Seeking sustainability: A synthesis of research in SANREM CRSP-Southeast Asia, 1993-98


I. Coxhead; G. Buenavista

Type of Document:
Scholarly Article


Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
Los Banos, Philippines


Addressing site selection criteria, the NRC panel had emphasized the need to identify and work in sites that are representative of a broad crosssection of ecological conditions, and stressed that research must be responsive to local constraints and concerns&a learning process must take place, not only at the scientific level, but at the policy level, in the host country’s capital (NRC 1991: 45). The SANREM partners identified the southern Philippines as broadly representative of upland agricultural conditions in the humid tropics, and as displaying common forms of environmental stress associated with unchecked resource exploitation. From the set of feasible sites, the Municipality of Lantapan in Bukidnon province, Northern Mindanao was chosen for a variety of reasons relating to the landscape-based approach to SANREM research.

From a policy point of view, the timing of SANREM’s inauguration in the Philippines was propitious. It followed by just a few months the establishment, by presidential decree, of the Philippine Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). The decree, issued in September 1992, followed the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit by just three months. One of the major tasks with which the PCSD was charged was that of converting the global Agenda 21 document into a set of specific analyses and

recommendations for action in the Philippines (subsequently published as PCSD 1997). Thus a project emphasizing sustainable development in agriculture, a key sector of the Philippine economy, was welcomed at the national level as expressing Goals consistent with the thrust of national policy.

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