UP, Toyota team up for biodiversity

| Written by Arlyn VCD Palisoc Romualdo

UP and Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation, Inc. (TMPF) seal their memorandum of understanding with a handshake by their respective leaders, TMPF President David Go (third from left) and UP President Danilo Concepcion (fourth from left). With them are, from left, TMPF Assistant Vice President and Operations Manager Ronald Gaspar, TMP First Vice President and Environment Director Jose Maria Aligada, UP Vice President for Development Elvira Zamora, and Dr. Aletta Yñiguez of the UP Diliman Marine Science Institute, committee chair of the UP Puerto Galera Project. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


The University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Toyota Motor Philippines Foundation, Inc. (TMPF) on January 24 at the Toyota Special Economic Zone in Santa Rosa, Laguna for the development of the Puerto Galera Biodiversity and Environmental Research Outreach Center in Occidental Mindoro.

TMPF donated to UP a check in the amount of PhP630,000 immediately after the signing ceremony.


Dr. Aletta Yñiguez gives a background on the UP Puerto Galera Biodiversity and Environmental Research Outreach Center in Occidental Mindoro. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


In a presentation by Dr. Aletta Yñiguez, the committee chair of the project, she said that the Center was envisioned to be a “world-class research and outreach facility showcasing the Philippines’ remarkable biodiversity.” The Center aims to enable “transdisciplinary and synergistic collaboration between experts across UP campuses as well as local and foreign researchers and practitioners.”


TMPF President David Go reveals that the partnership for Puerto Galera is only one of Toyota’s many partnerships with the University. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


TMPF President David Go, in his welcome remarks, revealed that the Foundation’s partnership with UP was in line with the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, particularly on the “establishment of a future society that is in harmony with nature.” He further stated that Toyota “would like to share our business practices and facilities with UP as extension of [its] laboratories.”


UP President Danilo Concepcion says climate change and human activity continue to make a dent on the environment’s health. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)


In his message, UP President Danilo Concepcion said that the earliest record of the University’s research interest in Puerto Galera dated back to 1912, during the term of UP’s first president, Murray Bartlett. Puerto Galera was designated by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 1977 and with TMPF’s support, Concepcion added that “UP can help ensure the biosphere reserve’s continued health.”