SEAMEO-Japan Education for Sustainable Development Award now accepting entries

All public and private schools in the 11 Southeast Asian countries, which also comprise the member-countries of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), are invited to submit entries for the 2020 SEAMEO-Japan Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Award with the theme “Addressing Plastic Problems for Transforming Communities.”
SEAMEO and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. established the SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award in support of the “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development”.
Now in its ninth year, the Award aims to raise and promote positive human values among both teachers and students as well as share best practices in ESD in schools across Southeast Asia.
In 2017, Labuin Elementary School in Pila, Laguna won the SEAMEO-Japan ESD third prize for its program “Intensification of the School Garden in Improving Nutrition of the School Children.” The school carried out the winning program as a pilot site of the School and Home Gardens project led by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), one of the oldest specialist institutions of SEAMEO.
This year’s SEAMEO-Japan ESD theme is aligned with SEARCA’s goal to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Consumption and Production as set in its 11th Five-Year Plan (2020-2025). Headed by Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA is intent on “Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN)” in the next five years.
All schools in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam are invited to submit information on their respective programs and activities, particularly on their program or initiative related to plastic waste management practices. They must indicate how said initiative transformed the community and provide impactful evidence in reducing the plastic usage, improving the plastic waste management system, and cleaning the ecosystem of the community.
Moreover, SEAMEO said entries should demonstrate the community engagement with multisectoral partners that create mutual beneficial partnerships, deepen student learning experiences, support student growth, and sustain the society.
“The school should clearly demonstrate the integration of the school initiative in all schools’ aspects such as school policy, management plan, curriculum, teaching and learning practices, co-curricular and student activities, partnership efforts, community participation, and so on,” SEAMEO added.
The first prize for the winning school includes US$1,500 and a fully sponsored study tour to Japan for 4-6 persons.
Participating schools must ensure that their entries for the 2020 SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award are received by the SEAMEO Secretariat based in Bangkok, Thailand by 14 August 2020.
For more information on the SEAMEO-Japan ESD Award, visit


30 March 2020, Los Baños, Laguna

Scholarship deadline for MS in global agri tech and genomic science set on April 3
The scholarship applications for the inaugural run of the Master Program in Global Agriculture Technology and Genomic Science (ATGS) at the National Taiwan University (NTU) is set on April 3, 2020 .
The scholarship is open to Filipinos and nationals of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
This was announced by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), which is collaborating with NTU for said MS scholarship.
Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA Director., said the NTU-SEARCA Joint Scholarship Program for Global ATGS aims to cultivate agricultural professional talents, encourage academic excellence, and promote the research and development of agriculture within Southeast Asia.”
“The program also provides an opportunity for internship and field visits in line with NTU’s efforts to connect with industries and promote hands-on training. The program’s curriculum is interdisciplinary to develop global bio-agricultural talents that are responsive to the needs of the agriculture sector and with advanced knowledge and practical skills on contemporary agriculture,” said Dr. Maria Cristeta N. Cuaresma, SEARCA Program Head for Graduate Education and Institutional Development.
Offered by the NTU International College, Dr. Cuaresma said the Global ATGS aims to provide a deeper understanding on smart farming technology, genome science research, and breeding science and technology.
She added that keystone courses include global agriculture technology foresight, mathematical method for life science, and scientific writing.
Under Digital Agriculture Technology, students will explore the application of blockchain technology in agriculture, process control for smart farming, plant factory, smart technology applied to livestock production, and agriculture waste treatment engineering.
In Genome Science, discussions will be on genetics and genomics, crop genomic breeding, advanced plant molecular biology, core biotechnology: DNA, RNA, and protein, special topics in poultry production, and medicine and products processing.
For Breeding Science and Technology, studies will be on the agriculture of Taiwan, introduction to bioinformatics, crop modeling, and plant phenotyping.
The program is offered in English. It requires students to finish their thesis and at least 24 credits of coursework which includes 12 credits of compulsory courses and 12 credits of elective courses to earn the degree.
Dr. Gregorio said prior to collaborating on this joint scholarship, SEARCA and NTU have worked together in other academic activities under the auspices of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC).
SEARCA initiated the UC in 1989 and has since served as its secretariat, while NTU is a UC associate member.


2 March 2020
SEARCA awards seed fund to UP Rural High School for youth program in agriculture

The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has awarded a Seed Fund for Research and Development worth US$15,000 to the University of the Philippines Rural High School (UPRHS) for its “Youth Program on Agriculture.”
SEARCA Director Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio announced the award at the fund-raising event called “Coming Home: Lemuel Cuento in Concert” held on 26 February 2020 at the D.L. Umali Auditorium of the UP Los Baños (UPLB).
SEARCA was also a sponsor of the two-hour concert, which was also for the benefit of the UPRHS Youth Program on Agriculture. The concert featured internationally renowned tenor Lemuel Cuento, who is an alumnus of UPRHS and accompanied by Jesper Colleen Mercado on the piano. It also featured performances by the UPRHS Glee Club.
Dr. Gregorio said the seed fund is for the proposal that UPRHS submitted to SEARCA.
“The proposal is to engage Grade 11 students, through research internships, and encourage them to pursue careers in agriculture, nutrition, and related fields,” Dr. Gregorio explained.
He said SEARCA’s support to UPRHS is in line with the Center’s upcoming initiative called Young Forces for Agricultural Innovation (#Y4AGRI).
#Y4AGRI aims to engage and empower young people in agricultural innovation—from young children, to high school, college, and young professionals. It intends to use awareness, appreciation, action, and alliance strategies to attract and mobilize the youth in agriculture that SEARCA calls “Young Agrinnovators.”
“In #Y4AGRI, SEARCA will work with institutions who can help us with our goal to engage and empower the youth in agriculture. That’s one of the reasons why SEARCA supported this concert,” Dr. Gregorio explained.
He added that SEARCA is raring to implement its 11th Five-Year Plan beginning in July 2020 with a renewed focus to alleviate the plight of the many stakeholders of the agriculture sector particularly farmers and their families, including the youth.
“SEARCA will also expand and transform its service portfolios and sphere of influence in the ARD landscape to specifically include non-traditional but equally important beneficiaries, such as K-12 schools, beyond higher education institutions that the Center has already been serving,” Dr. Gregorio said.
He emphasized that “we are gearing to facilitate all these efforts because SEARCA believes in the power of the youth.”
SEARCA also mounted an exhibit at the concert venue that showcased the winners of its recent Photo Content featuring youth agripreneurs in Southeast Asia.