SEARCA and ACB collaborate anew in promoting agrobiodiversity

By Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, from the background paper of the workshop FANSSEA News

BANGKOK, Thailand – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) are co-organizing the Multi-sectoral Workshop on Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Food and Agriculture scheduled on 4-6 December 2018. It is co-hosted by Thailand's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC) at Amari Watergate in Bangkok. Representatives of the environment and agriculture ministries of the ASEAN Member States, relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies, the ASEAN Secretariat, development partners, and relevant networks from the education and research sectors are also expected to participate. 

The multi-sectoral workshop aims to provide a platform for the environment and agriculture sectors in the ASEAN Community to discuss and develop a common understanding of agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use. It will serve as venue to identify and define possible areas of collaboration and supportive processes among the relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies and development partners towards mainstreaming biodiversity in the agriculture sector. It is likewise expected to develop a pilot project in agrobiodiversity that would include the recommended elements and structure of a multi- and cross-sectoral coordination mechanism among and between the relevant ASEAN bodies for mainstreaming, conservation, and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity in the ASEAN region.

Mainstreaming agrobiodiversity is the first joint thematic initiative of ACB and SEARCA, which proposes to facilitate inter-sectoral discussion towards a common understanding of conservation and sustainable use of agrobiodiversity in the ASEAN. The upcoming workshop is the second collaboration of ACB and SEARCA under a Memorandum of Understanding to pursue common objectives in biodiversity and agriculture signed in July 2016. The first major activity of this cooperation was the Regional Workshop on Agrobiodiversity under the same theme of "Mainstreaming Biodiversity in Agriculture for Sustainable Development and Food Security in Southeast Asia," held on 12-14 September 2017 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.