SEAFDEC, FAO co-organize Regional Workshop on the application of AquaGRIS

SEAFDEC and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) co-organized the Regional Workshop on “The application of AquaGRIS: the FAO global information system, to build national registries of aquatic genetic resources” from 6 to 7 June 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Workshop was attended by the FAO AqGR National Focal Points (NFPs) and representatives from the SEAFDEC Member Countries who are involved in data entry into AquaGRIS, namely: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, experts from FAO, regional AqGR expert, and officials from the SEAFDEC Secretariat. The Workshop aimed to enhance the awareness of the participants of AquaGRIS and importance of having a good information baseline on aquaculture species and related farmed types and wild stocks; enhance the capacity of the countries to create national registries; and develop a strategy plan for the creation and long-term maintenance of AqGR registries in the region.

During the opening session, the SEAFDEC Secretary-General, Dr. Suttinee Limthammahisorn, welcomed the participants and reiterated the importance of the AqGR which recently received substantial attention at the global level. While recalling the “Webinar on Aquatic Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture” organized by SEAFDEC in 2023 and the recommendations made during the 26th Meeting of the FCG/ASSP for SEAFDEC to organize an initiative to facilitate close cooperation among the NFPs for the activity on data entry and validation for AquaGRIS, she urged the participants to be actively engaged in the training sessions and continue to provide data from their respective countries to AquaGRIS afterward.

With technical support from the FAO and AqGR experts, the participants learned the AqGR and AquaGRIS concept and underwent a trial data entry into AquaGRIS, familiarized with AquaGRIS, and obtained a clear understanding of the types and potential sources of AqGR data at the country level. Within three months after the Workshop, the countries, namely: : Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam, committed to follow up on the development of their national registry in AquaGRIS with the technical support of the FAO and the AqGR experts.

The AquaGRIS is an initiative of FAO to address the recognized lack of information on AqGR and is available for key stakeholders, including policymakers, resource managers, researchers, aquaculturists, and international/regional organizations.