ASRF is designed to provide Leaders and Focal Points on social forestry of the ASEAN Member States (AMS) with seed fund to enable them to respond to immediate needs or catalyze strategic actions that will address emerging issues and opportunities to which response of the AMS and ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) is critical.
The pilot phase of the ASRF commenced in April 2014 and operated for 35 months until February 2017. During the pilot phase, 19 projects were approved and implemented in eight AMS, namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The ASRF under ASFCC Phase 3 is redesigned to make it more efficient and effective in responding to the needs of the AMS in the areas of food security, poverty alleviation, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Other features of ASRF under ASFCC Phase 3 were presented in the meeting which include (a) support to ASEAN in developing policy frameworks and guidelines for cross-sectoral collaboration; (b) gap analysis on social forestry as basis for prioritizing the ASRF interventions; and (c) drafting a business plan to transform ASRF into a self-sustaining grant making facility on social forestry, building on the experience from the pilot phase.
The ASRF program steering committee meeting was chaired by Dr. Doris Capistrano (ASFCC Advisor) and attended by Mr. Orlando Panganiban (Philippines), Mrs. Wilawan Wichiennopparat and Dr. Komsan Ruengritsarakul (Thailand), Juergen Blaser (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation), Ms. Sagita Arhidani (AWG-SF Secretariat), and Ms. Amy Lecciones and Dr. Bessie Burgos (SEARCA). (Xyrus Godfrey B. Capiña)