By Development Communication Section
“In behalf of the Government of Japan, I would like to express my sincere respect to all the activities conducted by AQD researchers,” said Mr. Tetsuya Murakami during the Annual progress meeting of the program under the ASEAN-SEAFDEC Consultative group mechanism funded by the Government of Japan Trust Fund (GOJ-TF) in SEAFDEC/AQD held 12-13 February. “I hope AQD will achieve more effective results (and share these) to all member countries after this evaluation,” he added.
Mr. Murakami is the representative from the Embassy of Japan in Thailand, who, along with five other experts, evaluated project activities implemented in 2012 under the GOJ-TF program. The other reviewers included Mr. Hidenao Watanabe, SEAFDEC Secretariat assistant trust fund manager; Dr. Mitsuru Ototake of the Fisheries Research Agency in Japan; Dr. Carlos Baylon of the University of the Philippines Visayas; Dr. Clarissa Marte of the Integrated Services for the Development of Aquaculture; and Dr. Zubaida Basiao of the University of the Philippines Diliman.
The reviewers collectively noted the need for AQD to intensify its technology transfer mechanism on good aquaculture practices not only to governments but to rural fisherfolk and communities. They also suggested that the resource enhancement activities be treated in a holistic manner wherein the social and economic aspects should go hand in hand with the biological aspects. They also emphasize the importance of impact assessment in AQD’s training programs.
“(In the next cycle of GOJ-TF programs), the selection of programs will be based primarily on the benefits that these can give to member countries,” said Mr. Watanabe during the closing ceremony. “AQD proposals should consider this.”
The presentations in the meeting comprised 34 activities which focused on the four thematic areas under the GOJ-TF, namely: (1) promotion of sustainable and region-oriented aquaculture practices; (2) food safety of aquaculture products in Southeast Asia; (3) accelerating awareness and capacity-building in fish health management in Southeast Asia; and (4) resource enhancement of internationally threatened and over-exploited species in Southeast Asia through stock release.
Dr. Teruo Azuma, trust fund manager for AQD projects and AQD’s Deputy Chief, expressed his gratitude to all the study leaders, technical assistants and the rest of the AQD staff who helped and supported all the GOJ-TF programs. He also acknowledged the evaluators for giving valuable comments on the GOJ-TF activities.
The meeting was held in Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines; 64 AQD staff attended.