Science and Technology Innovation Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies

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Science and Technology Innovation Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies
I. Introduction
There are increasing efforts in both political practices and academic researches to seek for sustainable development. With these efforts, trans-cultural dialogue, community engagement, and interdisciplinary collaboration have been revealed important to enhance human capacity in dealing with environmental issues. By establishing an innovation center in Ifugao State University, Philippines, this project aims to form the collaboration between Taiwan, Southeast Asia and international academic communities to explore indigenous knowledge, local Knowledge and devote to Sustainable Studies.
In National Chengchi University, the collaboration will include the Office of Social Practice, the Department of Ethnology, and the Center of Southeast Asia Studies. Internationally, the collaboration will include Ifugao State University in Philippines, the Department of Anthropology in the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Center of Southeast Asia Studies in the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the United States. With the three approaches of “social ecology”, “development application”, and “regional networking”, this innovation center will engage with the social practices in Taiwan and Philippines indigenous communities, and play a role of pioneer in the trans-cultural, community engaged, and interdisciplinary Sustainable Studies.
II. Highlights
In order to discuss the collaboration and research work, the Principal of IFSU, Eva Marie Dugyon, the Dean of Student Affairs, Manuel III Malingan, the Chief of International Affairs and Exchange, Richard Baliao, and the Executive Director of GIAHS Center, Eulalie Dulnuan visited NCCU on February 19.
On the afternoon of that day, the principals of the two universities and the school scholars of both sides discussed the collaboration on the innovation center and inter-school collaboration.
During the meeting, President Kuo of NCCU proposed an “Erasmus Programme” model, hoping to establish a multi-school collaboration master degree program of Indigenous studies. He also hopes to start a summer school of indigenous studies in next summer with IFSU. The president of the IFSU gave a very positive response to the collaboration between the two universities, and promised that the university will be provide the space of the innovation center office. The two universities also decided to set up the office of innovation center in Ifugao University in July this year, and IFSU president invited President Kuo to go to the Philippines to participate in the opening ceremony of the office during this summer.
The scholars of the two universities also discussed the research direction of the innovation center during the conference. During the discussion, both sides discovered the similarities between Taiwan and the Philippines. For instances, located in typhoon-prone areas, the two countries share similar experience and are both faced with natural resources and disaster management issues. Historically, they have been governed and penetrated by foreign countries and now commit themselves to the decolonization work. In addition, both universities dedicate themselves to the collaboration with local community and the exchange with international institutes.
The Innovation Center is going to hold an International Workshop in NCCU in May this year. The workshop will focus on “cultural ecology”, “environmental management” and “development studies”. The discussions between the two universities will enrich the workshop in May, the both sides are looking forward to the exchanges between Taiwan and the Philippines in research and local communities collaboration.
Memorandum of Understanding between National Chengchi University and Ifugao State University, the Philippines and University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, USA
On May 25, 2019, the National Chengchi University (NCCU), the Ifugao State University (IFSU), and the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM) formally sealed its partnership in the “Environment and Social System: Historical Ecology in a Dynamic World” workshop organized by the Taiwan-Philippines Science and Technology Innovation Center (CTPILS), a newly established center tasked in collaborating with international universities to strengthen indigenous knowledge and sustainable development research and practice in Taiwan and other countries. After the signing of MoUs, NCCU establish a collaboration partnership between three countries (Taiwan, the Philippines and the United states) and four universities (NCCU, IFSU, UHM, UCLA) based on the platform of Taiwan-Philippines Science and Technology Innovation Center (CTPILS).
The workshop commenced with NCCU President Ming-Cheng Kuo and IFSU President Eva Marie Codamon-Dugyon signing an MoU between NCCU and IFSU. The primary goal of the partnership is to enhance academic exchanges and research collaboration, through the Taiwan-Philippines Science and Technology Innovation Center, between the two universities.
The ceremony also saw the exchanging of an MoU between Dr. Kuo and Dr. Miriam Stark, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the UHM to strengthen NCCU and UHM’s academic exchanges (i.e., student and faculty) and research collaboration.
NCCU’s partnership with IFSU, UHM, and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is based on the university’s longstanding dedication to be at the helm of Southeast Asian and Indigenous studies in the region. In its pursuit of this goal, NCCU established several centers, namely, the Center for Aboriginal Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), and CTPILS in 1999, 2016, and 2018, respectively.
IFSU, which was established in 1920, has a depth of research expertise in indigenous knowledge and the Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1995. The state university also has partnerships with Kanazawa University and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO).
Meanwhile, UHM possesses considerable experience in Southeast Asian and indigenous studies, as its Hawai’ian Institute of Knowledge (Hawai'inuiākea School of Hawai’ian Knowledge) is considered to be a one of the prominent local knowledge accumulation databases in the region. NCCU hopes to foster ties with the aforementioned universities, especially in indigenous studies in Southeast Asia.
The MoU ceremony is the result of the long-term collaboration internationally and the connections with international institutes. The workshop of the Taiwan-Philippines Innovation Center also brought the institutes which focuses on indigenous/local knowledge studies all together in NCCU. In addition to the representatives from IFSU and UHM, delegates from the UCLA, University of the Philippines Diliman, Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, and NCCU’s Department of Ethnology were present to witness the ceremony.
The climax of the ceremony is that with the newly signed MoU together with the MoU between the department of Ethnology, NCCU, and Anthropology, UCLA, which is signed in 2017, the partnerships represents the network of three countries-four universities, and declare their mutual determination to promote more exchanges and cooperation in the future.
CTPILS held a successful two-day workshop entitled "Environment and Social Systems: Historical and Ecological Workshops in a Dynamic World"
Last year, the National Chengchi University (NCCU) established the Science and Technology Innovation Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous knowledge, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies (CTPILS). Through research and academic collaboration, CTPILS aims to provide a platform for four universities, namely, NCCU, Ifugao State University (IFSU), University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM), and University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), to jointly work in looking for solutions to common problems confronting the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, the Philippines, and the Pacific Islands.
In pursuit of its goal of providing the four universities a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange, the Center organized a workshop entitled "Environment and Social System: Historical Ecological Workshop in a Dynamic World.” Held last May 25 and 26 at the College of Education Auditorium, the workshop, which comprised panel discussions and keynote lectures, saw various experts, scholars, and indigenous community members from Taiwan, the Philippines, and the United States sharing valuable expertise and experience.
The first day of the workshop began with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NCCU and IFSU and formalization of collaboration between NCCU and UHM. Following this, Dr. Nancy Ann Gonzales, IFSU’s Vice President for Research, Extension, and Development, gave a speech on how the University collaborates with the Ifugaos and incorporates the latter’s indigenous knowledge and insights into their school’s academic programs.
On the same day, Mr. Marlon Martin of the Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), a non-governmental organization that pushes for autonomy and interventions that preserve traditional agricultural and indigenous knowledge in the province, provided the workshop’s first keynote lecture. He presented an overview of the Ifugao province and people, covering topics related to their language, geography, knowledge and belief systems, cultural practices, and governance systems. Moreover, Martin shared the issues facing the Ifugaos, such as disappearing knowledge systems due to social and environmental changes brought upon by modernization and globalization.
Subsequently, Dr. Francisco Datar of the University of the Philippines at Diliman also gave a keynote lecture on how globalization and market economy have affected the traditional rural island communities in the Philippines. Drawing on his experience in Bataan, Behia, and Oson, he discussed that, while economic changes can be beneficial in the short run, the process can also harm traditional societies in the long term (e.g., ethnocide, outmigration). Prof. Datar asserted that communities have started coping with these inevitable changes, leading, possibly, to the creation of new culture he termed as ethnogenesis.
The workshop also featured three panel discussions: (1) Environment, Climate Change and Current State of Ecological Research in the Philippines and Taiwan; (2) Community and Practice: The View from the Ground; and (3) Regional Environmental Management.
In the first panel discussion, scholars from Hawai’i, Taiwan, and the Philippines covered topics ranging from water rights, water governance, and indigenous knowledge. The second panel discussion, on the other hand, saw presentations from indigenous weavers from Ifugao, Philippines, and Wulai, Taiwan. The third panel featured the talks of scholars and community leaders from the Philippines and Taiwan; they highlighted the utmost need to incorporate indigenous knowledge and practice into methodologies, educational, curriculum, policies, and governance system.
The participants of the workshop also learned about the issues, problems, and challenges confronting the indigenous communities in Taiwan and the Philippines, which can only be solved, according to the discussants, if people will unite their efforts in pushing for meaningful legal protections people and sustaining knowledge, culture, and traditions of the indigenous people. In this light, the organizers manifested that the potential solutions to the problems facing indigenous people can be crafted and realized through increased collaboration and discussions amongst the partner universities and stakeholders.
III. Related Links
  1. The Fan Page of CTPILS