For the first time, BIOTROP held a Focused Group Discussion (FGD) among its Governing Board (GB) members as part of its 53rd GB Meeting on 8-10 October 2015 at Century Park Hotel in Jakarta.
The FGD was meant to identify collaborative research projects between the Centre and the institutions where the GB members are affiliated in the context of the current research and development needs of their respective countries.
Among the topics identified for possible research projects were as follows: (1) livestock breeding and ranching techniques as well as weed and invasive alien species control with Brunei Darussalam; (2) halal food detection and natural product extraction with Malaysia; (3) coconut tissue culture, tree cultivation, and food processing with the Philippines; (4) silvopasture and agroforestry practices and early warning system on stem borer attack for cadam tree with Thailand; and (5) weed control and management (especially on Chromolaena and Mimosa species), food security and processing, control of aflatoxin contamination on food, silvopasture techniques, and sorghum production with Timor Leste.
During the GB meeting, on the other hand, the Board took note, provided comments and suggestions, and approved the eight working and four information papers that were presented.
In giving her opening message, SEAMEO Secretariat Deputy Director for Program Dr. Ethel Agnes Valenzuela acknowledged BIOTROP’s leadership in tropical biology research. She also commended the Centre in its capacity building efforts for its stakeholders in the region as well as the staff members of other SEAMEO Centres in Indonesia as part of the SEAMEO Mentoring Program.
Present during the GB meeting and FGD were Board members from the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Timor Leste, and three representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam aside from BIOTROP officials and staff. It was the first time for Timor Leste to join the Centre’s GB meeting.