ACB and SEARCA formalize ties for sustainable agriculture and biodiversity

  • 8 July 2016

ACB Executive Director Atty. Roberto V. Oliva (second from left) and SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. signing the Memorandum of Understanding for Institutional Cooperation between ACB and SEARCA. Witnessing were Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, SEARCA Program Head Research and Development (rightmost) and Dr. Clarissa C. Arida (leftmost), ACB Director for Programme Development and Implementation.

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, Philippines – The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for institutional cooperation on 1 July 2016 to pursue the common objective of building capacities of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) in biodiversity conservation, as this relates to agriculture and food.

SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. (right) presenting institutional token to ACB Executive Director Atty. Roberto V. Oliva.The two international organizations agree to cooperate in project development and implementation; information exchange; and capacity development on sustainable agriculture and biodiversity.

The ACB Executive Director Atty. Roberto V. Oliva recognized SEARCA’s long-standing support to ACB and acknowledged that the formal agreement between the two institutions will strengthen their role as champions of sustainable environment and agro-biodiversity not only in the Southeast Asian region but globally as well.

In his speech, the SEARCA Director Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. explained that both “SEARCA and ACB have all the right ingredients for a long and fruitful partnership because they serve the exact same member countries of the ASEAN and that their focus areas are without a doubt interrelated – agricultural and rural development for SEARCA and biodiversity conservation for ACB.”

A planning meeting among the officers and staff of ACB and SEARCA ensued after the ceremonial signing event. The meeting was attended by SEARCA Program Heads — Dr. Bessie Burgos of Research and Development Department (RDD), Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma of Graduate Education and Institutional Development (GEIDD), and Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz of Knowledge Management Department (KMD), and ACB Director for Programme Development and Implementation Dr. Clarissa C. Arida.

During the meeting, the group identified and prioritized activities that will be jointly implemented by the Centers for the next three years. They also made initial plans for a regional workshop on agrobiodiversity in ASEAN, one of the anticipated major events from the partnership.

Also present in the meeting were Ms. Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, Dr. Mariliza V. Ticsay, and Ms. Maria Katrina R. Punto, all from SEARCA; Filiberto Pollisco, Jr., Ms. Corazon A. De Jesus, Ms. Claudia Binondo, Ms. Guia Paula F. Mamaril, and Ms. Grace Anne Rodulfo, all from ACB. (Maria Katrina R. Punto)

Officers and staff of ACB and SEARCA discuss the general workplan to implement the MOU.