ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry Strategic Response Fund (ASRF) under the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change Phase III
The ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) supports the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), now referred to as the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), in addressing three interrelated issues confronting the region---food insecurity, poverty, and climate change. This partnership programme, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), aims to integrate social forestry into the climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of ASEAN and its member states. It promotes the inclusion of communities, women, and vulnerable groups in social forestry and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
The pilot phase of the AWG-SF Strategic Response Fund (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 ASEAN Member States (AMS), namely, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Majority of these projects involved national and local consultations to enhance policy on Social Forestry (SF), i.e., development of a road map on SF and revisions of existing statutes on SF, among others. Other AMS administered assessment studies that input to policy, and organized study tours to areas where best practices in SF had been proven. The pilot phase demonstrated that there is a demand for this type of grant among the AMS, and this was confirmed during the ASRF Program Steering Committee at the ASFCC Planning Meeting in August 2016.
The ASRF under ASFCC Phase 3 (2017-2020) 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. A sustainability strategy is built-in so that it can become the precursor for the creation of the ASRF Trust Fund.