by OPI

Dr. Alita T. Roxas, faculty member of the Department of Economics, College of BusinessAdministration and Accountancy, presented her paper entitled Commodification of Forest Resources and Food Security in the Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park, an Upland Protected Area in the Philippines” at the17th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management (ISSRM). The symposium was held at the Hotel Le Méridien in Sabah, Malaysia last June 13-17, 2011.

Dr. Alita Roxas at Sabah Malaysia

The ISSRM is the annual meeting of the International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR), an interdisciplinary international association with members from the natural and social science professions who research on environment and natural resource issues.The meeting usually held in the USA, Canada, or in Europe, met this year for the first time in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and in Madison, Wisconsin to encourage broader participation.

The Universiti Malaysia Sabah hosted this year’s assembly, while the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosted the symposium in America.

Presenting this year’s theme, “Natural Resources Development and Conservation:Negotiating Boundaries, Knowledge and Power,” the meeting was participated in by about 200 academic and government researchers, graduate students, and NGO and government agency representatives from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and Asia. The Philippine representative presented papers and posters on issues in the human dimensions of natural resources and the environment.

Roxas’ paper discussed the results of an MSU-IIT-funded research on food security in the core and buffer zone of the Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park conducted in 2009-2010.The paper traced the effects of commodification – or the processes through which natural resources, previously for subsistence, and social relations, formerly untainted by commerce, are transformed into commodities for buying and selling – on environmental degradation and how commodification, in turn, affects food security.

Climate change, carbon reduction, natural disaster preparedness, indigenous people and sustainable management, landscape and land use planning, and tourism in protected parks were the subjects presented in the papers and posters in the general sessions. The organized sessions discussed the oil palm industry in Sabah, the role of politics, economics and ICT in climate change adaptation behavior and a proposal on a unifying framework for understanding and evaluating natural resource negotiation and decision situations.

A panel session on Ethics as First Method of Research discussed “how adopting an approach of ethics as first method might shape research practice, social theory, and researcher accountability.”

A panel session on the powers of inclusion, meanwhile, argued that the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the planning and implementation of the State’s overall development is not only a human right issue but is also beneficial and critical for the State.

Roxas also read papers in the ISSRM 2005 and 2006 meets and is a member of the IASNR.

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