Friday, 05 November 2010 on 3:04am

48th GBM calls for more regional programs and inter-SEAMEO country collaborations

For the 48th time, SEAMEO BIOTROP convened its annual Governing Board Meeting on 12-14 October 2010 at S31 Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand.

Aside from acknowledging and endorsing the 9 Working and 5 Information Papers  presented during the meeting (please click here for the complete list), the Board posed the following challenges that the Centre should consider in planning and implementing its activities in the coming years:

1.    Directly address and produce specific impacts for regional concerns (e.g., poverty, food insecurity, biodiversity loss)
2.    Adopt a more regional approach and promote inter-collaboration among SEAMEO member countries
3.    Tap more experts from other SEAMEO member countries
4.    Encourage the involvements of more farmers
5.    Diversify funding sources, adopt different collaborative approaches, and engage in submitting project proposals to international donors
6.    Aggressively promote all Centre outputs and disseminate them to all relevant audience in the SEAMEO member countries

The Meeting was opened by Dr. Sombat Suwanpitak, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education of Thailand representing the Minister of Education of Thailand. In his speech, Dr. Sombat also posed two challenges to SEAMEO BIOTROP, i.e., a) to determine how much of its research outputs have really impacted the regional community, and b) to  enhance its research, capacity building and information exchange activities between the member countries.  He hoped that SEAMEO BIOTROP will continue to be responsive, sensitive, and more proactive to the development needs of the region by maximizing the benefits of tropical biology. 

The Meeting was attended by SEAMEO BIOTROP GB members from Indonesia (alternate), Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam (alternate) along with the SEAMEO Secretariat Director, Y. Bhg. Dato Dr. Ahamad Sipon,  and the SEAMEO BIOTROP Director, Dr. Bambang Purwantara. In addition, 12 SEAMEO BIOTROP officials and staff members, and 3 invited guests from the Embassy of Lao PDR, Malaysia and Indonesia were also present. The GB members from  Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, and the Philippines were unable to attend with apologies.

During the Meeting, Prof. Wong Sek Man from Singapore was elected as Chairperson and Dr. Wanchai Arunpraparut from Thailand as Vice-Chairman of the GB for the next two fiscal years (FY 2010-2011 and FY 2011-2012).  Prof. Wong is currently serving as Vice Dean of Faculty of Science National University of Singapore while Dr. Wanchai as Dean of the Faculty of Forestry of Kasetsart University.

For the first time, the Meeting included a collaborative session with invited prospective partners. As a result of this session, the Board approved the collaboration with the  Association of Universities in Asia and the Pacific to  conduct a regional workshop on bamboo in 2011.

The GB agreed to hold its 49th meeting in Balikpapan on 4-6 October 2011.

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