CCAFS Southeast Asia Regional Program Leader receives a prestigious medal from the Vietnam government

MARD Vice Minister Le Quoc Doanh pins the “Medal for Contribution to the Cause of Agriculture and Rural Development” on Dr. Leocadio Sebastian, CCAFS Southeast Asia Regional Program Leader. Photo: CCAFS SEA

HANOI, VIETNAM – Dr. Leocadio Sebastian, the Regional Program Leader of the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) in Southeast Asia, received the “Medal for Contribution to the Cause of Agriculture and Rural Development” awarded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). This award is the highest honor given by Vietnam’s MARD for individuals (mostly foreigners) who have made an outstanding contribution to the agriculture and rural sector of the country.

Through the CCAFS program, Dr. Sebastian has been a staunch advocate of climate-smart agriculture in Vietnam by leading various research for development (R4D) activities to promote locally-adaptive climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices to help farmers cope with climate change. One of the major contributions of CCAFS’ work in Vietnam that was acknowledged was the application of climate-smart mapping and adaptation planning by the Department of Crop Production, which has helped farmers avoid the negative effects of El Niño, particularly salinity intrusion, in rice production. This is helping farmers avoid a repeat of the rice production loss from high salinity intrusion in 2016 (more than 200,000 ha were affected by salinity intrusion and more than 1 million tons of rice were lost).

He was also recognized for guiding CCAFS’ inputs to Vietnam’s agriculture-related submissions to UNFCCC, policies and programs. Dr. Sebastian also served as the International Rice Research Institute’s country representative to Vietnam from 2013 to 2017.

L-R: Dr. Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, Director General, International Cooperation Department, MARD; Dr. Cao Duc Phat, Former MARD Minister; Consul General Paul Vincent Uy; Dr. Leocadio Sebastian; Dr. Le Quoc Doanh, MARD Vice Minister; and Dr. Bui Ba Bong, former MARD Vice Minister. Photo: CCAFS SEA

The award ceremony was chaired by the Vice Minister Le Quoc Doanh and attended by Dr. Cao Duc Phat, former Minister (2006-2017) of MARD and current member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam; Dr. Bui Ba Bong, former MARD Deputy Minister (2001-2013); Consul General Paul Vincent Uy, Chargé d’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Hanoi; and the Director Generals of key departments of MARD. The participants of the CCAFS Annual Regional Program Meeting from Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Indonesia also attended the ceremony, held in Pullman Hanoi Hotel on November 21st, 2019.