Agricultural biotechnology is a revolutionary tool that could change the agriculture sector.
Through the science of agricultural biotechnology, crops can be made resistant to certain diseases, to stressful environmental conditions and to some chemicals. The technology can reduce spoilage and make produce more nutritious. It has the potential to spur economic growth, increase productivity, reduce hunger and malnutrition, and lessen the impact of agriculture on the environment.
APEC ministers and leaders recognize how important it is to communicate to the public the value of such produce, and how important it is to make sure that these products are safe. The APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) is a recognition of this.
Through the HLPDAB, policymakers develop regulatory frameworks, facilitate technology transfers, encourage investment and strengthen public confidence in biotechnology in order to increase agricultural productivity and to protect the environment, with the ultimate objective of promoting food security.
The last HLPDAB plenary meeting, virtually hosted by New Zealand in October 2020, was attended by members from 14 APEC economies. The 2021 HLPDAB Plenary Meeting was structured to cover three key topics relating to agricultural biotechnology: the role of agricultural biotechnology in climate change adaptation and mitigation, the role of agricultural biotechnology in biodiversity and conservation for wild and domesticated plants, and public and consumer understanding and perceptions of agricultural biotechnologies. Economies had the opportunity to provide brief high-level updates to the group on general work in the agricultural biotechnology area and associated activities. Researchers, scholars from several universities also shared their researches’ key findings in role of agricultural biotechnology in climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as biodiversity and conservation for wild and domesticated plants.
At the meeting, the HLPDAB members reached consensus and endorsed the HLPDAB Terms of Reference 2022–2025.The next annual HLPDAB meeting will take place in August 2022 and will be hosted by Thailand.
HLPDAB Strategic Plan (2019–2021): This has three main objectives:
- Establish main mechanisms to ensure continued information exchange on economies’ experience with agricultural biotechnology and other innovative agricultural technologies
- Promote transparent, science-based and functioning regulatory systems to support the development, application and trade of innovative agricultural technologies and biotechnologies for the benefit of APEC member economies
- Facilitate the management of regulatory differences by endeavoring to develop solutions to global challenges with respect to innovative agricultural technologies—including trade-related issues—and improve the ability of APEC economies to communicate effectively about these issues
Cross-cutting issues: The HLDAB has identified cross-cutting issues on food security, climate-smart agriculture, trade facilitation/eliminating market barriers and making the best use of natural resources with the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG) and the Policy Partnership on Food Security (PPFS). The HLDAB shall identify and share relevant policy recommendations with both groups with a view to contribute to the preparation of the Food Security Ministerial agenda. The dialogue will also look into possible cross-fora collaboration in conducting APEC projects with relevant fora.
For HLPDAB Projects see the APEC Project Database: https://aimp2.apec.org/sites/PDB/default.aspx
For HLPDAB Plenary meeting see the APEC Meeting Document Database: http://mddb.apec.org/Pages/default.aspx
Last page update: February 2022