1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To help strengthen the cooperation between the Participants and promote international bioengagement and biological threat reduction, in accordance with the Participants’ core missions.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
DOS provides funding to ARS for the purposes of implementing two biological threat reduction programs: The ARS Former Soviet Union Scientific Cooperation Program (“FSU Program”) and the Biosecurity Engagement Program (“BEP”). In 1998, with funds from DOS, ARS initiated a program designed to provide opportunities for scientific cooperation between ARS scientists and scientists in research institutes of the former Soviet Union (FSU) countries. The objectives of the FSU program are to: • Advance agricultural science by establishing new expertise in FSU countries • Enhance the effectiveness and productivity of ARS research programs • Improve the economy of FSU countries through advances in agricultural technology • Reduce the threat of biological and chemical weapons development and usage in the world ARS accomplishes these goals by establishing collaborative, mutually beneficial research projects, whose proposals are developed jointly between principal investigators from ARS and the FSU; maintaining substantial contact between ARS and FSU scientists; and optimizing the collaboration at the scientist level and sharing success between the ARS and FSU laboratories.
3. Progress Report
This report serves to document activities conducted under a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. State Department on the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP). The BEP is operated by the US Department of State under the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (ISN-CTR) and is committed to developing cooperative international programs that promote the safe, secure and responsible use of biological materials that are at risk of accidental release or intentional misuse. BEP advances agricultural science by establishing new expertise in BEP countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, enhances the effectiveness and productivity of ARS research programs, and helps to improve the economy of BEP countries through advances in agricultural science and technology. The ARS Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) establishes collaborative research projects on priority agricultural problems with international research partners; facilitates exchange visits by senior scientists, including opportunities to work in ARS laboratories; and coordinates scientific exploratory workshops in priority countries and regions. ARS has ongoing projects on infectious animal diseases and zoonoses in the Philippines Thailand, Indonesia, and Pakistan on: foot and mouth disease (FMD) with the ARS Foreign Animal Disease Laboratory in Plum Island; brucellosis with the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA; and livestock parasitology with Animal Parasitic Disease Laboratory in Beltsville, MD. ARS-ABADRL, Laramie, WY and CMAVE, Gainesville, FL are developing research projects on Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in cooperation with research organizations in Kenya, Egypt and Yemen. ARS-FADL has started a new project with India this year in FMD. In addition to individual research projects, BEP also supports training on Avian Influenza and Newcastle disease diagnostics, with participants from Egypt, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Morocco, Russia, and Azerbaijan. This training is conducted at ARS's Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens, Georgia.