Held in Beijing on 26 March, Steering Committee members and some other key players reviewed last years’ progress of the Joint Laboratory and approved plans for 2013. Consisting of senior representatives from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, CABI, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and the Institute of Plant Protection of CAAS, the Steering Committee was particularly pleased with the significant progress made in 2012, and confident that the Joint Laboratory can play an even bigger role in facilitating research, knowledge-sharing, capacity building and the transfer of technology.
Establishing a Joint Laboratory with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in 2008 was a major milestone in CABI’s collaboration with China, having worked with Chinese partners for over 30 years. Since its set-up, the Joint Laboratory has successfully implemented several international projects; from increasing rice and maize production in the Greater Mekong sub-region to facilitating an international congress which brought together around 500 participants to discuss key issues around biological invasions. Together, the partners work on the control of invasive species, integrated pest management (IPM) techniques and development of biopesticides. With access to a huge network of Chinese scientists/experts, the Joint Laboratory is well positioned to facilitate agricultural technology transfer from China to other developing countries.
Last year heralded a significant recognition for both of the Co-Directors of the Joint Laboratory, with Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann from CABI, being granted the Friendship Award, the highest Chinese honour for foreign experts, and Professor Wu Kongming from IPP-CAAS, receiving the Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and was promoted to Vice President of CAAS. At the close of the meeting, Drs Ulrich Kuhlmann and Feng Zhang from CABI were honoured as guest professors of IPP-CAAS for the future training of more postgraduate students.