31 March 2015 – The 7th Steering Committee of the China-CABI Joint Laboratory (Joint Lab) was held in Beijing, China today. Hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, members reviewed Joint Lab’s progress in 2014 and plans for 2015. Joint Lab is now widely regarded as one of the top joint platforms within the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and announced a strong year in 2014.

Last year saw excellent progress and results for Joint Lab in all key aspects of its work, including scientific exchange, capacity building activities and implementation of several international development and research projects. One of these was the EuropeAid funded rice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project in the Greater Mekong Subregion, which resulted in higher yields (5-10% increase) and lower pesticide use compared to farmers’ common practice, leading to improved biodiversity and agro-ecosystem in paddy fields. Other highlights included publication of research outputs, for example, Biology and natural enemies of Cydalimaperspectalis in Asia: Is there biological control potential in Europe? in the Journal of Applied Entomology.

On behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Dr Tang Shengyao, Deputy Director General of International Co-operations and CABI Liaison Officer for China delivered a welcome address and expressed the Ministry’s strong support for Joint Lab. He commented on how the successful model of Joint Lab can be further applied to China and other developing countries. Joint Lab’s success has been attributed to sound management, mutual support and strong team work on the ground.

At the meeting, topics covered support for further research collaboration, technology transfer and south-south co-operation among CABI member countries and potential member countries. Members recognized that China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative would provide more opportunities for the Joint Lab to grow. This initiative is a Chinese framework for organizing multinational economic development in a mutually beneficial manner through two component plans: the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (MSR).

Photo: Members of the 7th Joint Lab Steering Committee meet in Beijing

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