May 14, 2014
Over 300 participants from various research institutions in the Philippines are participating in the Crop Science Society of the Philippines’ 44th scientific conference on 12-16 May 2014 at Cebu Parklane International Hotel, Cebu City. Bearing the theme “Harnessing Biodiversity and Biotechnology for Climate Change Adaptation”, the conference aims to highlight the role and contribution of biodiversity and the tools of biotechnology in addressing the problems brought about by climate change.
Dr. Paul Teng, professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and ISAAA Chair, delivered the keynote address. He said that food security is achieved when a country has the ability to withstand any perturbations to its system by having a balanced capacity to make food available; ensure that production is sustainable; and provide the necessary infrastructure and policies to support domestic production, promote trade, and manage food demand and affordability. He mentioned various biotech applications that can aid in attaining food security amidst climate change impacts. Among all those applications, he said that genetic engineering is the most important in improving yield, pest resistance, and climate change tolerance traits.
On the first day of the conference, plenary sessions were held covering climate change in relation to research for development for Southeast Asia, biodiversity conservation in Southeast Asia, and human health which were discussed by Dr. Rex Navarro (Consultant for Communication and Advocacy for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security), Atty. Roberto Oliva (Executive Director of ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity), and Dr. Nina Gloriani (Former Dean of College of Public Health in UP Manila), respectively.
The conference program also includes research reports on various fields of crop science, including 11 presentations for best paper, 62 oral presentations, and 132 poster presentations. The Society also presented achievement awards to organizations and individuals for their exemplary contributions in crop science.