SDC supports ASRF for another 3-year cycle in ASFCC Phase 3
ASFCC leaders and representatives from implementing partners during the ASFCC Phase 3 Planning Workshop
The ASRF, under the leadership of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), gets the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for another three years under the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Phase 3 project. This was affirmed during the Operational Planning Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), formerly the ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) held in Jimbaran Bay Beach Resort, Bali, Indonesia on 3-4 December 2016, which was concluded with a debriefing at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on 6 December 2016. The meeting was attended by Dr. Jurgen Blaser and Mr. Sreeram Kootala of SDC, Dr. Doris Capistrano, Senior Advisor of the ASFCC, and representatives of the five implementing partners of the ASFCC, namely, the Center for International Forest Research (CIFOR), World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Program (NTFP-EP), The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), and SEARCA.
The meeting charted the next three years of operation of the AWG-SF, specifically to support the AMS achieve their targets based on the AWG-SF's Strategic Plan of Action in line with the Vision and Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (ASEAN-FAF) (2016-2025), the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025, and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. In the current set-up where the ASFN had been transformed into a Working Group under the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry, it was emphasized that the collaboration with other AWGs is needed under the umbrella of the ASEAN Multi-sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security (AFCC) to achieve its objectives. In this regard, the AWG-SF has accepted the request by the AFCC to spearhead the establishment of a coordination mechanism among the concerned AWGs. In the debriefing presided by Dr. Pham Quang Minh, Assistant Director of Food, Agriculture and Forestry Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, Dr. Doris Capistrano reported on the highlights of the ASFCC Operational Meeting that initiated the sharing and discussion among those present, including representatives from the Swiss Embassy, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, World Resources Institute (WRI), and ASEAN-MAFI Japan, among others.
Ms. Amy Lecciones, ASRF Regional Program Coordinator, presents the ASRF accomplishments under ASFCC Phase 2 and plans for the next phase of ASRF.
For Phase 3, which is also the final phase of support of the SDC to the ASFCC, the ASRF will continue to administer the small grants to the AMS following a more strategic and streamlined process to make the funds more accessible to its intended beneficiaries. Aside from the grant-making objective, the ASRF will support the regional/ASEAN-level initiatives of developing policy frameworks and guidelines for cross-sectoral collaboration in support of the AFCC and FAF, e.g., clarifying landscape concepts. Moreover, a sustainability scheme will be developed so that ASRF can become the precursor or test-bed for the creation of an ASRF Trust Fund.
Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, Program Head for Research and Development Department led the SEARCA-ASRF team that attended the ASFCC Operational Meeting. (Amy Lecciones)