SEARCA hosts national forum on One Health innovations to combat COVID-19

The emerging challenges in the agricultural and health sectors in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and how One Health/EcoHealth approach as a concept could be better wielded in managing the related risks will be discussed at the National Forum on One Health Innovations to Mitigate Impacts of COVID-19 hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) through the SEARCA Online Learning and Virtual Engagement (SOLVE) platform on 26 August 2020.

The forum is jointly organized by SEARCA; the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization- Regional Centre for Public Health Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health (SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines); Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), and the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the Philippines.

“In order to properly understand and therefore manage the risks brought about by COVID-19, it is important to look at the pandemic as part of a wider system, which includes, human, animal, and environmental health,” said SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio.

According to the organizers, “One Health/ EcoHealth is a holistic approach to understanding health that integrates various factors concerning human, animals, and the environment interface. Given that most of the challenges in the pandemic tend to be interrelated, this approach provides for inclusivity among humans, animals, and the environment that would be essential in coming up with strategic solutions and recommendations in managing the impacts and risks of COVID-19.”

Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and DA will speak on the COVID-19 risks and challenges to human health, animal health, and the environment. They will highlight the theory and principles of One Health/EcoHealth approach and its current applications and potential in understanding the impacts of COVID-19 particularly to the farmers and farming families and communities.

The forum will also enable experts from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), University of the Philippines (UP) Manila-College of Public Health, SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines, SEARCA, and UP Los Baños-School of Environmental Science and Management to share their outlook on One Health/EcoHealth applications in understanding COVID-19 impacts on human health, the environment, and agriculture. They will present analyses of the interface between the health and agricultural impacts of COVID-19 to identify priority areas and process for immediate and long-term interventions.

“There are many social services that are important for the farmers and farming families affected because of the prioritization of COVID-19. While this is of course very important, the forum needs to raise such plight of the farming communities as well,” Dr. Rico C. Ancog of SEARCA and UPLB-SESAM said.

Dr. Gregorio added that the forum will identify priority interventions and strategies across Agricultural and Health Policy Innovations to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 to the farmers and farming families.

Expected to join the forum are representatives from national and local governments, including DA; DOST-PCHRD; DOST-PCAARRD; Department of Health (DOH); and nongovernmental organizations engaged in human, animal, and environment health. Other participants are faculty members, researchers, and staff of state colleges and universities and other higher education institutions; as well as agriculture and industry players, including farm owners and managers, and farmers organizations.

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25 August 2020

SEARCA hosts national forum on One Health innovations to combat COVID-19

The emerging challenges in the agricultural and health sectors in the midst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and how One Health/EcoHealth approach as a concept could be better wielded in managing the related risks will be discussed at the National Forum on One Health Innovations to Mitigate Impacts of COVID-19 hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) through the SEARCA Online Learning and Virtual Engagement (SOLVE) platform on 26 August 2020.

The forum is jointly organized by SEARCA; the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization- Regional Centre for Public Health Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health (SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines); Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI), and the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) of the Philippines.

“In order to properly understand and therefore manage the risks brought about by COVID-19, it is important to look at the pandemic as part of a wider system, which includes, human, animal, and environmental health,” said SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio.

According to the organizers, “One Health/ EcoHealth is a holistic approach to understanding health that integrates various factors concerning human, animals, and the environment interface. Given that most of the challenges in the pandemic tend to be interrelated, this approach provides for inclusivity among humans, animals, and the environment that would be essential in coming up with strategic solutions and recommendations in managing the impacts and risks of COVID-19.”

Representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and DA will speak on the COVID-19 risks and challenges to human health, animal health, and the environment. They will highlight the theory and principles of One Health/EcoHealth approach and its current applications and potential in understanding the impacts of COVID-19 particularly to the farmers and farming families and communities.

The forum will also enable experts from the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), DOST-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD), University of the Philippines (UP) Manila-College of Public Health, SEAMEO TROPMED-Philippines, SEARCA, and UP Los Baños-School of Environmental Science and Management to share their outlook on One Health/EcoHealth applications in understanding COVID-19 impacts on human health, the environment, and agriculture. They will present analyses of the interface between the health and agricultural impacts of COVID-19 to identify priority areas and process for immediate and long-term interventions.

“There are many social services that are important for the farmers and farming families affected because of the prioritization of COVID-19. While this is of course very important, the forum needs to raise such plight of the farming communities as well,” Dr. Rico C. Ancog of SEARCA and UPLB-SESAM said.

Dr. Gregorio added that the forum will identify priority interventions and strategies across Agricultural and Health Policy Innovations to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 to the farmers and farming families.

Expected to join the forum are representatives from national and local governments, including DA; DOST-PCHRD; DOST-PCAARRD; Department of Health (DOH); and nongovernmental organizations engaged in human, animal, and environment health. Other participants are faculty members, researchers, and staff of state colleges and universities and other higher education institutions; as well as agriculture and industry players, including farm owners and managers, and farmers organizations.

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24 August 2020

Video contest on youth producing food during the pandemic open to Filipinos, other Southeast Asians

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) video contest that showcases local food production practices by young people during the COVID-19 pandemic is now on.

Dubbed “Youth COVIDeo Contest,” the competition is open to Filipinos and other Southeast Asians aged 15-35 with group or individual entries.

The contest was launched under SEARCA’s Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation (#Y4AGRI) program, which aims to encourage the youth to pursue agriculture and related fields as a career or to venture into agricultural enterprises.

“#Y4AGRI is a platform for young people to be heard, engaged, and to be partners in attaining better, bigger, and smarter solutions for our farmers and farming families,” SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio said.

Themed “Youth and Locally Grown Food,” the contest will award entries that best tell stories of how and why young people grow their food at home, in school or in the community amid the pandemic. The stories may also be about practical tips on growing vegetables, composting, harvesting or any process in locally growing food. Stories may also be about youth experience on the benefits of locally grown food to their health and that of their family and community.

The video can be in English or local language but with English subtitle.

The entries may be in vlog, music video, documentary or animation format with a duration of 1-3 minutes. The full mechanics of the contest are on the SEARCA website.

The deadline for submission of entries is September 11, 2020.

Cash prizes await the top 3 winners and a tablet will be awarded to the video entry that garners the most likes on Facebook.

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