The article below is a speech delivered by my student Ms. Hazel Peňaranda who graduated summa cum laude during the 54th Commencement Exercises at Batangas State University JPLPC-Malvar Campus on August 15, 2022. I wish this brings inspiration and motivation to all students and parents—RMS

A Message of Gratitude

Let me start this message of gratitude with the famous line from a famous writer, Robin Sharma, “What makes a champion is not how elegantly you start, but how strongly you finish”.

Inspired by this thought, I would like first to extend a warm welcome to all distinguished men and women of this University: to our President, Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo; Vice Presidents; Campus Chancellors and Directors, Dr. Philip Y. Del Rosario; Vice-Chancellors; Deans; esteemed guest speaker, the Director of the Commission on Higher Education, Region IV, Dr. Amelia A. Biglete; teaching and non-teaching personnel; all proud parents; friends; ladies, and gentlemen. We are now commemorating an important milestone in our lives. We are now reaping the fruits of our labor.

Fellow graduates, perhaps, most of you had already heard the lines, “Nakapasa yan kasi online, Naka graduate kasi online, naging dean’s lister kasi online”. Do these lines sound intriguing? Do you think that taking an online course made life easier for you? I suppose they are not. When I was reminiscing on how my life had come to this point, napasabi na lang ako na, “Ang dami na palang nagpabago at nabago”. From being a whimpering child who doesn’t want to attend school, who consistently received a straight line of seven on the class card, who occasionally skipped class every time there was a recitation on multiplication, I morphed into a more competitive person.

As we entered college, most of us assumed that life would be simpler since we had completed the k-12 curriculum education. We were even more excited when somebody said that a small bag with only one pen and notebook would be enough. We’ve also heard that we are free to go if we want and not take our studies seriously because we’ve grown up and are capable of studying on our own. But we realized that we had been fooled as we see how tricky the college journey was. During our freshman year, most of us were almost ready to shift our chosen profession. It’s depressing and grueling since we thought we had determined the easiest path, but it’s not. Some of us were constantly wishing for days to pass quickly so that we could not feel pressured in our studies. In all aspects- physical, mental, social, and emotional – were affected. As time went on, we realized that college life would not only be about academics but also about extracurriculars. We gradually became aware of our various capacities. Some of us took pleasure in our chosen profession, particularly as we started taking part in different associated course activities and competitions: for Accountants, the bookkeeping and financial statement; for Marketers, the sales presentations; for financial analysts, being involved in the stock market; for Hoteliers, to join in several cooking competitions; for Criminologist, the disaster and case analysis; and for Psychologist, the consultation and collaboration. Also, some of us enjoyed our careers while we served our fellow students by being an officer of different organizations. Thus, we concluded that we had made the proper decision since we were not the only ones who saw our capability but even other people around us.

But who could have predicted that our lives would alter from brighter to worse due to unforeseen circumstances? The sudden eruption of the well-known Taal Volcano gave us cause for concern, fear, and anxiety that not only one’s livelihood but also one’s health and even one’s most cherished goals could be destroyed in a nick of time. We also mistakenly believed that the volcanic explosion would be the most terrifying experience we ever had, but a deadly virus spreading around the globe caused total downfall. Some parents lost their jobs, and many businesses had to close. Even our long-term reserves were depleted, so we truly struggled with our everyday expenses. Moreover, we went through a very challenging educational system.

Indeed, we had different battles to be won. But we must still be grateful that for every tear, silent scream, suffering, pain, and sleepless nights brought by the catastrophe, these all made us whole. Despite all the disastrous phenomena, we’re here together to celebrate our special days. It’s absolutely amazing to realize how God works in mysterious ways. Things didn’t just happen by chance. God allowed everything to happen for a reason.

I came from an indigent family, but the condition never hindered me to achieve my dreams. I did a part-time each school break. I had to earn to supplement my expenses in education. I grabbed opportunities like attending TESDA seminars and training for self-improvement and allowances. I accepted extra jobs such as thesis writing, business planning, and other class reports as pluses to my income. Today, I feel so fulfilled, so proud that I graduated with honors. To this, I share with you my struggles and triumph.

Being a pioneer of k-12 education, I had to conquer the fear of volcanic eruptions, combat the pandemic, and overcome the difficulty of learning online. We all been through a difficult journey because we invested time, and effort, and endured sacrifices. We made ourselves tougher when things get tough for us. We are now confident because we have been trained and prepared to face the real competitive world. Hence, we should not see ourselves as Government’s experiments but rather transformed and equipped individuals who belong to the Government’s ambition of Expanding Mandates for National Competitiveness and Sustainable Development.

To our Alma Mater, we are appreciative that we found a lot of people who have challenged and brought out the best in us. Huge thanks to all of our college Deans, professors, instructors, lecturers, classmates, and friends who have shown all support and inspiration. To Batangas State University which is now The National Engineering University, we are forever grateful for bringing us on this journey of acquiring knowledge, competence, and good moral values.

To all the parents, present and not present today, we want you to know that we are so proud of you. You are one of the reasons why there are new Accountants, Marketers, Financial Analysts, Hoteliers, Criminologists, and Psychologists right here right now. I’ll now take this opportunity to ask all of the graduates to stand.

Fellow graduates, it’s time for us to pay tribute to our parents. Let us all clap loudly and with pride for our parents. Thank you, you may now take a seat. To my parents, I know how difficult to raise seven children, but I’m not sure what power you have to provide everything we need. I am pleased to have been nurtured and taught by a vendor and a maintenance worker who occasionally borrowed money just to meet both ends. To Ate, thank you for helping me with everything, especially during my hard times exploring. My and Dy, without your guidance and sacrifices, I will miss this chance to stand here and inspire the crowd. Now, ate and I were already graduates. I can’t promise anything, but one thing is certain: I will do all in my power to repay you for your sacrifices.

Above all, I would love to thank God. We couldn’t believe we could surmount all our fears and the roller coaster of tensions that society had thrown at us. For a hundred times we were supposed to give up, he humbly reach our hand to stand. Mark 11:24 attested, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”, an inspiring verse that we must still hold and embrace, with God, nothing is really impossible. We must consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have a God who has always sent people that helped us grow not just physically but also spiritually, and God who always listens, and speaks through our prayers. Lord, you have our utmost honor and glory.

As we close this chapter, remember, Online class is not just Online but #HonedLine, OwnLine, and JuanLine. We are not just Online but #HonedLine because we have sharpened and refined over the period of time. We are not just Online but we created our OwnLine. We are not just Online but we are the JuanLine.

Sa haba ng ating nilakaran, iisa lang ang ating pinatunguhan, ito ang pila na pinaka aasam. Batuhin man tayo ng iba’t ibang komento, manatili tayong taas noo sapagkat tayo ay nahasa at napino. Saan mang larangan tayo ihanay, mapaface-to-face o online, ito ay ating mapagtatagumpayan sapagkat tayo ay tatak Red Spartan. Maligayang Pagtatapos, Mabuhay!

Burning Passion

by Ronel M. Sapungan

Passion never dies; it either just hibernates or lies dormant for some time.

True indeed, for a couple of years, my desire to write academic, inspirational, and principle-laden reflective essays for books and the newspapers had taken its decisive break.

You may call it, a writer’s hibernation. Well, I would like it to be labelled, a writer’s latency.

I never thought that writing would totally rest and later expire like a dying amber. I was oblivious that I had not noticed the torch of fire was almost exhausted. It was like a flame of burning bush unnoticeably turned into a spit of fire in a thick dark night. 

After a short self-reflection and contemplation, the Holy Ghost who blessed me and morphed me into a good and effective communicator, had awakened the dormant writer in me. The flame of fire had been breathed that warmed the focolare in my heart until it became a conflagration, red-hot, sweltering, scorching…an unexplainable Chernobyl-like explosion,,,.its power is incredible…its impact is unbelievable.   

As I sat down and conceptualized a topic for this column, I could feel the spark that made me realize how valuable my passion to writing is. The moment my fingers hit a few letters on my laptop keyboard, I sensed how profound writing that rooted into my heart and soul is. After each beautiful phrases that flowed down from my head to the keyboard, I had recalled the wonderful fruits of my love for writing and how it has affected my whole life and the avid readers of my crafts.

The articles that I write for the newspaper column and the stories and reflections that I publish in my books have made me appreciate my passion and love for writing.

God’s special gift. Writing is a wonderful gift. It is as beautiful and vital as the air I breathe and the borrowed life I live. It is a wonderful gift that God has given me. I cannot imagine how truly blessed I am for being one of a few chosen people with a knack for writing. The pieces of literature that I wrote such as poems, song lyrics, prayers, speeches, forewords, news articles, newspaper column, researches, and books are all offshoots of this special gift called writing.  The published and unpublished works have already inspired so many people. These all have made my entire family and good friends happy and proud. All are brilliant manifestations of God’s power and generosity which I truly appreciate.   

A gesture of generosity. I strongly believe in the power of generosity. I fully understand that writing is an incredible manifestation God’s kindness to human beings. It is so powerful that I can put words together, combine fragments and phrases, and organize sentences and paragraphs to convey the message with sense and purpose. I am still amazed until now that I can write reflective essays and column articles for the newspaper and magazine, researches for the journals, and stories and reflections for books to motivate and stir people to do something good for humanity.

A legacy to humanity. I was not a born writer, I am made. The urge to write started when I was in college. I was fortunate to land a position as a literary editor of the collegiate campus paper. The burning desire to put the thoughts and emotions in print had been intensified when I became a high school paper adviser. It was fortified by the awards and the elite experiences in the national press conferences here and abroad. The passion for writing continued until I became an adviser of an international university publication in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I have written seven books and modules for university-wide use. My textbook on foreign language has already been sold in the National Book Store nationwide and used by many senior high schools, colleges, and universities in the country and abroad. My self-help and inspirational books have already earned good reputations in the Book Writers Community. My recognition and certification as a bona fide writer by the National Library recently became a remarkable stamp of being a writer and a book author. I am now the editor in chief of Conocimiento, a research journal of the College of Accountancy, Business, Economics and International Hospitality Management of Batangas State University-JPLPC Malvar campus. All of these accomplishments and wealthy experiences as a writer along with my recent research publications in peer-reviewed and Scopus-indexed journals are my legacy to my family, to the academe, and to humanity.

Inspired by these thoughts, I would like to consider this first online article as my humble gift to you my precious readers.

The plethora of wealthy thoughts and oodles of inspiration that have been poured instinctively unto me every waking hour is a culmination of my dream and aspiration for you.

It’s a good comeback though. I want to re-state and relive my goals as a writer: To share the love and passion for writing (specially for budding writers), to bring inspiration and motivation to the people of various ages with different beliefs, and promote my advocacy of Giving Back, a worth-emulating culture for all. 

To my fellow writers and everybody whose talent is at dormant state, wake up, rise up from solitude and desperation, lit your torch, let its flame burst and fiery, and keep the warmth of passion transcends to inspire, motivate, and love.

Let this God’s wonderful gift and its fruits become superb manifestations of our passion, a gesture of generosity, and a legacy to humanity.    

Believe in the power of love and passion. Despite uncontrollable circumstances, the desire to pen down succinct pieces of literature and love for your special talent should remain burning, through time and distance, the love and desire for it never ends.

Life-giving Biodiversity

by Rolando A. Inciong

            Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth – from the smallest organisms to the largest mammals; the different species of plants, trees, fishes; and the places where they live which we call ecosystems.

            The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that fish provide 20 percent of animal protein to about three billion people. “Over 80 percent of the human diet is provided by plants. As many as 80 percent of people living in rural areas in developing countries rely on traditional plant‐based medicines for basic healthcare.”

            Aside from food, we continue to depend on nature, especially for our basic needs such as water, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter, energy, construction materials, and defense against climate change and pollution.

            Unfortunately, Earth is losing its biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity said that the loss of biodiversity threatens all, including our health. Three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66 percent of the marine environment have been significantly altered by irresponsible human activities. One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.

            It has been proven that biodiversity loss could expand zoonoses — diseases transmitted from animals to humans. If we keep biodiversity intact, it offers excellent tools to fight against pandemics like those caused by coronaviruses.

            Given the importance of public education and awareness about the dangers of biodiversity loss, the UN is encouraging governments to promote understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

            We need to learn about the importance of healthy species and their ecosystems and how we can protect and conserve them. While irresponsible human activities contribute to the problem of biodiversity loss, We, humans, are also the solution. Let us all be responsible and take care of our mother nature and its life-giving biodiversity.

The Levistes of Batangas 103 years in Public Service

by Derrick Manas

The 4th and 5th Generation of the Levistes in public service – Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste and his son, Vice Mayor Ronin Leviste of Lian,Batangas.

It all started in 1919, around 103 years ago when Don Gregorio Leviste became the first Mayor of Malvar, Batangas followed by Don Julio Leviste who was elected Mayor in 1926.

Don Julio Leviste’s son, Feliciano “Sanoy” Leviste was elected Governor in 1947 and stepped down in 1971, undefeated in 6 elections, the longest in Batangas history for 24 years.

The son of Governor Sanoy Leviste became Congressman in 1967 and Assemblyman in 1978, Cong. Expedito Malvar Leviste, whose mother Aurelia Malvar, was the eldest daughter of General Miguel Malvar.

The nephew of Governor Sanoy Leviste was elected Vice Governor in 1971. After the early demise of Governor Antonio Carpio in February 1971, he became the undisputed Governor of Batangas until 1981 – Gov. Tony Leviste, son of Don Lauro Panganiban Leviste, a brother of Governor Sanoy Leviste.

In 1971, another nephew of Governor Sanoy Leviste named Dr. Jose “Joey” Leviste Jr was elected Con-Con delegate including a cousin, Oscar Leviste. Dr. Joey Leviste’s brother became Provincial Board Member in 1988 until 1995 –Mario “Sanny” Leviste. They are the sons of Dr. Jose Leviste Sr, younger brother of Governor Sanoy Leviste.

In 2004, a grandson of Don Lauro Leviste and  a son of Mr. Conrad Leviste, former Chairman of the Bureau of Investments (BOI) was elected Board Member, and in 2007 became the youngest Vice Governor at the age of 29 — Vice Governor Mark Leviste.

Vice Governor Mark Leviste made a comeback in 2019 and is now on his unprecedented 5th term as Vice Governor of Batangas province at the age of only 44.

Recently, the Vice Governor’s eldest son won as Vice Mayor of Lian, Batangas – Ronin Leviste. At the age of 23, perhaps he is the youngest Vice Mayor in Batangas history.

Rainforests: Sustaining Life on Earth

by Rolando Inciong

Last June 22, the international community observed World Rainforest Day, an occasion to increase public awareness on rainforests and encourage people to protect them. The Rainforest Alliance Organization (RAO) defines a rainforest as a tropical woodland with an annual rainfall of at least 100 inches and marked by lofty broad-leaved evergreen trees forming a continuous canopy.

Rainforests cover less than 3 percent of the planet. They serve as home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem. They are essential to life on Earth as they provide air, water, medicine, food, and shelter to a multitude of living beings. Rainforests also protect humans against climate change as they absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The RAO added that rainforests are also home to insects, spiders and ticks, worms, snakes and lizards, frogs and toads, parrots and toucans, and sloths and jaguars.

According EarthDay.Org, healthy forests are one of the most effective climate change mitigation tools for reducing atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, regulating the water cycle, and producing oxygen. In addition to their function as a carbon sink, forests provide social, environmental, and economic benefits to many communities worldwide.

Now that we know how important rainforests are, it is time for citizens to act to save, conserve and protect this very important ecosystem.

Love Our Mother Earth

by Rolando A. Inciong

                You don’t need to be an environmentalist to love our Mother Earth. As an individual, you can do the following simple acts of kindness to nature:

  1. Volunteer at EARTHDAY.ORG and participate in many initiatives, both local and global, to Restore Our Earth.
  2. Support the Great Global Cleanup every September and pick up trash while enjoying your outdoor activities.
  3. Advocate for governments to make climate change and climate literacy a core feature of school curriculum.
  4. For students, add your voice to the campus climate projects and advocate for stronger environmental commitments from your college or university.
  5. Stop deforestation by supporting companies that take an active role against it.
  6. Conserve energy at home and office.
  7. Avoid using plastic bags. Plastic pollution is one of the most serious environmental problems that we face today.
  8. Fight food waste by composting.
  9. Change your paper bills to online billing. You’ll be saving trees and the fuel it takes to deliver your bills.
  10. Eat lots of vegetables instead of meat. Grow your own organic garden. Encourage your school or organization to serve more plant-based meal options and to educate students or employees about the impacts of animal agriculture on our food system.
  11. Convince your school or office to choose reusable utensils, trays, and dishes in the canteen.
  12. Help protect the butterflies, bees and other pollinators by pledging to go pesticide-free! We need pollinators to ensure the persistence of our crop yields and ensure healthy sustainable ecosystems now and in the future.
  13. Buy organic food to keep your body and the environment free of toxic pesticides. Support farmers and companies who use organic ingredients.
  14. Always read labels. Use environmentally-friendly, non-toxic cleaning products to avoid washing toxic chemicals do0n the drain.
  15. Last but most important, plant a tree.

           Why plant trees? According to the United Nations, a single mature tree can release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings. A single mature tree can absorb 4.5 kg of air pollutants, including 1.8 kg of ozone and 1.4 kg of particulates. Trees store carbon and help slow human-caused climate change. Tree canopies and leaf litter protect the soil surface from the erosive power of rain. Trees purify our air and water. They provide food, timber and medicine. Forests provide outdoor recreation, education and eco-tourism. Over a 50-year lifetime, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.

The importance of bees

by Rolando A. Inciong

When we talk about honey, we talk about bees. Most of us think that honey is the only important product that bees produce. Bees are pollinators. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), pollinators contribute $20 billion to the American agriculture industry. California, for example, produces over 80 percent of the world’s almond harvest from its 1.17 million acres. California’s almond farms ordinarily require 1.6 million domesticated bee colonies to pollinate the flowering trees and produce the almonds. The USDA reports that the global crop production pollinated by bees is valued at $577 billion.

Like in the US, bees play a very important role in pollinating the plants that we eat all over the world. The Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) reported that a single bee colony can pollinate 300 million flowers in one day. Approximately 75 percent of the world’s crops depend on pollinators.

Aside from plants, many animals depend on pollinators for their survival because their food such as fruits, seeds, berries, and nuts rely on insect pollination. Pollination also promotes the growth of flowers which provide habitats for animals, insects and birds.

The sad news? Bees and other pollinators are in danger of extinction. The USDA said that 45 percent of bee colonies have been lost in recent years. Threats to their survival are pesticides, climate change, habitat destruction and fragmentation, and colony collapse disorder. With the serious situation that the bees and other pollinators are facing, the world could soon be facing failure in food production. So, the next time bees bother you, don’t even attempt to swat them.

Biodiversity assures human health

by Rolando A. Inciong

            Biodiversity is the variety of life on earth – from the smallest organisms to the largest mammals; the different species of plants, trees, fishes; and the places where they live which we call ecosystems. Biodiversity provides us our basic needs – air, water, food, clothing materials, and the natural ingredients used in manufacturing medicines.

            The degradation of our biodiversity and ecosystems results in scarcity of food, clean water, and supply of natural ingredients for medicines; and air and water pollution. All these are threats to human health.

            Forest biodiversity offers a variety of plants and trees that provide us food, clean water and air. They provide materials for construction and many industries. Agricultural biodiversity provides us with rice and other grains, meats, fruits and vegetables. Marine biodiversity gives us all forms of fish and seafoods. Forest ecosystems provide water and purify our air; prevent soil erosion; trap carbon and other greenhouse gases; and help regulate climate. Losing such natural richness will bring harm to our health.

            According to the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, for thousands of years, humans have relied on biodiversity to cure our illnesses. In many poor countries, rural folks continue to rely on traditional medicine. India and China have incorporated traditional medicine with modern Western medicine as part of their health systems. Today, the huge pharmaceutical industry relies on biodiversity and ecosystems for natural ingredients of modern medicines.

            An example of medicine derived from nature is Ilosone, now marketed globally as Erythromycin. In 1949, the natural ingredient was discovered by a Filipino scientist, Abelardo Aguilar, who was then working for Eli Lilly Pharma Company as a researcher. Today, Erythromycin is used to prevent and treat infections, including respiratory tract infections, skin infections, diphtheria, and acute pelvic inflammatory disease, among others.

            Another example is Lagundi, which for a long time has been used as treatment for cough in the rural areas. Lagundi is now marketed in the Philippines in the form of syrup and capsule.

            Unfortunately, irresponsible human activities have degraded our biodiversity and ecosystems. These include unsustainable production and harvesting practices, illegal logging, air and water pollution that are contributing to climate change, conversion of lands and forests, irresponsible mining, illegal wildlife trading, uncontrolled use of pesticides and fertilizers, cutting of mangroves, dynamite fishing, deforestation, and many more.

            With the loss of biodiversity and degradation of our ecosystems, humanity is threatened with food shortage, poor air and water quality, and shortage of raw materials for medicine. All these are direct threats to human health.

            Today, the world faces a more urgent challenge: COVID 19. But it looks like the pandemic is a blessing in disguise as humans have slowed down in their activities, resulting in better air and water quality and a healthier biodiversity and ecosystems.

Forests and livelihood

by Rolando A. Inciong

            Forests, forest species and ecosystem services play a very important role in sustaining the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people all over the world, particularly those of indigenous and local communities with linkages to forests.

The United Nations (UN) revealed that between 200 and 350 million people live within or adjacent to forested areas around the world. They rely on the various ecosystem services provided by forests and forest species for their livelihoods and to cover their basic needs such as food, shelter, medicines and energy.

The UN emphasized that indigenous peoples and local communities, including those in the Philippines, are frontliners in the symbiotic relationship between humans and forest, forest-dwelling wildlife species, and the ecosystem services that forests provide. Some 28 percent of the world’s land surface is currently managed by indigenous peoples. These areas are central to their economic and personal well-being, and their cultural identities.

Today, forests, forests species, and the livelihoods that depend on them are highly threatened by environmental and manmade crises such as climate change, pollution, illegal wildlife trade, irresponsible mining, land conversion, overexploitation, biodiversity loss, and the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As such, we should promote forest and forest wildlife management models and practices that accommodate both human well-being and the long-term conservation of forests, forest-dwelling species of wild fauna and flora, and the ecosystems they sustain. We should also promote the values of traditional practices and knowledge that contribute to establishing a more sustainable relationship with these crucial natural systems.

Women and climate change

by Rolando A. Inciong

            One of the most important achievements for women all over the world is their participation in protecting our environment and their potential to make a difference. A report by Project Drawdown, a climate research organization, concluded that educating women and girls in developing countries ranked second among many solutions for reducing global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. The report detailed that girls’ education and family planning would reduce carbon by 85 gigatons by 2050. This is quite a revelation on the role of women in mitigating climate change.

            The Report said that with access to education, family planning and birth control, women have the ability to choose how many children to have and when they have them. With such access, the Report explained, women would have less children resulting in slower population growth. In turn, slower population growth would lessen the stress on the environment by allowing ecosystems products and services to recover from overuse.

            Project Drawdown also explained that education increases the resilience of women and girls to climate disasters. Because of traditional gender roles, legal inequality and financial barriers, women face unique risks as climate change intensifies natural disasters and raises food and water prices.

            “When there are weather events like tsunamis and floods, women are not able to overcome those situations because they have to look after the children or the elderly; they don’t know how to swim, they don’t know how to climb the trees,” the Report said.

            One example given by the Report was when a tsunami devastated Southeast Asia in December 2004. About 75 percent of the people who died were women. As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, women aren’t able to protect themselves.

            Today, there are a number of models showing how to expand the role of women in climate change and sustainable development. The Project Drawdown Report said the Population, Health, and Environment Model is providing reproductive education and contraception in developing countries which will lead to personal and financial independence for women, food and nutrition security for families, and less stress on the environment.

            The Agriculture, Nutrition-smart and Climate-smart Agriculture Model emphasizes the knowledge and legal rights of female farm owners to empower them, improve family health, and protect the future of our food.

            The Report said that the most important model is considering gender in all development projects. Through such model, the International Development Research Center adopted a four-step approach for projects to consider gender at all levels. Projects should aim to be gender-aware, including local women in their research; gender-sensitive, accounting for gender in the project design; gender-responsive, positively impacting local women; and gender-transformative, contributing to a more equal society.