustainable development, which is a project supported by the German Development Agency (GIZ). The project has so far hosted eight workshops around the country, including in major cities such as Quezon City, Davao, Zamboanga and Cotabato, and also in the provinces of Laguna and Batangas. Using the clusters framework provided by the UN Development Program Philippines, the Business for Sustainable Development, and the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability, the 17 SDGs were organized into five areas for policy and program interventions: Natural Capital, Food Systems, Social Services, Livable Communities, and Ethics and Governance.
The network plans to develop training materials and publications that will help other universities map their SDG partnerships with their local businesses and communities-at-large.