The NACA Governing Council elected Dr Cherdsak Virapat as the next Director General of NACA. Dr Virapat will commence duties in June 2014 and will serve a five-year term.
Dr Virapat is presently Executive Director of the International Ocean Institute (IOI), where he has worked since May 2008. He previously served as an officer of the Royal Thai Government for 27 years. He worked as a fishery biologist for the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives during 1981–2002. He was appointed director of IOI–Thailand Operational Centre by the Office of the Thai Marine Policy and Restoration Committee, Office of the Prime Minister, and worked voluntarily in this position during 2000–2008. He was also chief of the Public Sector Development Group, Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment, during 2003–2005 and chief of International Coordination and assistant executive director of Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center, Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Information & Communication Technology, during 2005–2008.
He holds a BSc in fishery management from Kasetsart University, Thailand; an MSc in fishery science from the University of Helsinki, Finland; and a PhD in fisheries management from Dalhousie University, Canada. While serving in the Royal Thai Government, he obtained the Royal Decorations of the Exalted Order of the White Elephant and the Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand.
The ASEM Aquaculture Platform was established in 2003 as an EU-Asia framework for dialogue, networking and continuing coordination for sustainable aquaculture development. The project's major aim is to develop a strong "Community of Practice" to reconcile ecosystem and economic system demands to promote and consolidate sustainability in aquaculture development in both regions. The aim is to move more pro-actively into effective policy, into formulation of joint research goals, and into outcomes which contribute to Millennium Development and related goals.
The AFSPAN Project is a three-year initiative to improve our understanding of the role of aquaculture in food security, poverty alleviation and human nutrition. The project is developing new methodologies to quantify the impact of aquaculture in developing nations and low income food deficit countries. It will enable the efficient planning, coordination and implementation of research and development programmes supporting the sustainable expansion of aquaculture, and increasing its impact on food security, livelihoods and poverty alleviation for poor people.
Culture-based fisheries have been accepted as a useful development strategy, as a low-cost measure to mobilise dryland farming communities (e.g. rice farmers) to use existing water bodies for the secondary purpose of food fish production. The strategies to optimise benefits from CBF, however, vary in detail from country to country and across climatic regimes. The project will introduce community-based CBF in Cambodia, and seek to consolidate gains of communities that have adopted CBF in Lao PDR.