BANGKOK, THAILAND – SEARCA, led by Dr. Gil C. Saguguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, participated in the 39th High Official Meeting (HOM) of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) held at Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on 15 – 17 November 2016.
In celebration of SEARCA's 50th Anniversary and the 12th National Biotechnology Week, senior high school students and their science teachers from various schools in the Philippines took part in the Agri-biotech Boot Camp held at SEARCA Headquarters and the University of the Philippines Los Baños - Institute of Plant Breeding (UPLB-IPB) on 16-18 November 2016.
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) participated in the kick-off meeting of the newly selected ERASMUS+ Capacity Building for Higher Education (CBHE) projects held on 25-26 January 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (center), SEARCA Director, and Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma (second from left), SEARCA Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development Department (GEIDD), attended the meeting with Dr. Poonpipope Kasemsap (leftmost) of Kasetsart University (KU), Thailand, project leader of the ERASMUS+ CBHE project MS in Food Security and Climate Change in the Southeast Asian region co-implemented by SEARCA and KU. At the meeting, they met Dr. Vasileios Makrakis (second from right) of the University of Crete, Greece and Dr. Omar Ramzy (rightmost) of the Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, Egypt, who are both involved in the development of a Masters program in Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in the Southern Mediterranean region. The two parties discussed the possibility of collaborating on some of the course modules for their masters programs. (Leah Lyn D. Domingo)
A SEARCA graduate alumna was conferred with Best Paper Award during the 13th Forests and Natural Resources Research Society of the Philippines (FORESPI) International and Interdisciplinary Conference on Climate Change with a theme "Opportunities to Make a Change" held at the ERDB Auditorium, College, and Laguna on 10-11 November 2016.
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), recently awarded Dr. Majah-Leah V. Ravago a travel grant to present her paper titled, "Risk Management and Coping Strategies: Climate Change and Agriculture in the Philippines," at the 9th Asian Society of Agricultural Economists (ASAE) International Conference in Bangkok, Thailand on 11-13 January 2017. Her paper, co-authored with Dr. James A. Roumasset and Dr. Karl Robert L. Jandoc, is forthcoming as a chapter in a joint publication of the Philippine National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) titled, The Future of Philippine Agriculture: Scenarios, Policies, and Investments under Climate Change, edited by Dr. Mark W. Rosegrant and Dr. Mercedita A. Sombilla.
Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development (GEIDD), and Dr. Maria Monina Cecilia A. Villena, Special Projects Coordinator and Network Administrator of SEARCA's Biotechnology Information Center (BIC) under the Knowledge Management Department, introduced top officials of private HEIs in the Philippines to the agricultural biotechnology landscape and its latest course offerings in the country and Southeast Asia during the Top Management Program for Private Higher Education Institution (HEI) Presidents and Chancellors: Crafting New Strategies for the K-to-12 Transition Years (2016-2021) organized by the Asian Institute of Management through the Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (AIM-ZSDM) on 12 January 2016 at AIM in Makati City.
The Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) ended the past year with a total of 42 grants awarded to UC graduate students and faculty members. Among those conferred were 5 student thesis grantees, 26 student travel grantees for research, and 8 student grantees for credit.
LOS BAÑOS, Philippines – The Workshop on Developing Scaling-up Strategies for the School and Home Gardens Project was held on 19-20 December 2016 at the SEARCA Headquarters. The workshop is part of the project called "A Participatory Action Research on School and Community-based Food and Nutrition Program for Literacy, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development," which is being implemented by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and the Department of Education (DepEd) – Laguna Division. The workshop was participated in by a total of 21 teachers, two representatives from the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) of Laguna, and 36 representatives from the Municipal Agriculture Offices of each town (MAO), Sangguniang Barangay (SB) where the schools are located, and Parents and Teachers’ Association (PTA) to develop strategies for the scaling-up and sustainability of the project.
The ASRF, under the leadership of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), gets the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for another three years under the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Phase 3 project. This was affirmed during the Operational Planning Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), formerly the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) held in Jimbaran Bay Beach Resort, Bali, Indonesia on 3-4 December 2016, which was concluded with a debriefing at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 6 December 2016. The meeting was attended by Dr. Jurgen Blaser and Mr. Sreeram Kootala of SDC, Dr. Doris Capistrano, Senior Advisor of the ASFCC, and representatives of the five implementing partners of the ASFCC, namely, the Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR), World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Program (NTFP-EP), The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), and SEARCA.
Laguna, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) held the Regional Forum on Farms, Food and Futures: Toward Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD) in Southeast Asia on 7 December 2016 in Los Baños, Laguna.