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Minutes of the interim executive committee meeting of APHCA (Bangkok, Thailand, 27-28 April 2002) (APHCA 02/3)


Introduction

The interim executive committee meeting of the Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific (APHCA) was held in Bangkok, Thailand, during 27-28 April 2002.

Executive committee members from Australia, Bhutan, Malaysia (vice-chairperson), Philippines (chairperson), and Thailand attended the meeting.

Jose Q. Molina, chairperson of APHCA/director, bureau of animal industry of the Philippines opened the meeting and requested all participants to introduce themselves.

Organizational and procedural matters

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda of the interim executive committee meeting of APHCA was adopted.

Financial matters

The secretary explained that a notice was officially made to the FAO financial department in Rome, through the APHCA focal point in AGA (as per the request made from the previous APHCA session in Manila) to issue official notices/letters to all APHCA member countries regarding the status of their financial contributions to the commission, so that respective governments could respond early in each year. There has been no response yet from the financial department and the secretary will follow up on this matter again.

The member from Malaysia requested the secretary to make further clarifications on changes of the scale of contributions effective from fiscal year 2002. The secretary explained that the increase of 8 percent on the 2001 scale of contribution was proposed and adopted at the APHCA session in Manila. This was based on the fact that the increased contributions will help the commission to be able to cope with the inflation that occurred in past years. Further explanations were made on the lower approved budget of APHCA in year 2002 as compared to the figures of 2001. This was due to the newly introduced ORACLE financial system of FAO that allows the approved annual budget to be only as much as the amount received from the immediate previous year’s actual contribution.

It was noted that the expected figure to be proposed as the APHCA budget for year 2003 could be markedly increased reflecting the good contributions made by the member governments in late 2001, after the session in Manila. The chairperson asked the secretary to bring this good progress made (on the financial contributions after the Manila session) to the attention of all the APHCA members at the forthcoming session in Kuala Lumpur.

Presentations

The following presentations were made:

- The draft TCP proposal animal identification and traceability was presented. The importance and the timeliness of the issue was re-confirmed. It was recognized that it is an ambitious task, but FAO was requested to go ahead. It was proposed to include the ASEAN working group on livestock as an important body for standardization of livestock issues on the ASEAN Region. No lead institute in the region was yet identified.

- The secretary presented the HOPE-A progress report.

Queries made from the members on what countries can join the HOPE-A programme, what are the criteria for a country to join in, and how a country/region could approach for funding from TCP for the HOPE-A programme?

Clarifications were made as the follows. Preference will be given to APHCA member countries, and other countries should be encouraged to join. A TCP proposal has been submitted to FAO for funding, and individual country project proposals have been prepared for bilateral funding.

- A progress report on the current situation of the country report preparation to state of the word animal genetic resources was given. Limited funds are now being made available to support the country report preparation. Disbursement under LoU through WAAP (World Association of Animal Production) and LoAs from FAO has started. Due to the delay in organizing the training course and the disbursement of the funds, the deadline for country report delivery will be kept more flexible. The countries most advanced in preparing the country report on AnGR in this region are China and Malaysia, both countries have an advanced draft ready.

- A progress report on the preparation of the TCP project on buffalo development in the region was given. The project proposal is a follow-up to the regional workshop on buffalo development organized along with the 25th APHCA session in Manila. This project proposal has to be finalized and submitted to FAO-TCP for consideration.

- Area Wide Integration - Global Environmental Facility (AWI-GEF): - Intensive livestock production and high concentration of animals in peri-urban or in other selected areas constitute a threat to the environment. Nutrient overloads destroy biodiversity in rivers and coastal waters. The objective of the proposed programme is to balance livestock production with regard to land resources and thus contribute to environmentally friendly and sustainable livestock production. A PDF-B project (US$ 350 000) for consideration by GEF has been prepared and will be submitted by next week (first week in May 2002). The objective of the PDF-B project is to prepare a fully fledged GEF Project (approx. US$ 15 million)

Theme for the 26th APHCA session in Malaysia/APHCA-FAVA joint programme

The secretary asked for suggestions on the main theme of the 26th APHCA session to be held in conjunction with the congress of the Federation of the Asian Veterinary Associations (FAVA). The main theme of the forthcoming FAVA Congress is - “globalization - challenges to the veterinary profession”. The proposal was - “veterinary public health and food safety - safe food for the region”.

The member from Malaysia proposed that the 25th APHCA session starts on Saturday, 24 August 2002 instead of Friday, 23 August 2002 so that the APHCA programme could merge in the FAVA’s and the full duration of joint APHCA-FAVA programmes will be reduced to 5 days (24-28 August 2002). The first announcement of the APHCA-FAVA programmes was distributed to all the participants. The member from Malaysia kindly accepted to convey this information to the FAVA congress organizers in Malaysia. However, it was proposed and recommended that the APHCA secretariat worked out the details (congress registration fees, agenda and timetable, local logistics, etc.) of these joint programmes with the congress organizers and the DVS of Malaysia directly.

Other business

All participants were informed of:

The joint APHCA-OIE-FVM CMU regional workshop on WTO’s SPS agreement. This workshop will be organized in Chiang Mai during 8-12 July 2002. Sponsored participants from APHCA countries will be invited (one sponsored participant from each country). There will be a few seats available for self-sponsored observers from the member governments. Acceptance of the additional observers will be on first-come-first-served basis.

The second regional workshop on meat inspection (under the TCP project) will be organized in Malaysia in July 2002, and the third in September 2002.

Member from Malaysia made a brief presentation on the successes of APHCA in the past. He explained the use and usefulness of the National Currency Fund (NCF) raised by some APHCA member countries. Countries with their own subjects/activities of interest can use this NCF for the relevant required activities (animal production and health). He pinpointed that the use of NCF should be revitalized. He strongly proposed that the secretary raised this issue at the forthcoming session in Kuala Lumpur. The secretariat was requested to seek more information on the existing NCF (i.e. which countries still hold their own NCF, what relevant issues/activities the member countries [having their NCF] want APHCA to organized using the TCDC protocol, etc.) Some of the successful NCF-related activities in the past were exchange of visits of government officials at different levels, from technical officers to directors general. It was proposed that each member country identify and list its own technical field(s) of expertise and centres of technical excellence of which support can be provided to other recipient APHCA members, and then list the priorities of relevant activities (of each government’s interest) for further discussion at the next APHCA session. This proposal was supported by the Members from Australia, Bhutan and Thailand. Countries would also be asked to suggest topics for consideration as possible themes for development in APHCA’s programme of work. Necessary follow-up actions will be made at the forthcoming session.

The secretary briefed the members on his recent visit to Southern China where he was officially informed of the EU’s interest in a big project on regional animal disease control. This project may continue from the current regional TCP Project - “surveillance and cross border disease control between China, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam”.

It was suggested that information flows from the APHCA secretariat should be encouraged. As changes have occurred, for example, printing of hard copies of ASIAN LIVESTOCK ceased in 1996 and it now appears in the APHCA homepage, the secretary strongly urged that each member country assigned a national focal point for the APHCA information flow.

A provisional agenda of the 61st ex-com. meeting and the 26th Session of APHCA was circulated to all the executive committee members. The Secretary will shortly send this agenda to all the commission members for their comments, addition/deletion, etc. and then make it ready for the forthcoming meeting/session.

Adoption of the minutes

The commission adopted the minutes.

Closing of the meeting

The APHCA chairperson thanked the executive committee members and the APHCA secretariat for their contributions to the meeting. The secretary also expressed his gratefulness to all the participants and his APHCA secretariat staff.


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