Wednesday, July 20, 2011


by Jenny A. Panopio and Sophia M. Mercado
19-July-2011 SEARCA BIC News Release

To keep media practitioners in the Southeast Asian region abreast about agricultural biotechnology and its products, SEARCA will co-organize a regional media workshop focusing on biotechnology and its role in climate change. The workshop will be held on 20-22 July 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The regional workshop on “Status, Impacts and Future Prospects of Agri-biotechnology in a Changing Climate” also aims to enhance the capacities of selected Southeast Asian media practitioners in accurate, scientific, and factual reporting about biotech products, particularly genetically modified crops.

Biotechnology is seen as a one of the technological strategies that can be tapped to develop products that could adapt to some of the global challenges and threats brought by changing climate. It can also help address food insecurity as well as rural poverty. Crop varieties developed through modern biotechnology, for instance, could withstand abiotic stresses and reduce levels of pathogens and resist frost, pest and diseases. According to Dr. Clive James, chairman and founder of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), global adoption of biotech crops has reached a billion hectares from its initial commercialization in 1996 to 2010.

Food security, public and private efforts on the development of biotech crops, and the media’s significant role in shaping public opinion on biotechnology are among the topics to be tackled in the three-day workshop. Participants will visit laboratory facilities and field trials for biotech crops in the Indonesian Center for Agricultural Biotechnology and Genetic Resources Research and Development (ICABIOGRAD) in Bogor. They will also take part in a writeshop on accurate and factual biotech reporting.

Co-organizers of the learning event include the SEAMEO Regional Center for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP), ISAAA, the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABPSII), and the Indonesia Biotechnology Information Center (IndoBIC). Additionally, Crop Life Asia (CLA) is providing support.

For more information about this event, interested parties may send an email to the SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center <>.

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