Philippine Science Journalists Partner with SEARCA and ISAAA in Science Communication

ln line with the organizations' common goal to contribute to poverty alleviation through science and technology, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), and the Philippine Science Journalists Association, Inc. (PSciJourn), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to uphold the role of science education and communication in agriculture development. The MOU laid the formal collaboration to pursue common education, training, and research objectives. Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., Director of SEARCA, Dr. Randy A. Hautea, Global Coordinator and SEAsia Center Director of ISAAA, and Ms. Lyn Resurreccion, President of PSciJourn, signed the MOU on September 30, 2010, at SEARCA, Los Baños, Laguna, in a seminar on Over-exploitation: The way to biodiversity loss.

During this learning event, science journalists were introduced to the current status of biodiversity in the global scale as well as the different interventions being undertaken to mitigate its continuing loss. The seminar also tackled agri-biotechnology, as an important tool being widely used to harness crop diversity and conservation of genetic resources, towards increased agricultural productivity. The participants were also enlightened on the documented benefits of the adoption of biotech crops in improving the state of the environmental biodiversity.

Hon. Angelo Palmones, Representative of science-oriented party list, AGHAM, emphasized in his message the critical role of effective science communication in science and technology development. He also said that the media should undertake continuous learning to empower and engage the public in scientific undertakings. He challenged the science journalists to provide accurate science-based information on biodiversity and biotechnology, particularly for policy makers, to fully harness their potentials for agricultural and environmental improvement. Rep. Palmones, being an active PSciJourn board, also signed the MOU as witness, along with Dr. Rhodora R. Aldemita, Senior Program Officer of ISAAA, and Dr. Francisco Peñalba, Deputy Director for Administration of SEARCA.

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This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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