Asia Society and IRRI Co-Host 38th Williamsburg Conference

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Asia Society and IRRI Co-Host 38th Williamsburg Conference

May 20, 2010 -- The Asia Society’s 38th Williamsburg Conference, co-hosted this year with the International Rice Research Institute on May 20-23, 2010, in Los Banos, Laguna in the Philippines, will bring together key policy-makers and opinion leaders to offer solutions to the continuing crisis in food security plaguing the Asia-Pacific region.
Entitled “The Security Implications of Climate Change in the Asia-Pacific: Food Security, Water Security and Migration,” the conference will discuss and develop a special report on food security to be released by the Asia Society and IRRI this September.

“The overlapping crises of water scarcity, uneven and insufficient access to food, and climate change-induced migration will devastate some of Asia's most vulnerable communities unless urgent action can be taken starting today," said Asia Society Executive Vice President Jamie Metzl. "The Asia Society and IRRI are bringing some of the Asia-Pacific region's top experts together to help plan a regional response to these enormous challenges.”

The Williamsburg Conference is the pre-eminent gathering of leading Americans and Asians committed to strengthening US-Asia relations. Founded by John D. Rockefeller 3d in 1971, the Conference has brought together top leaders from Asia and the United States for the past 38 years to discuss the greatest challenges facing the Asia-Pacific community and develop creative approaches for addressing them.  It has been held in 17 countries across Asia as well as in the United States. The Asia Society and IRRI agreed to co-host this year’s event as part of the Institute’s 50th anniversary celebrations and to draw on its expertise in food security.

This year’s conference explores the Asia-Pacific regional security implications of climate change, with a particular emphasis on how the potential food and water shortages and the specter of climate change-induced migration will further stress existing national and international governance structures.  Delegates will also discuss what can be done now and in the future to best address these challenges.

For more on the Williamsburg conference, click here:

About the Asia Society
The Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders and institutions of the United States and Asia. The Society seeks to increase knowledge and enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.

Founded in 1956, the Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C.

Asia Society is on the web at

About the International Rice Research Institute
Based in the Philippines, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is the oldest and largest international agricultural research institute in Asia. It is an autonomous, nonprofit rice research and education organization with staff based in 14 countries in Asia and Africa.

Its mission is to reduce poverty and hunger, improve the health of rice farmers and consumers, and ensure that rice production is environmentally sustainable. The Institute works closely with most rice-producing and -consuming countries and their national agricultural research and extension systems, as well as farming communities and a range of international, regional, and local organizations. In partnerships with these national systems, it conducts research and provides training and education for those helping rice farmers by disseminating information and proven, sustainable technologies.

IRRI was established in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, in cooperation with the Philippine government. Its headquarters—which feature modern laboratories, training and accommodation facilities, and a 252-hectare experimental farm—lie next to the main campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, about 60 kilometers south of the Philippine capital, Manila.

Learn more at