Genetics Camp 2017: Marking A New Goal for Sustainable Development

By Jerard Monge (Riboswitch)

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA – Hosted by The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc), co-organized by Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems and co-presented by 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines, Genetics Camp 2017 was held last March 3 to 5 at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UP CFNR).

With the theme “Sustaining the Indi-GENEous: Amplifying Forest Genetics for Glocal Climate Change Resiliency,” GeneSoc brought together young scientists, innovators and environmentalists on the 12th installment of Genetics Camp. This year, GeneSoc, furthered its aim of promoting the creative appreciation of genetics by introducing two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 15, Life on Land, during the camp.

Timely and relevant talks by environmental advocates and scientists at the top of their field highlighted this year’s Genetics Camp. Among the speakers during the 3-day event were highly revered UP CFNR professors including Dr. Lerma S.J. Maldia, Dr. Enrique L. Tolentino and Dr. Wilfredo Carandang. Joining them is the Executive Director of the Young Environmental Forum, Engr. Ludwig O. Federigan. Ten different schools from various parts of the Philippines competed in a number of individual and group competitions such as the Inter-High School Genetics Quiz Contest, Essay Writing Contest, Poster-Slogan Making Contest, Advocacy Speech, Debate and the new addition for this year’s contests, the Search for the Young Geneticist of the Year.

Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus bested the ten competing schools, copping their 4th consecutive overall championship title since 2014, followed by Philippine Science High School Bicol Region Campus and University of Santo Tomas Senior High School, earning their place as the 2nd and 3rd overall winners, respectively, of Genetics Camp 2017. Bernabe Angel D. Salazar from Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus was selected as the Young Geneticist of the Year. The search is an effort of GeneSoc in sustaining the goals of the camp by selecting delegates who could best represent and lead the activities for the greater appreciation of genetics in their schools.

Apart from the individual and group competitions, the participants, together with their teachers, also had a chance to make new friends with unforgettable activities such as the Cultural Festival, Search for Mr. and Ms. Genetics Camp 2017 and Amazing Race to the Forest. The participants also brought home newfound knowledge and skills from the Capacity Building organized by the 2030 Youth Force of the Philippines and from tours at the Museum of Natural History, Makiling Botanic Gardens and the CFNR Forest Genetics Lab. The new and innovative activities for this year’s Genetics Camp were powered by the Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST – PCAARRD). 

Genetics Camp 2017 would like to thank the Philippine Council for Agriculture (PCC), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR – ERDB) and the event’s advocacy partner, Detox Pilipinas. The national event would also like to extend its gratitude to Asshulz and Pinoy Catalyst for their media coverage.#

For the complete list of winners, visit our website.