Agriculture makes a substantial economic contribution to most APEC member economies, and the issues of food security and safety are of critical importance to the region.
The objective of the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) is to enhance agriculture's contribution to the region's economic growth and social well-being by promoting agricultural technical cooperation between APEC members. The ATCWG's objectives are to improve the capacity of agriculture and its related industries and to share information and experiences in the areas of agriculture, biotechnology, and animal and biogenetic resource management. Priority is given to projects and activities that build members' capacities to increase trade in agricultural products.
This work contributes to APEC's trade facilitation agenda by reducing business transaction costs, enhancing marketing capacity and improving the implementation of agriculture-related provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs).
In recent years, APEC Leaders have charged the ATCWG with: strengthening food safety standards; responding to food security challenges; promoting the development of next-generation sustainable biofuels; enhancing agriculture's ability to adjust and mitigate the impact of climate change; and strengthening technological cooperation in the strategic planning of ATCWG projects. The development of capacity building programmes in these areas is now a core ATCWG activity.
The ATCWG is composed of government officials and experts from academia.
- Current Activities
The 16th ATCWG meeting was held in Kazan, Russia in May 2012. Participants agreed to work towards promoting agricultural technical transfer and cooperation within the APEC region as technology transfer is vital for innovation in agro-sectors in developing economies.
The following ATCWG projects were implemented in 2012:
- The Climate Change Symposium: Adaptation Strategies with Mitigation Potential for Food and Water Security was held in Manila, Philippines from Feb 6-8, 2012.
- A 4-day workshop on Innovative Approaches in the Implementation of APEC Food Security Action Plan in Developing Economies was conducted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in June 2012. The workshop explored and proposed appropriate actions, mechanisms and frameworks that can facilitate a shared approach to addressing the identified issues.
- An International Symposium on “Food Security and Asia and the Pacific: Key Policy Issues and Options” sought to address the capacity-building needs of APEC developing economies in the area of food security. The Symposium shared best practices through a presentation and discussion of the findings of an existing joint research partnership between a regional development bank (Asian Development Bank), a government development agency (Canadian International Development Agency) and a university (University of British Columbia). Concretely, the objectives of the Symposium were to enhance policy dialogue on food security within the region. The Symposium was held in September 2012 in Canada.
- The Workshop on Food Security was held by Japan in September 2012 in Tokyo. In addition to the information sharing, the workshop also provided an opportunity for a general peer review of each APEC economy’s activities to follow up the Action Plan, and in particular, aimed at: 1) Protection of intellectual property rights in new plant varieties; 2) Further actions for strengthening food security; and 3) Enhancement of Asia Pacific Food Security Information Platform (APIP). The workshop attracted about 70 participants from all 21 APEC economies, as well as related international organizations, private sectors representative.
- A Workshop on the application of remote sensing and GIS technology on crops productivity among APEC economies was conducted in China in October 2012. The project aims at increasing, through information and technological expertise sharing, the understanding and responding capability of APEC economies on issues related to the effects of climate change on crop productivity and food security.
- The Workshop on “Sustainable Land Management (SLM) to Enhance Food Production of APEC members” was held in Thailand in November 2012. Consequences of climate change such as unusual droughts and floods are threatening the world’s population with severe food shortages, as well as in APEC economies. One of main factors weakening food production is land degradation caused by lack of soil database, over land-utilization, non-suitable land use, and others. SLM is therefore crucial to contributing to food security for present and future generations.
In 2010, the ATCWG provided support and recommendations to the 1st APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security (MMFS) which led to the 2010 Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security
. In the following years, the ATCWG continued to provide support to the 2nd APEC Ministerial Meeting on Food Security in Kazan, Russia which resulted in the 2012 Kazan Declaration on APEC Food Security.
Through workshops and projects, the ATCWG has also played an important role in enhancing the capacity building aspect of food security within the region. The ATCWG will also make efforts to improve APEC food security by encouraging the ATCWG members to develop more projects and organize relevant activities to strengthen regional food security.
In the ATCWG 2010-2015 work plan, the areas of priority that the group is focusing on to enhance food security in the region are:
- Improving agricultural production and distribution through increased innovation, nutritional value, and food safety
- Improving human and institutional resource capacities in agriculture through education and training
- Improving aspects of environmental and natural resource management, infrastructure development related to food security
- Improving agricultural information systems and analysis
- Improving the preparations for natural disasters and cross border threats
ATCWG projects that were implemented in 2009-2012 include:
- An international symposium on "Biofuels from Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Wastes" that was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in May 2010. The objective was to discuss and exchange knowledge on recent progress in biofuels technologies, as well as related policies in APEC economies to understand the complex interactions in the areas of food and energy security.
- A workshop on "Ease of Doing Business in the Agricultural Sector" was held at the margins of the Food Security Forum in August 2010. The workshop addressed the legal and institutional constraints that impact food security. A diagnostic tool – AgCLIR (Agricultural enabling Climate Legal and Institutional Reform) - was introduced. The tool identified and addressed agribusiness challenges in an economy's legal and regulatory environment.
- The project on "Enhancing Food Security through a Regional Approach and Wide Stakeholder Participation to Plant Biosecurity" was held in Selangor, Malaysia in December 2010. It included an interactive workshop and a series of activities that reviewed existing pest management policies and practices among member economies and suggested appropriate strategies for wide stakeholder participation.
- A workshop on “Agricultural Land Use and its Effect in APEC Member Economies” that was held in Beijing, China in October 2009.
- The 2010 Quarantine Regulators Meeting that was held in Vińa del Mar, Chile in June 2010.
- An APEC Food Security Forum was held at in Chinese Taipei in August 2010.
- An APEC workshop on Food Productivity and Food Security in APEC Member Economies” was held in Beijing, China in September 2010.
The APEC-ATCWG Biofuels Network Annual Symposium and Bio-trade /Technical Training Workshop that was held in Thailand on May 30th-June 4, 2011
The 2011 APEC Food Security Forum – APEC Food Emergency Response Mechanism that was held in Chinese Taipei on August 9-11, 2011
The Seminar-Workshop on the Assessment of Good Animal Husbandry Practices in APEC Member Economies that was held in the Philippines on October 25-27, 2011.
Risk Communication on Cross-Border Spread of Animal Influenza in Trade Areas of Borders and Communication for Information that was held in China on October 26-28, 2011.
The Workshop to Assess and Improve Agricultural Data Collection and Dissemination by APEC Member Economies that was held in the United States in October 27-28, 2011.
Promotion of Indigenous Vegetables for Coping with Climate Change and Food Security in APEC that was held in Chinese Taipei on November 21-24, 2011
The APEC Agricultural Technology Transfer Forum that was held in China on November 23–24, 2011.
The APEC Workshop on Cultivation Technology of Protected Horticultural Crops that was held in China on November 20-25, 2011.
The Climate Change Symposium that was held in the Philippines on February 6-8, 2012
Thanawat SIRIKUL (Mr)
No upcoming event for this group.