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FAO Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Asia-Pacific

On 11-13 September 2017, FAO will organize the Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition in Asia-Pacific. The meeting takes place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is hosted and co-organised by the Government of Malaysia.

It is the first of four regional meetings that FAO is planning to organise in 2017-2018. The second one will be in the Sub-Saharan Africa region in 2017, while there are two planned for 2018 - in Latin America and the Caribbean and in North Africa and the Near East. The regional meetings are planned as a follow-up to the FAO International Symposium on The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition, which took place on 15-17 February 2016 at FAO Headquarters, Rome.

During the Symposium, the importance of bringing the dialogue from the global to the regional level was highlighted by participants. In closing the Symposium, the FAO Director-General concluded: “Now FAO has to move forward. We intend to bring the debate to a regional perspective. We want to hear from governments, farmers and researchers of all regions about their needs and concerns regarding biotechnology”.

The aim of the 2016 Symposium was to explore the application of biotechnologies for the benefit of smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in the context of climate change. The FAO Regional Meeting on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Asia-Pacific will bring the dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experiences regarding biotechnologies to the regional level, using a multisector approach covering the crop, livestock, forestry and fishery sectors. It will also aim to cover the wide spectrum of available biotechnologies, from low- to high-tech, including microbial food fermentation, tissue culture in crops or trees, reproductive technologies in livestock, DNA-based kits to diagnose diseases in farmed fish, use of molecular markers, genetic modification and other biotechnologies.

The target audience for the regional meeting in Malaysia includes representatives of governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-state actors in the Asia-Pacific region. The term ‘non-state actors’ refers to civil society organizations; private sector entities (including philanthropic foundations); academia and research institutions; and cooperatives and producer organizations. Representatives of non-state actors are now invited to express their interest in attending the regional meeting. To do so, please fill out the short form that is available at http://www.fao.org/asiapacific/events/detail-events/en/c/1440/. The deadline for expression of interest is 30 June 2017. For more information about this call for representatives of non-state actors to express an interest in attending this regional meeting, please contact RAP-Biotech@fao.org.

Proceedings of the 2016 FAO international symposium on agricultural biotechnologies 

FAO organized the international symposium on “The role of agricultural biotechnologies in sustainable food systems and nutrition” on 15-17 February 2016 at FAO headquarters, Rome. Proceedings of the symposium, edited by J. Ruane, J.D. Dargie and C. Daly, are now available. Organized in eight chapters, the proceedings cover the main highlights of the symposium. Chapter 1 contains the addresses by the FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, and three keynote speakers in the opening plenary session. Chapter 2 contains the statements delivered in the high-level ministerial session by representatives of eight member countries plus a summary of the subsequent question and answer session. Chapters 3 to 5 contain the reports and summaries of presentations from a series of parallel sessions dedicated respectively to the themes of climate change; sustainable food systems and nutrition; and people, policies, institutions and communities. Chapter 6 contains the report and statements from students of eight universities worldwide during a session dedicated to interaction with students. Chapter 7 contains the reports of five side events arranged by external stakeholders. Finally, chapter 8 contains the statements by Louise Fresco, co-chair of the Advisory Panel, and the FAO Director-General in the closing plenary session. The proceedings can be downloaded as a single document (2.6 MB) or by single chapters at http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/66e9a36c-19b2-407a-83c9-5b767e233417/. A certain number of hard copies are also available free of charge for institutions in non-OECD countries. To request a copy of the proceedings for your institution, please contact Agri-Biotechs@fao.org, providing a full postal address. 09/09/2016

Update (23/5/2016)

The Summary Report of the symposium is now available, in English, French and Spanish. The 4-page document summarizes the symposium's objectives and organization (Section I); highlights (Section II); and outcomes and key messages, including the way forward (Section III).