By: Allan Mauro V.Marfal, S&T Media Service
The Department of Science and Technology’s advisory body, the National Academy of Science and Technology (DOST-NAST) conferred the 2012 Hugh Greenwood Environmental Science Award to Dr. Virgina Castillo-Cuevas for her significant contributions in the development of technologies leading to agricultural sustainability that contributed to environmental conservation and protection.
Dr. Cuevas, professor and scientist at University of the Philippines- Los Banos (UPLB), was awarded last April 23, 2012 at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino, Ermita, Manila.
Dr. Cuevas was recognized by the Academy for developing composting technology using Trichoderma harzianum Rifai Activator, which was specifically used as an inoculant in the in-situ composting technology that significantly improved growth performance of the biofuel crop Jatropha curcas.
The composting technology, which can also decontaminate copper-contaminated soils with mine tailings, was used in the rehabilitation of the agricultural lands damaged by mine tailings in Mankayan, Benguet and Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.
The technology also develops Trichoderma microbial inoculants (TMI) for vegetables and other upland crops as biofertilizer, biological control agent, crop promoter, and as activator for composting which not only raised productivity but also of great benefit to the environment.
Dr. Cuevas received a plaque of recognition from the Academy and US$ 1,000 from Dr. Hugh Greenwood himself through the NAST Foundation and former NAST President, Academician Perla D. Santos Ocampo.
This annual Hugh Greenwood award honors outstanding scientific and technological researches that contribute to environmental protection and conservation. Accordingg to DOST-NAST, the rapid pace of environmental degradation and the eventual depletion of natural resources made it necessary that the remaining resources be used wisely and that pollution and contaminations be prevented for the benefit of the present and future generations.