SEARCA implements the ASFN Flexible Funding Mechanism through the ASFCC Phase II
The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) officially joins the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Phase II as one of the implementing partners that support the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) in addressing three interrelated issues of food insecurity, poverty, and climate change.
SEARCA recently signed an agreement with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the funding agency for the ASFCC programme. The ASFCC aims to integrate social forestry into the climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of the ASEAN and its member states (AMS). It promotes the inclusion of communities, women, and vulnerable groups in social forestry and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.
As a new supporting partner, SEARCA will implement the ASFN Flexible Funding Mechanism. The flexible funding mechanism will support in-country initiatives that will enable the AMS focal points to quickly respond to emerging issues and challenges, and increase their ability to articulate policy recommendations and directions. Called ASFN Strategic Response Fund (ASFN-SRF), it will finance projects relevant to ASFCC and ASFN objectives and priority themes, and impactful by addressing gaps or issues of strategic importance on the issues of food security, poverty, and climate change. These projects may be classified as (1) quick “turn-around” studies, (2) exploratory reviews, (3) meta-analysis/analytical studies and think pieces, (4) study tours, (5) dialogues/roundtable discussions, (6) position or background papers as inputs to policy debates and decision-making, and (7) very strategic training scholarships.
The ASFN Flexible Funding Mechanism will be launched during the 8th ASFN Annual Meeting to be held on 27-28 May 2014 at the Sabah Forestry Department Office in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. His Excellency Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn, Swiss Ambassador for ASEAN will grace the occasion to inaugurate Phase II of ASFCC and officially launch the flexible funding mechanism. Prior to the launch, on 24-26 May 2014, ASFN will hold its 5th Conference including a Knowledge Fair, Parallel Discussions, and Technical Visits.
The other implementing partners of the ASFCC Phase II are the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), the Non-Timber Forest Product-Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP) South and Southeast Asia, the Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), and the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The SDC representative to ASFCC is Dr. Juergen Blaser, SDC Global Forest Advisor and Professor at Bern University of Applied Sciences, School of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Science. Dr. Doris Capistrano serves as ASFCC Advisor and is also one of SEARCA’s Senior Fellows.
Director Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. heads the SEARCA delegation who will attend the 8th ASFN Annual Meeting. Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, SEARCA’s Acting Program Head for Research and Development, and the ASFN Flexible Funding Mechanism Regional Program Coordinator will also attend the 5th ASFN Conference.