Ms. Gay Maureen Alagcan, Country Manager of the Australian Center International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), discussed about the research partnership of Australia and the Philippines.
The UPLB Environmental Science Society (UPLB EnSci), in cooperation with the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), conducted the 40th Talakayan Series on Environment and Development (TSED) at the SESAM chimney, October 24, 2017.
The 'Talakayan' series is part of the regular activities of the UPLB EnSci Society and it invites different experts to discuss current issues happening in the environment. Sesam faculty, staff and students are invited to attend the lecture series, as well as other NGOs and sectors.
This 'Talakayan' tackles the issue on the crafting and framing of environmental and developmental programs. Part of a job of a researcher is the writing of research proposals and packaging it to get possible funding from research grants. Funding agencies and organizations are considered vital stakeholders in the academe.
For this topic, the UPLB EnSci Society invited Ms. Gay Maureen Alagcan, country manager of the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to discuss how researches are crafted and implemented. Ms. Alagcan is also a graduate of BS agricultural Economics at UPLB.
“Donor organizations are development partners, ACIAR continues to invest and broker agricultural research partnerships in the Philippines”, Ms. Alagcan stressed. The top purpose of the cooperation is technical and advisory support and mobilizing private funding, according to Ms. Alagcan. “ACIAR also aims to improve the food security and natural resources management of the Philippines and we continuously support the improvement the capacity of our partners ”, she added.
Ms. Alagcan said that Australian Aid aims to promote prosperity, reducing poverty and enhancing stability. It includes a strategy for aid investment in agriculture, fisheries and water. “Most of the projects are conducted in the southern Philippines, since the region is more affected by issues of climate change and environment... and among the 17 ACIAR projects in the country, 4 are related to environment” she said.
According to Ms. Alagcan, a proposal starts with a research question. Further, she stressed that funding of project proposals are based on the expressed interest of the Philippine government and ACIAR conducts a thorough review to validate this. Then, ACIAR also checks the background or track record of the research agency who will implement the study. For example, she said that ACIAR and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) have already 30 years of partnership, and they look at the fruitful cooperation based on previous successful undertakings. Further, Ms. Alagcan also reminded researchers about proper time frame of their study. “ACIAR invest in a research for at least five years”, said Ms. Alagcan.
More than 100 faculty, staff and students attended this 40th Talakayan. Dr. Decibel F. Eslava, dean of SESAM, congratulated the UPLB EnSci Society for this latest Talakayan and assured that SESAM will continue to support the organization in this venture.