Food Security and Food Safety links to CIRAD’s risk-based “One Health” approach seen

  • 31 March 2014, Monday

Links have been observed between food security and food safety thrusts of SEARCA and a risk-based “One Health” approach of a Bangkok-based network of the French International Center in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD).

The second Annual Scientific Seminar of CIRAD’s Research Network on Management of Emerging Risks in Southeast Asia, Gestion des Risques Emergents en Asie du Sud-Est (GREASE) emphasized holistic, problem/risk-based, action-oriented, and transdisciplinary approaches to research that draws on interactions among the disciplines of Animal Health and Biodiversity sciences, Environmental sciences, Public Health, and Social Sciences. Animal health risks pose not just direct risk to human health, but also compromise food security and food safety. The GREASE event took place on 17-18 March 2014 in Hanoi, Vietnam, with 89 participants from nine countries.

Most of the studies reported during the scientific seminar had an agricultural and rural development context, and a good number of presentations elaborated on various facets of the “One Health” approach espoused by GREASE Network.

GREASE scientific seminar participants visit Hanoi’s swine abattoir after the seminar.Participants included professors and researchers from universities and government agencies in six Southeast Asian countries and Hong Kong, mostly in veterinary medicine and animal sciences; CIRAD coordinators, project officers, and researchers representing various disciplines including social sciences, natural sciences, and transdisciplinary research; and representatives of regional or country offices of international organizations.

One presentation deemed of interest to SEARCA by the meeting organizers is on an international Master of Science program titled InterRisk: Assessment and Management of Health Risks at the Human, Animal and Ecosystem Interface. It will be offered jointly by Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse in France, and the French International Center in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) starting September 2014. The degree program presents a good model for developing similarly holistic, interdisciplinary degree programs in agriculture/food security. It promotes community-based participatory actions and innovative active learning approaches through real case problem-solving, field visits, computer-based modules, internships, student interaction with professionals from the private agricultural sector, international organizations, governmental agencies, NGOs, and research institutes. Moreover, the program will initiate the creation of professional social networks at a regional level.

Dr. Aurélie Binot, an anthropologist and a geographer with a strong background on multidisciplinary approaches of complex systems where social, political and biological aspects are interrelated, coordinates GREASE Network. Meanwhile, the focal person for the InterRisk Master’s program is Dr. Flavie Goutard of the CIRAD Bangkok Research Unit on Animal and Integrated Risk Management. SEARCA’s participant in the seminar is Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz, Progam Head, Knowledge Management Department.

For more information about the event click here. (Maria Celeste H. Cadiz)