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Our Expert Group is all set to examine Higher Education for Sustainable Agriculture in the ASEAN region

This Expert Group aims to initiate collaborative cross-disciplinary research to assess the state of HESA in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and provide recommendation for its higher capacity and better quality.

The inception of the group was influenced by the realization of environmental problems brought by conventional agriculture and the effects it has on food security in the region. Education is pivotal for capacity building and development. So if the ASEAN region wants to meet its food security demands in the future it needs to evaluate and reassess current agricultural education.

The HESA Expert Group aims to explore the existing way educational systems approach interrelated agro-environmental problems, food security and poverty amid ASEAN regional integration. This Expert Group also aims to find out which resources, policies and reforms are needed for post-secondary education to be an effective system for developing sustainable agriculture knowledge and skills necessary for establishing food security and eradicating poverty.

The Group will start with preliminary scoping of data and issues for three countries, The Philippines, Thailand and Laos.  We will also initiate regional cooperation, knowledge sharing and policy dialogue on HESA issues, provide initial insights and recommendations for policy-makers, and begin to develop a longer term research and capacity building agenda.  National working group meetings and open academic dialogues and public consultations on HESA are planned in Thailand (March 2015), in the Philippines (June 2015) and Laos (July 2015).  A regional meeting (August 2015, Bangkok) will synthesize lessons learned from national studies, plan follow-up research and offer policy recommendations for ASEAN.  These and other event announcements will appear on the SIANI website.  Based on research and public input our expert group aims to produce three national HESA case studies which will be distilled into a series of Policy Briefs and a final synthesis report potentially leading to other publications.