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MSU-IIT's CASS, HHI to explore climate, conflict impacts in BARMM

ILIGAN CITY (PIA)--The College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS) of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), in collaboration with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (CASS), organized a workshop to enhance understanding of the climate, conflict, and environmental impacts in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and develop strategies to address these concerns while promoting peace, security, and environmental initiatives.

Bringing together a multidisciplinary group of more than 30 scholars, practitioners, and policymakers, the workshop served as a platform for diverse perspectives to converge and identify common ground on issues related to climate change, environmental degradation, and conflict impacts in the BARMM.

The participants, representing international and local non-governmental organizations as well as renowned international and Mindanao academic institutions, collaborated to develop effective strategies that address these concerns and support future initiatives.

Dr. Vincenzo Bolletino, Director of the Resilient Communities Program at the HHI, said the workshop aims to foster collaboration and build a community among multidisciplinary actors, enabling them to work together to address challenges in the long term, and generate valuable information to guide future actions and initiatives.

"We wanted to convene a multidisciplinary group so that they know one another and they can think about how they want to work together and what options they have so that we build a community in practice that addresses these challenges over the long term.  The second output is to identify research gaps—gaps in our knowledge—so that we can identify the question that we need to be asking to think about issues we know about," he said.

Meanwhile, Sittie Noffaisah Pasandalan, the project leader of the workshop and assistant dean of CASS, said as a leading academic institution in Mindanao, MSU-IIT can collaborate and connect with local and international non-governmental organizations and academia to provide a space for open discussions where concerns and issues can be addressed.

"The very special outcome that we hope to achieve is that we can go into creating programs for the creation of BARMM’s resilience, especially in addressing climate change and conflict, as well as looking into further studies that could disseminate or share more about our realities from the ground," she said.

Professor Tirmizy Abdullah, coordinator for Peace Research at the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao and a participant from MSU-Main Campus, expressed hope that the workshop would provide more ideas and inspiration for those in attendance to take steps towards addressing climate change.

"I hope this workshop will yung makakapagbigay siya ng more ideas more inspiration for those who are here, to take some steps on climate change, dun ko tinitingnan na sana may mga ma-isip na mga idea on legislation, on policy intervention, particularly sa BARMM on climate change," he said.

(I hope this workshop will be able to provide more ideas and inspiration for those who are here to take some steps on climate change. I hope there are ideas on legislation and policy intervention, particularly in BARMM on climate change). (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

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