The Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE) is a regional development organization that promotes and implements community-based plant genetic resources conservation, development, and use (PGRCDU); and advocates for policies that recognize, support, strengthen, and institutionalize community initiatives on PGRCDU. We work in partnership with farming communities, civil society organizations, government agencies, academic research institutions, and local government units in Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.


As a dynamic, relevant, responsive, and pioneering organization, SEARICE envisions the creation of communities where all voices are heard and all rights are respected and protected; where farmers’ rights areupheld and advanced; all resources are sustainably used; and where people enjoy dignified living.


To be a catalyst and facilitator for gender-sensitive and inclusive development and empowerment of rural farming communities for the advancement of farmers’ rights, food and nutrition security, and sustainable stewardship of the earth’s resources.


Empowerment of rural farming communities toward the realization of farmers’ rights and sustainable agriculture and livelihood systems.

What we aim:

  • Empower communities to conserve, develop, and manage agricultural biodiversity;

  • Work for the growth of socially inclusive communities that respect gender equality and diversity, and promote technologies that foster conservation for future generations; and

  • Advance community innovations and develop sustainable local, national, and global food systems.​


What we do:

Link work on the ground with policy advocacy to inspire the formulation of supportive local, national, and global food policies.

Specifically, we:

  1. Provide learning platforms for farmers to understand the extent of their rights; and to learn the processes and techniques in plant genetic resources conservation, development and sustainable use.

  2. Assist farmers in the establishment of self-reliant grassroots organizations, supporting their efforts in the development of policies at all levels – community or local level, national, regional and global – and calling the attention of those in power to listen to the voice of farmers;

  3. Work towards policy and structural reforms necessary for the conservation of biodiversity in agriculture and the protection of the farmers’ way of life;

  4. Oppose forces which threaten to destroy the earth and its resources by harmful or untried technologies, and by practices which exploit our most precious inheritance for commercial gain or  struggle for power;

  5. Promote deep respect, especially from among the youth, for the guardians of the earth and its resources, honoring their profession, their lifestyle, and winning for them the recognition, security, and protection they need.

  6. Remain vigilant by continually surveying the world scene, identifying allies and evaluating communities, which could be served by the experiences and abilities of SEARICE. Human rights are enunciated and promoted in the family of nations, where SEARICE can find continued instruction and patronage for its activities.

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Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment


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Photos are contributed by SEARICE staff and partner organizations and government agencies.