In pursuit of the growing collaboration between the University of Tsukuba and SEAMEO, the two entities convened a one‐day planning meeting to identify specific collaborative activities and plan for implementation in 2015 in the inter‐related fields of food, health, and environment on 24 November 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Five experts from the faculties of Life and Environmental Science, Agriculture and Medicine of the University of Tsukuba participated in the one-day meeting.

SEAMEO was represented by its four SEAMEO Centres, namely, SEAMEO Regional Centre for Tropical Biology (BIOTROP), SEAMEO Regional Centre for Food and Nutrition (RECFON), SEAMEO Regional Centre for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), and SEAMEO Regional Tropical Medicine and Public Health Network (TROPMED).

The Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED) of the University of Tsukuba and the SEAMEO Secretariat and chaired the meeting.

Identified focus of collaboration includes capacity building through faculty and student exchanges, joint research, and information exchanges. These may be done through existing programmes of the University of Tsukuba or through new areas of collaboration identified from earlier discussions.

Among others, identified health research issues include ageing society, occurrence of chronic and infectious diseases, lifestyle changes, growing interest on traditional medicine, and screening of medicinal products. On food, priority will focus on issues such as resource scarcity, lifestyle changes, value adding in agricultural production, intellectual property rights. On environment and energy, identified pressing issues are bioenergy development and by‐product processing, solar energy production, converting biomass into fuel energy, and biodiversity conservation for medicinal purposes through tissue culture.

Earlier, SEAMEO and the University of Tsukuba convened various discussions for greater collaboration. Among others and the most recent was the conduct of the University of Tsukuba‐ SEAMEO International Symposium: Bridging the ASEAN Community and Japan through Education which was held on 22‐23 February 2014 and hosted by the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, Japan. The symposium aimed at introducing innovation in education in Southeast Asia and Japan, and establishing greater linkages between SEAMEO and the University of Tsukuba which became affiliate member to SEAMEO since 2009.

Experts from the University of Tsukuba include (from left) Prof Dr Hiroko Isoda, Director, Faculty of Life and Environmental Science/ Alliance for Research on North Africa (ARENA), Faculty of Agriculture; Prof Dr Mitsutoshi Nakajima, Professor, Faculty of Agriculture; Dr Myra Villareal, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture;
and Dr Enbo Ma, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine.


Experts from the SEAMEO Centres include (from left) Dr Gil C Saguiguit, Jr, Director of SEAMEO SEARCA;
Prof Dr Pratap Singhasivanon, Secretary General/Coordinator of SEAMEO TROPMED Network;
Dr Bambang Purwantara, Director of SEAMEO BIOTROP, and Dr Drupadi HS Dillon, Director of SEAMEO RECFON.


Dr Handoko, Deputy Director for Programme and Development of the SEAMEO Secretariat,
and Dr Mariko Sato, Director of CRICED, University of Tsukuba chair the meeting.


Dr Witaya Jeradechakul, Director of SEAMEO Secretariat offers token of appreciation to the experts from University of Tsukuba.