SEAMEO -- France Programme of Cooperation


On July 25, 1973, France was admitted as the first Associate Member of SEAMEO. The relationship began shortly before, when SEAMEO began to examine the possibility of expanding its membership, and consequently began to deliberate with France.

Development and Forms of Assistance

SEAMEO Educational Development Fund

The SEAMEO Educational Development Fund (SEAMEO EDF) was established in 1971 to serve as a repository for gifts to SEAMEO for support of Special Funds requirements. Since F.Y. 1973/74, the French Government has made contributions towards the SEAMEO EDF, consisting of Tied, Untied and Special Contributions.

Tied Contributions are restricted for use by a particular Centre/Project or for a particular category of Special Funds in line with terms and conditions laid down by France. Untied funds are unrestricted in nature and are allocated to appropriate Centres/Project by the SEAMEO Secretariat. Currently, the SEAMEO Special Funds (untied) are used to finance: training and research scholarships; governing board meetings; seminars and special conferences and personnel exchanges. In F.Y. 1980/81, the first shortfall in Special Funds occurred. In a great show of support, in addition to the annual contributions, the French Government also made a Special Contribution of US$ 111,055, effectively easing this shortfall.

The French Government made an untied contribution of US$ 50,420.17 to the SEAMEO EDF in 1997.

Other Contributions

Aside from the annual contributions towards the SEAMEO EDF, the Government of France has also contributed annually to: Special Projects of SEAMEO Centres with French Technical Experts, equipment, laboratories and operating costs of SPAFA..

In 1997, the French Government provided a budget of nearly US$ 135,000 to support various workshops at SEAMEO TROPMED, SEAMEO RIHED and SEAMEO RELC. At least one French technical expert was assigned to each workshop.

Long-Term Joint Project

SEAMEO -- France Project on Methodology and Training in Monitoring Deforestation Using Satellite Data for Sustainable Environmental Management

In 1989, SEAMEO launched a three-year joint project with France, namely the SEAMEO-France Project: Methodology and Training in Monitoring Deforestation by using Satellite Data for Sustainable Environmental Management.

Deforestation is possibly the most widespread of the environmental problems faced by the SEAMEO Member Countries. In the early stages of this project, there was a need to monitor the extent, rate and courses of deforestation in order to make rational restorative actions and plan for sustainable forest resources management. To accomplish this, there was a need for techniques that would enable one to make quick and reliable evaluation of the deforestation rate and the resultant changes in land cover and usage. Among the techniques available were those employing remote sensing methodologies using aerial photography and satellite imagery. There were however, only very few scientists or foresters trained in this field from the region. Aware of this need, SEAMEO in cooperation with the Government of France launched in 1989, this three-year project involving Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The objectives of the programme were:

  1. to transfer to the countries the know-how required in conducting surveys on the state of deforestation
  2. to teach techniques of evaluating the current state of deforestation and
  3. to produce relevant cartographic documents. In order to achieve these objectives, project activities consisted of training courses and in-country studies at global and micro scales.

Training and information dissemination objectives were met with four training courses conducted in four separate locations. The production of a global forest cover map over the Philippines, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo helped in meeting the cartographic objective.

This project officially ended in 1992, but has remained active under the SEAMEO-France Programme of Cooperation, since 1993.

Current Programmes/Projects in the Region

SEAMEO -- France Programme of Cooperation

From 1993 to present, all assistance from the French Government is grouped under the SEAMEO -- France Programme of Cooperation. This includes assistance in the forms of: Associate Membership; annual contribution to SEAMEO Educational Development Fund; financial support for special projects of selected SEAMEO Centres; assignment of French technical experts; and contribution to SEAMEO through other French agencies.