France-SEARCA partnership pitches for Philippine agricultural resiliency [fr]
In a joint move towards steering resilient communities in the country’s agricultural sector, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the Embassy of France in the Philippines gathered 47 experts in a two-day Forum on Reducing Disaster Risk Towards A Resilient Agricultural Sector last August 29 and 30, 2019 at the SEARCA Headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.
Participants included members of the academe, farmer group leaders, agriculturists (local, municipal and provincial representatives), disaster risk reduction and management practitioners, private sector and non-government organization representatives, national and local government officials and staff, international development organizations participated in this event.
The forum focused on capturing the bigger picture of the vulnerability that the agricultural sector faces as it critically looked into the robustness of current policies, adaptive capacity of institutions, but also actions and mechanisms that are crucial in reducing risks and shocks from natural disasters.
On the first day, five major sessions featured 16 presentations from respected national and international leaders and experts in the sector. On the second day, NGO representatives and farmer group leaders shared their experiences on the ground as they narrated the realities of some agricultural communities in the country.
Participants then joined different workshop sessions, wherein each group outlined and presented their analysis on the existing risks and current strategies in place; gaps between available resources and needs; capacity building resources or support systems; and the facilitating and limiting factors towards improving action agenda for achieving sustainability of disaster-resilient agricultural sectors.
This forum was also an opportunity to develop Philippines-France cooperation in the field of research with the participation of two well-renowned French research institutes, CIRAD (Agricultural Research Center for Development) and IRD (Research Institution for Development). French expertise in soil conservation and ecological engineering was also given the limelight through the presentation of techniques developed by GECO Ingénierie.
The two-day forum concluded with a unified pledge as participants affixed their signatures to a ‘commitment statement’ expressing a shared call to action and way forward towards building and sustaining disaster resilience in agricultural and rural communities in the Philippines.