Agricultural Biotechnology

Biotechnology is a revolutionary tool that can 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, policy makers 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 first high-level policy dialogues on agricultural biotechnology took place in 2002.

Last page update: September 2019

Current Activities

The latest HLPDAB plenary meeting (HLPDAB18), took place on 21 August 2019, during the 2019 APEC Food Security Week at Puerto Varas, Chile. Delegates received information on the current situation on policies and development of products of new breeding techniques in APEC and non-APEC economies and ongoing work in international fora of interest to the HLPDAB. They discussed innovative agricultural technologies that can be useful tools to enhance agriculture productivity, sustainability, resilience and food security. They also encouraged development and to maintain transparent, science- and risk-based regulations, while sharing information and experiences to raise awareness of the benefits to farmers, consumers and the environment.

The next annual HLPDAB meeting will take place in August 2020 in Malaysia, during the 2020 APEC Food Security Week.

HLPDAB Strategic Plan (2019–2021): This has three main objectives:

  1. Establish main mechanisms to ensure continued information exchange on economies’ experience with agricultural biotechnology and other innovative agricultural technologies
  2. 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
  3. 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

Activities for 2019: The HLPDAB aims to conduct activities to meet the objectives of the strategic plan, with particular focus on new agricultural and plant breeding techniques, biotechnology regulatory efficiency and harmonization, science communication, and policy perspectives on precision biotechnology. Notable activities will include:

1. Updating the APEC Baseline Study: Regulations of Products Derived from Innovative Agricultural Technologies and Identification of Ways to Promote Greater Efficiencies and Alignment (HLPDAB 01 2017T)

2. Workshop on Strengthening Regulatory Cooperation and Alignment for Agricultural Biotechnologies (USA)

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.

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Achievements

APEC HLPDAB Workshop, 19-20 September 2016, Piura, Peru

The two-day APEC workshop: Strengthening Innovation and Cooperation among APEC Economies to Advance Science and Facilitate Trade (HLPDAB 01 2016T) was conducted on the margins of the HLPDAB 15 Meeting to discuss functioning current regulatory practices, including practical examples of regulatory compatibility/convergence/harmonization; and the sharing of resources including recognition policies and agreements.

APEC HLPDAB Meeting, 20-21 September 2016, Piura, Peru

The Policy Dialogue is a forum for APEC member economies to discuss issues of common interest with regard to agricultural biotechnology, including the safe introduction of biotechnology products and public acceptance of these products. Policy makers use the Policy Dialogue to promote public policy development, facilitate technology transfer, encourage investment and strengthen public confidence regarding biotechnology in order to increase agricultural productivity, protect the environment, and promote food security.

APEC HLPDAB Meeting and Workshop, 15-16 September 2014, Beijing, China

The 13th Meeting of the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology (HLPDAB) was hosted and chaired by China.

Resources

Contact Us

Dr. (Ms.) Marta Alfaro Valenzuela

Chair
Deputy Director for Research and Development of the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) of the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile.

Mr Teresa Agüero-Teare

HLPDAB Coordinator
Environmental, genetic resources and biosafety analyst of the Office of Agricultural Studies and Policies (ODEPA) of the Ministry of Agriculture of Chile
hlpdab_chile@odepa.gob.cl

Mr Krirkbhumi CHITRANUKROH

Program Director
kc@apec.org