Memorandum of Understanding PDF Print E-mail

Joint Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of an Asia-Pacific Network on Integrated Plant Nutrient Management


1 Definitions

For the purposes of this Memorandum of Understanding:

1. “Plant nutrient” shall mean nutrients from fertilizers, wastes (from both agriculture and industry) and from soil and environmental resource, such as atmospheric deposition and irrigation water;
2. “Integrated management” shall mean integrated use the above nutrients; Nutrient management shall be integrated with sound soil management practices and other farming techniques such as high yielding cultivation systems;
3. "Region" shall mean the region of Asia and the Pacific;
4. “Participant”shall mean a relevant Institution that has signed this Memorandum of Understanding or has been accepted subsequently in accordance with ? IV.3;
5. “APIPNM” shall mean the Asia-pacific network on integrated plant nutrient management;
6. “Consultative Board” shall mean the Consultative Board of APIPNM;
7. “Regional Co-ordinator” shall mean the Regional Co-ordinator for APIPNM;
8. “National Co-ordinator” shall mean the official appointed by a Participant to take responsibility for coordinating APIPNM activities at the national level and to represent his Institution on the Consultative Board of APIPNM;

2 Objectives of APIPNM

1. Strengthen exchanges of information, experience and knowledge in IPNM between and among scientists and institutions in Asia and the Pacific region through activities of APIPNM.
2. Strengthen capacity building in IPNM research and dissemination within both participant countries and Asia and the Pacific region through activities of APIPNM.
3. Formulation of programmer to support South-South Cooperation to improve the transfer of knowledge and information to farmers, policy-makers and field extension agents within both participant countries and the Asia and the Pacific region.

3 Activities of APIPNM For the purpose of achieving its objectives APIPNM may undertake the following activities:

1. The collection, compilation, dissemination of case studies of past and ongoing IPNM projects, traditional and improved IPNM practices for the purpose of subjecting them to environmental, and/or economic and financial appraisal so as to evaluate the reasons for success or failure of the projects and IPNM effectiveness and adoptability of the practices;

2. Organization of periodic regional workshops and seminars to facilitate the exchange of experience between specialists designated by Participants;

3. Publication of a newsletter at least 1 times a year to promote APIPNM's activities;

4. Constructing a web site of regional internet network;

5. Promotion of a series of regional action learning and development programmes each with its own programme of regional and national level activities that may include regional workshops, expert consultations, and training linked with collaborative in country research and development, extension and training activities;

6. Other activities which are required to achieve the above objectives.

4 Structure of APIPNM The organs of APIPNM shall be:

1. The Co-ordination Unit;

2. Participating countries, shall appoint (nominate) their National Coordinators. National coordinator shall form Network Consultative Board;

3. Other organs e.g. Non-governmental organizations, which are deemed necessary by the Participants through their participation in the Consultative Board.

4.1 The Co-ordination Unit

Unless otherwise decided by the Participants, at a meeting of the Consultative Board, the Co-ordination Unit shall be comprised FAO officer and China representatives, located within the China Agriculture University, Beijing, PR China or FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific during the first 5 years period of APIPNM. China Agriculture University will give secretariat support to Co-ordination Unit.

(1) The Regional Co-ordinator shall:

(a) be responsible for the day-to-day administration of IPNM;

(b) maintain the APIPNM website.

(c) convene the Consultative Board Meetings;

(d) organize regional workshops, expert consultations, training courses and other meetings in accordance with the approved programme of work;

(e) initiate proposals for joint collaborative programmes with other international and regional bodies as mentioned in 3;

(f) arrange for the production of a newsletter covering IPNM activities in the Region;

(g) be responsible for the financial management of APIPNM under the supervision of the Consultative Board and arrange an annual audit with the report of the auditors being distributed to all Participants;

(h) take overall responsibility for the operation of a regional information service that will provide the Participants with easy access to information on IPNM related matters from other Participants and, as appropriate, from other regions;

(i) take action on other matters consistent with the objectives mentioned in 2.

(2) In the interest of continuity of work and availability of professional guidance, a Participant, through the Consultative Board, may approach the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other Regional and International Agencies for assistance in providing a technical integrated plant nutrient management adviser, other technical expert(s) and bi-lingual secretary(ies) for the technical development and implementation of APIPNM's activities in the initial years of APIPNM.

4.2 Participating countries

4.2.1 Membership

(1) The relevant Institution of any member of the United Nations, or of any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency located within the region of Asia and the Pacific may become a Participant by signing this Memorandum of Understanding or being accepted in accordance with 4.2.1(3).

(2) Participants shall be represent by his nominating National Coordinator.

(3) The relevant Institution of any member of the United Nations, or of any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency located within the region of Asia and the Pacific which has not signed this Memorandum of Understanding by 31st December 2007, which wishes to become a Participant, shall apply in writing to the Regional Co-ordinator. on receipt of the application for participation, the Regional Co-ordinator shall inform all Participants thereof. (4)Any Participant may withdraw from APIPNM after the expiration of one year from the date on which membership of APIPNM was acquired, by giving written notice of withdrawal in original and duplicate copies to the Regional Co-ordinator with copies to the National Co-ordinators of the other Participants. Withdrawals from IPNM shall become effective one year from the date of receipt by the Regional Coordinator of a notice of withdrawal, provided that during the period of such one year, a Participant withdrawing from IPNM shall nevertheless remain liable for the discharge of obligations incurred under the provisions of this Memorandum of Understanding.

4.2.2 Rights and obligations of Participants

(1) Participants shall, in accordance with this Memorandum of Understanding and decisions of the Consultative Board, have the right:

(a) to be represented by the National Co-ordinator or his nominated alternate at meetings of the Consultative Board;

(b) to nominate at least one participant to attend all expert consultations, workshops, training courses and other meetings organized under the auspices of APIPNM;

(c) to request and obtain information, within APIPNM, on matters of its own concern related IPNM;
(d) to request that one or more of the other Participants agree to participate in the mutual inter-country exchange of research and extension staff, for the purposes of making study tours and participating in regional training opportunities; and

(e) to receive publications, unprinted media material and other information that may be produced and distributed by APIPNM.

(2) Participants shall, in accordance with this Memorandum of Understanding and the decisions of the Consultative Board, have the following obligations:

(a) to meet their obligations towards APIPNM including their annual contributions;

(b) to collaborate in the running of APIPNM through their active participation in Consultative Board meetings;

(c) provide, promptly, information reasonably requested by APIPNM, which is not contrary to any regulations of the country concerned;

(d) to take steps to facilitate the entry of persons acting on behalf of other Participants when hosting a regional workshop, expert consultation, training course or other meeting under the auspices of IPNM subject to those persons meeting the immigration and security requirements of the host country;

(e) undertake any assignments that may be mutually agreed between the Participants and APIPNM; andf) in general, collaborate with APIPNM in the fulfilment of APIPNM's objectives and functions.

4.2.3- Consultative Board

(1) The Consultative Board shall function as a steering committee and policy making body for APIPNM.

(2) The Consultative Board may make recommendations to Participants on any matters pertaining to the aims and functions of IPNM as set forth in 2 of this Memorandum of Understanding.

(3) The membership of the Consultative Board shall comprise the National Co-ordinators representing the Participants. If the National Co-ordinator is unable to attend a meeting, he may nominate an alternate to act in his place. The National Co-ordinators (or alternates) shall have the authority to take decisions on behalf of the Participant concerning the operation and activities of APIPNM.

(4) Each National Co-ordinator (or alternate) shall have one vote.

(5) The Chairman of each meeting of the Consultative Board shall be the National Co-ordinator representing the Participant in which country the meeting takes place. The Regional Co-ordinator shall act as Secretary to the Board meetings.

(6) The Consultative Board shall meet at least once a year, at the time and place decided by the previous meeting, on a rotating basis around the region. The Secretary shall despatch the announcement of the meeting at least 60 days in advance of the opening date. The letter of invitation, along with the necessary documents shall be sent to the National Co-ordinators at least 30 days before the date fixed for the opening session. If the Consultative Board at its previous meeting was unable to fix a time and place for the next meeting, the Secretary in consultation with the National Co-ordinators through correspondence, is then authorized to fix the venue, time and date of the meeting.

(7) A majority of the Participants shall constitute a quorum.

(8) The Secretary may call an extraordinary meeting of the Consultative Board at the request of a group of the National Co-ordinators representing not less than half of the Participants. The Secretary shall decide the agenda, time and place of an extraordinary meeting, after taking into consideration proposals made by the Participants.

(9) The provisional agenda of each ordinary meeting of the Consultative Board shall include, as appropriate:

(a) adoption of the agenda;

(b) approval of the previous meetings minutes;

(c) matters arising from the previous minutes;

(d) report by the Regional Co-ordinator on activities undertaken since the previous meeting;

(e) reports by the National Co-ordinators;

(f) reports from other technical support staff within the Co-ordination Unit, if any;

(g) report on financial income and expenditure since the previous meeting;

(h) consideration of the annual budget for future activities;

(i) applications and conditions for admission of new Participants;

(j) consideration of the date and venue of the next meeting of the Consultative Board; and;

(k) any other business proposed by the Co-ordination Unit or any Participant.

(10) The provisional agenda for an extraordinary meeting shall include the special item for which the meeting is being called and other items proposed by the Secretary or by a Participant.

(11) At its ordinary meeting, the Consultative Board shall:

(a) consider the report on the activities of IPNM since the previous meeting with a view to monitoring progress and making changes to the work programme both in the light of experience gained from its implementation and in accordance with the changing priorities and circumstances of the Participants;

(b) consider and approve the annual budget and audited financial statements of expenditure incurred for the operation of APIPNM and the implementation of APIPNM activities;

(c) consider and approve the plans prepared by the Co-ordination Unit for the development and implementation of the future work programme of APIPNM taking into consideration the financial, technical and administrative requirements of the programme, this to include agreement as to which Participant will host particular IPNM activities at the regional level;

(d) consider for approval such contracts negotiated and agreements entered into by the Co-ordination Unit on behalf of APIPNM since the previous meeting, with donor(s) and/or other agencies/ institutions;

(e) determine the date and venue of the next Consultative Board Meeting

(f) consider and take action on other matters presented to it by the Regional Co-ordinator;g) decide on applications for membership of APIPNM, by a unanimous vote of all Participants represented at the meeting;

(h) determine the annual contribution payable by the Participants by unanimous vote of all Participants represented at the meeting; andi) adopt and amend the rules and regulations of APIPNM as required, by unanimous vote of all Participants represented at the meeting. 12. The Consultative Board may establish such subsidiary bodies as it deems necessary.

5 National Networks

1. Each Participant shall appoint a senior officer from the department with primary responsibility for soil fertility and nutrient management as their National Co-ordinator.

2. The National Co-ordinator shall serve as the focal point in his country for IPNM and shall be responsible for IPNM activities at the national level.

6 - Revenues and Disbursement

1. The financial resources of APIPNM shall be derived from:

The Co-ordinator and Consultative Board will be responsible for seeking funds from regional, national and international sources to cover programme costs. (

(1). annual contributions by Participants;

(2). contributions from international agency, such as FAO, and

(3). voluntary Contributions from Participants as well as grants and donations from other sources as well as other income.

2. The Regional Co-ordinator shall submit to the Consultative Board the annual budget for APIPNM for approval.

3. Each Participant undertakes to pay an annual contribution. Decisions on the amount and/or form of the annual contribution shall be taken by the Consultative Board in consultation with the appropriate financial authorities of the Participants.

4. The financial accounting period of APIPNM shall be the calendar year.

5.The Regional Co-ordinator, acting on behalf of the Consultative Board, shall have full power and authority to:

(1) incur expenses in connection with the administration and operation of APIPNM;]

(2) collect, receive and acknowledge contributions and place them in appropriate bank accounts, on behalf of APIPNM;

(3) authorize, record and account for all the disbursements made by or on behalf of APIPNM.

(4) open, operate and close bank accounts in the countries of the region or any other countries approved by the Consultative Board on behalf of ASOCON;

7 - Cost-sharing

1. Each Participant shall meet the costs (airfare, DSA and transit expenses) involved in the participation of its National Co-ordinator in the meetings of the Consultative Board.

2. In the initial years of APIPNM cost sharing between the Coordination Unit and the Participants with regard to the convening of regional workshops, expert consultations and training courses as part of APIPNM work programme shall be as per the following breakdown:

(1) Responsibility of the Co-ordination unit using voluntary contributions from Participants, FAO, grants and donations from other sources and other incomes:

- International airfares (and any domestic air travel in the country in which the meeting is being held) for the external participants

- Board and lodging and pocket money allowance for the external participants.

- All costs associated with consultants and external resource persons.

- Honoraria and any board and lodging expenses associated with the use of local resource persons and guest speakers.

- Honoraria for administrative support staff such as secretaries and drivers.

- Part of the costs of materials for the workshop/training course (eg. bags, stationery, maps., air photos, etc). (2) Responsibility of the host country:

- All costs (transport, board and lodging) of the participants from the host country.

- All costs associated with the provision of the transport required for the running of the workshop/training course.

- Salaries of the local resource persons, guest lecturers, administrative support staff.

- Part of the costs of materials and local running expenses for the workshop/training course eg photo copying paper, telex and fax messages.

- Provision of a photo copier, word processing equipment, overhead and slide projectors, and other non-expendable items needed for the workshop/training course. (3) Responsibility of the other Participants:

- All in country costs of their participants (eg. domestic travel to and from the international airport, obtaining of visas and exit clearance, etc) prior to boarding the international flight taking them to the country in which the workshop/training course is being held.

- Salaries of their participants during the time they are away from their duty stations.

- All costs associated with the preparation of country review papers for presentation at a workshop/training course in which they have agreed to participate.

8 - Participation of observers

1. Institutions which are not Participants of APIPNM, and regional and international organisations, may, upon written request and approval of the Consultative Board, attend regional workshops and other technical meetings organised under the auspices of APIPNM as observers.

2. Participation of regional and international organisations in the work of APIPNM shall be governed by the relevant provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding and the decisions of the Consultative Board. The Regional Coordinator, acting on behalf and in consultation with the National Co-ordinators, shall have the right to invite regional and international organisations to attend meetings of the Consultative Board and subsidiary bodies of APIPNM in an observer, and where appropriate advisory, capacity.

3. Unless the Consultative Board expressly determines otherwise, observers from regional and international organisations may attend the working sessions of Consultative Board meetings and participate in discussions.4.Observers shall not have voting rights.

9 - Rules and Regulations

For the discharge of subsidiary functions under the Memorandum of Understanding, rules and regulations may be framed by decision of the Consultative Board on the following matters:

1. personnel management of the staff of the Co-ordination Unit directly employed by APIPNM including recruitment, promotion and disciplinary actions;

2. financial management, such as opening of the bank account, preparation of accounts and financial statements and travel allowances;

3. procedures to conclude contracts and agreements with other organisations; and4. procedures to receive donations.

10 - Amendment of the Memorandum of Understanding

1. The Consultative Board may adopt amendments to this Memorandum of Understanding by a unanimous decision of all Participants represented at a meeting of the Consultative Board, provided that no written objections thereto are received by the Regional Co-ordinator, within 30 days of the circulation of the amendment, from any Participant not represented at the meeting.

2. Proposals for amendment of the Memorandum of Understanding may be made by any Participant through its National Coordinator in a communication addressed to the Regional Coordinator. A proposal for the amendment of the Memorandum of Understanding shall be included in the agenda of a meeting of the Consultative Board on condition that prior notice thereof has been dispatched by the Regional Coordinator to the Participants, at least 30 days prior to the opening of the meeting.

3. An amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding which has been adopted by the Consultative Board shall be communicated to all the Participants by the Regional Coordinator and shall become effective 30 days after the amendment has been communicated, subject to the provisions of paragraph 1 above.

11 - Termination

1. The Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated by a three-fourths majority of Participants. The termination of the Memorandum of Understanding shall entail dissolution of APIPNM.

2. In the case of dissolution of APIPNM, the responsibility for settlement of outstanding liabilities, if any, or receipts from sale of assets after settlement of liabilities, if any, shall be shared equally by all Participants.