ISARD Policy Roundtable Series

The ISARD Policy Roundtable Series (PRT) aims to inform policy in agricultural and rural development (ARD). It looks to apprise concerned stakeholders of evidence-based policy lessons/implications resulting from science-based studies and to provide a venue for in-depth discussion of the issue and said policy lesson/implication, particularly as it impacts the poor and vulnerable sectors. Policymakers, researchers, development workers, and the private sector are among the target participants and beneficiaries, with agricultural/rural communities as the ultimate beneficiaries.

The most recent PRTs conducted were as follows:

  1. Policy Roundtable on Rice and Important Agricultural Commodities in Myanmar (Rice++): Towards Evidence Based Policy Formulation
  2. Policy Roundtable: Rice Policies across Southeast Asia
  3. Regional Roundtable Discussion and Workshop on the Development of Ecological Monitoring Network in Southeast Asia
  4. Improving The Agricultural Insurance Program To Enhance Resilience To Climate Change In Southeast Asia
  5. Policy Roundtable on Biotechnology: Biotechnology for Food Security in a Climate Change Scenario and ASEAN Integration
  6. Policy Roundtable on Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector towards Food Security in Southeast Asia

Policy Roundtable on Rice and Important Agricultural Commodities in Myanmar (Rice++): Towards Evidence Based Policy Formulation

1 April 2017 Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Objectives

The event was designed to serve as a capability building process where policymakers, mostly from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation (MoALI), learn from the experiences of other countries on formulating evidence-based policies. It was intended to emphasize the importance of evidence based policy formulation.

Participants

45 personnel from various departments of MoALI, the private sector, farmers' organization, international organizations based in Myanmar, IFAD, IFPRI, and SEARCA participated in the roundtable.

Policy Roundtable: Rice Policies across Southeast Asia

8 December 2016 SEARCA Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines Food Security Center of Hohenheim University

Objectives

This PRT aimed to look at rice policies in the region to offer guidance for policy makers and other stakeholders under current and future market realities. Specifically, it aimed to:

  1. Examine rice policies across the countries in SEA;
  2. Abstract lessons from the country experiences;
  3. Understand knowledge gaps and, where appropriate, list activities that could be undertaken per country or across the region; and
  4. Craft possible policy inputs to be presented to governments

Participants

The event gathered a total of 42 participants from various rice-importing and -exporting countries in Southeast Asia, stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, and research community.

Regional Roundtable Discussion and Workshop on the Development of Ecological Monitoring Network in Southeast Asia

24-25 October 2016 SEARCA Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia; Food Security Center of Hohenheim University

Objectives

The roundtable discussion aimed to initiate the development of an ecological monitoring network and linked databases in SEA to inform policy at national and regional levels. The roundtable had the following specific objectives:

  1. Take stock of existing initiatives in ecological monitoring and relevant databases;
  2. Identify gaps and areas for improvement in ecological monitoring in the SEA; and
  3. Explore possibilities of linking existing initiatives and databases across the region.

Participants

34 participants from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Timor Leste, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines attended the roundtable discussion.

Improving the Agricultural Insurance Program to Enhance Resilience to Climate Change in Southeast Asia

29-30 July 2015 Ascott Makati, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City, Philippines Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice); Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC)

Objectives

This roundtable envisioned the promotion of and cooperation in the practice of agricultural insurance in Southeast Asia and arrive at a consensus on the way forward in improving the insurance program to enhance resilience to climate change. More specifically, the Policy Roundtable aimed to:

  1. Share knowledge and experiences on various facets of agricultural insurance in Southeast Asia;
  2. Identify key issues and challenges related to agriculture insurance;
  3. Explore possible partnerships between and among governments, development organizations, and other stakeholders to actively collaborate on research, knowledge management, capacity building, and other activities; and
  4. Identify policy directions and recommendations for an enabling environment towards an improved agricultural insurance program.

Participants

A total of 55 participants from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), ministries of agriculture of various Southeast Asian countries, the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (University Consortium), and agencies/organizations working on agricultural insurance partook in the event.

Policy Roundtable on Biotechnology: Biotechnology for Food Security in a Climate Change Scenario and ASEAN Integration

26-27 May 2014 Baoson Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA); CropLife Asia; Institute of Agricultural Genetics of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Objectives

  1. To share information on the state and commitment of member countries in the development and regulation of modern biotechnology products;
  2. To understand the impacts of biotechnology on agriculture, food security and poverty in the region;
  3. To explore possible areas for collaboration and cooperation in the development of biotechnology products as adaptation strategy for climate change; and
  4. To identify areas in biotechnology product regulations that may negatively affect free trade within the ASEAN.

Participants

Two representatives each from Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Cambodia, and a total of 10 from Vietnam (including secretariat support) participated in the activity. Representatives of international development organizations and those working on biotechnology were likewise invited.

Policy Roundtable on Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in the Agriculture Sector towards Food Security in Southeast Asia

6-7 February 2014 Phnom Penh, Cambodia Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN); General Directorate of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF)

This forum was in accordance with the commitment of parties, as stated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), for the promotion and cooperation in the "exchange of relevant scientific, technological, technical, socio-economic and legal information related to the climate system and climate change, and to the economic and social consequences of various response strategies." Likewise, this activity could be considered as part of the education, training and public awareness component of the Convention as it contributes toward overcoming barriers to mainstreaming: the dearth of science-based information, of communication between the science and policy communities, of a knowledge base on successful processes and methods, and of financial resources/instruments.

Objectives

The Forum aimed to discuss an array of adaptation strategies on coping with the challenges in agriculture and food brought about by climate change; appreciate the requisites for an enabling environment to meet its challenges; understand mainstreaming approaches and challenges; identify appropriate entry points at both policy and implementation levels for integrating climate change adaptation strategies into development plans; identify financial instruments to fund efforts in mainstreaming; and explore possible partnerships between and among APAN, SEARCA, other APAN nodes, governments, and other development organizations to actively collaborate on research, capacity building, and other activities to mainstream adaptation strategies in the agriculture sector.

Participants

Around 33 representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, socio-economic planning agency, other agencies working on mainstreaming climate change adaptation, and universities in Southeast Asia participated in the Forum.