ACB, SEARCA extends partnership for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity
The ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) renewed their partnership in integrating and mainstreaming biodiversity into agriculture.
A statement showed that ACB Executive Director Theresa Mundita Lim and SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio have forged the second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for institutional cooperation.
The MOU is a continuation of the collaboration between the two organizations in pursuing their shared objectives of promoting sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation.
“We are continuing this partnership to further our efforts in mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture in the region. Mainstreaming is important because of the inextricable connection between agriculture and biodiversity. Together, our organisations can work to strike the balance between the two,” Lim said.
She added that agrobiodiversity — the variety and variability of animals, plants, and micro-organisms that are used directly or indirectly for food and agriculture — can help address the world’s growing food demand and safeguard the region’s biodiversity.
Since 2016 when the first MOU was signed, the ACB and SEARCA have organized two regional workshops and published two papers on mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture.
Among the outputs of the workshops was the ASEAN joint action plan on mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture, which was endorsed by the ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity during its 29th meeting.
“We believe that our organizations have the right ingredients for a long and fruitful partnership,” Gregorio said, noting that the ACB and SEARCA are both headquartered at UPLB and serving the same member countries of the ASEAN.
Under the new MOU, the ACB and the SEARCA will jointly undertake projects and activities covering thematic areas on agriculture and biodiversity, along with capacity enhancement activities and information exchange and awareness campaigns.