Participants of FEPP Regional Consultation and Workshop in Mindanao with the FEPP Cluster Heads, Resource Speakers, NS Dr. Lourdes Cruz and DOST-NRCP Director Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay

“Are we the inheritors of the earth?”

Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay, DOST-NRCP Director asked this striking question during her opening speech at the Future Earth Philippines Program (FEPP) Regional Consultation and Workshop – Mindanao in Davao City last 29-30 July 2019.

DOST-NRCP Director Dr. Marieta Bañez Sumagaysay delivering her opening remarks.

This is the second of the three regional consultation workshops arranged by the FEPP Core Team, led by National Scientist Dr. Lourdes Cruz, to introduce the FEPP initiative to local stakeholders, and uphold partnerships to produce inclusive researches in addressing sustainability issues of the country.

(Photos from top to bottom) FEPP Project Leader Dr. Lourdes Cruz, DOST XI Director Dr. Anthony Sales, and DOST XII Director Dr. Zanaida Hadji-Raof Laidan serves as resource speakers of the consultation and workshop.

During the event, FEPP Cluster leaders presented their Knowledge-to-Action Project proposals. These proposals were developed to attain the different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) prioritized by the particular cluster. In addition, different agencies and universities in Mindanao discussed sustainability researches and projects conducted in the different areas and communities of Mindanao. These agencies include DOST XI, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Central Mindanao University, Ateneo de Davao University, and the National Security Council.

The participants, coming from different sectors – academe, industry, civil society and government, were also able to identify priority sustainability issues of their own communities and conceptualize research-based solutions to address these, as guided by the FEPP Cluster leaders during the workshops.


(Photos from top to bottom) Participants identifying issues and conceptualizing solutions during the workshop proper.

One highlight of the event was the launching of FEPP Mindanao, a cluster-focused collaboration among different agencies as represented by DOST XI Director Dr. Anthony Sales, DOST XII Director Dr. Zenaida Hadji-Raof Laidan, MinDA Acting Secretary Atty. Nathaniel Dalumpines, and Governing Council of Lumad Mindanao People’s Federation Chairperson Datu Jimid Mansayagan. All participants signified their commitment in the said program by marking the map of Mindanao with different colors, as equivalent to the different Sustainable Development Goals they wish to prioritize in their chosen areas.

Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte also visited the event to express his support to the FEPP initiative, saying that Davao City Local Government will always be behind projects pertaining to the attainment of a better future.


(Photos from top to bottom) The Launching of FEPP Mindanao. Participants mark their priority areas and communities in Mindanao with their chosen priority SDGs. Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte also signifies his commitment to FEPP Mindanao by leaving his mark in the FEPP Mindanao Map.

Dr. Sumagaysay answered her opening question “Are we the inheritors of the earth?” with a quote from an American proverb, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” Furthermore, she stated, “We therefore have a moral obligation to take care of this planet. Sometimes, I am tempted to think that the way we live on this planet today is like as if we have another planet to go,” an urgent concern she challenged the participants with, for the future earth.

(FEPP is implemented by the National Research Council of the Philippines, in collaboration with the National Academy of Science and Technology. For more information about the Future Earth Philippines Program, visit