2nd ASEAN Climate Leadership Program (ACLP)

Promoting Climate-Smart Land Use for Implementing Nationally Determined Contributions

Date: 18 August – 28 October 2021 | By invitation only

Why Climate Leadership?

Southeast Asia is highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, which poses a major threat to the region in the form of rising sea levels, typhoons, tropical storms, floods and droughts. Addressing climate change is complex and requires cross-sectoral cooperation and systemic approaches. However, many institutions have struggled to adjust their way of operating and to adapt their processes to become more inclusive, holistic and dynamic in light of this new reality.

Competent and motivated individuals with strong networks are needed in key positions to initiate and facilitate complex change processes, foster cooperation and promote systems thinking. They should not only possess the relevant technical knowledge but have the motivation and skills to engage beyond their immediate area of work and inspire others to collaborate.

ASEAN recognises the importance of sustainable land use, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This is reflected in various strategic documents at the regional level, such as the Vision and Strategic Plan (SP) for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (FAF) (2016-2025), the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment (ASPEN) 2016-2025 and the ASEAN Framework Action Plan on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication 2016-2020. At the national level, all ASEAN member states (AMS) have signed the Paris Agreement and communicated their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

The ASEAN Climate Leadership Programme (ACLP) aims to support the implementation of the SP FAF 2016-2025 as well as other ASEAN frameworks related to climate change and land use, and contribute to achieving the countries' NDCs.

What is its purpose?

The ACLP aims to strengthen key leadership skills in initiating and facilitating change processes and collective cross-sectoral
transformative action in climate-smart land use. The goal is to enable participants to enhance their contribution to promoting
the implementation of climate-friendly and resilient land use practices that contribute to achieving the countries' nationally
determined contributions (NDCs) while considering ASEAN policies and priorities.

The programme promotes direct and indirect change in three key areas:

  • Participants' Competences

    • Understanding the leadership concept and building the required mindset
    • Acquiring and learning relevant tools and methods used in both, leadership development and climate change
    • Updating knowledge on regional policies and priorities relevant for climate-smart land use
  • Organisational Skills

    • Improving key personnel's leadership and management skills
    • Transfer of knowledge to the organisation
    • Access to a network of experts and policymakers
    • Innovation through transformative project ideas developed by the participants
  • Regional Policy Processes

    • Strengthening dialogue on the regional aspect of climate challenges and solutions
    • Lessons learned on promoting transformative, system-wide, cross-sector collaboration
    • Strengthening the network of potential ASEAN leaders
    • Inspiration for further regional dialogue processes

Leadership Journey at a Glance

The ACLP is designed as a Leadership Journey. Leadership in this context is not understood in the context of hierarchy but rather as a set of personal skills that enable an individual to initiate and manage change. Leadership Journeys form part of a quest for global transformation and more sustainable economies and societies.

They encourage the participants to reflect on tangible structures, such as institutions, politics and material realities, as well as on the inner world of values, world views, cultural frames of reference, narratives and the habitual routines of individuals and society in order to facilitate change and social innovation. Participants learn to look at issues from a systems perspective and also become more aware of their own role in the system around them.

The programme addresses leadership not as a stand-alone function but in the context of a specific challenge. During this Leadership Journey activities will be focused on strengthening the link between ASEAN policy processes and national policy processes to promote climate-smart land use that enhances food security and amplifies climate change mitigation and adaptation outcomes, as stipulated in the countries' NDCs. The course is based on peer-to-peer exchanges, facilitated by experienced coaches specialised in leadership and change theory and by experts with technical knowledge on land use and climate change.

The programme is based on leadership and innovation lab approaches that GIZ has successfully applied in a number of areas. It emphasises the importance of the learning process which continues outside the modules themselves.

Programme Summary


    The ACLP will be implemented for 15 days over approximately 2.5 months, from 18 August to 28 October 2021, alternating between some intensive periods of work and a period of reflection and implementation in the respective work context.


    Mixed Activities
    The programme will involve a mixture of short virtual input and discussion formats, longer virtual workshops, group work, self-organised field trips to learning sites, reflection time at home, (peer-to-peer) coaching/mentoring.

    Virtual Learning
    The virtual training will be hosted on a web-based platform, such as Microsoft Teams and will be accessible from various devices such as a computer, laptop, tablet and mobile phone. However, the participants will need peripheral devices such as a working microphone/headset, a web camera and a stable internet connection.

    All participants will work on different collective action initiatives (prototyping or further developing existing projects).

    Successful Participation
    Participants who have participated in all mandatory activities in the four modules will receive a certificate acknowledging their engagement and learning process.


    Participation in the leadership programme is free of charge.

    Throughout the programme, the participants will benefit from the guidance of experienced leadership experts, technical experts and of course their peers.

Who is Eligible?

Participation in the ACLP is subject to an application. All applicants will be assessed and selected following the individual criteria and group profile below:

Individual Criteria (all criteria must be met)Group Profile
  • Language: good English proficiency
  • Position: technical officer/advisor or low to mid-range decision maker
  • Relevant field of work:
    • Agriculture (crop production, livestock, fisheries)
    • Forestry
    • Rural development
    • Climate policy and action (mitigation and adaptation)
  • Solid technical experience/knowledge on climate change issues in the context of agriculture, forestry and other land uses
  • Directly or indirectly involved in ASEAN policy processes and/or implementation of national policies and programmes related to land use and climate change (focus: NDCs)
  • Potential of acting as a change agent: having or heading towards key positions in the respective institution and having solid professional reputation
  • Clearly expressed willingness to participate actively in the full programme, including support from their superior
  • Gender balance (min. 40 per cent women)
  • Country balance (up to three people per AMS from different institutions/organisations)
  • Priority will be given to representatives of national policy-making institutions
  • Applicants from civil society organisations, academia and the private sector will be considered if further places are available and if they meet all the individual criteria mentioned above.

Programme Duration

18 August – 28 October 2021

Participants, facilitators and other experts will be connected via an online platform to maintain communication and promote reflection, individual as well as group work.

The learning progress of participants will be followed up by individual coaching calls with the leadership facilitators.

1. Preparatory Module

Learning Objectives

  • Ensure an understanding of the leadership programme, its approaches, expected learning outcomes and changes.
  • Build the foundation for a positive group dynamic.

Thematic Highlight

Introduction to the concept of climatesmart land use practices and the selected existing policy guidelines around the topic existing in the region.

Time Needed in Total: 1.5 Days

  • 18-19 August 2021
    (approx. 5 hours/day) workshop days
  • 0.5 day of home-based reading and reflection

2. Foundational Module

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the concept of System thinking and Theory U, including the different steps.
  • Gain information about the role of Change Projects in the programme.
  • Propose and select a 'Change Project' where participants would like to contribute in the discussion.

Thematic Highlight

Explore how climate-smart land use is reflected in NDCs and how its potential is being optimized under collaborative planning and practices across sectors to yield climate benefits.

Time Needed in Total: 4 Days

  • 6-9 September 2021
    (approx. 5 hours/day) workshop days
  • Self-organised group work
  • Home-based reading and reflection

3. Collaborative Module

3A. Collaborative Module3B. Collaborative Module

Learning Objectives

  • Reflect and apply what has been learned and experienced in the previous module.
  • Learn and practice how to do a sensing journey.
  • Understand and experience presencing as a unique step in the Theory U.

Thematic Highlight

Deepen the understanding of one's own role and opportunities in the nexus of climate and land-use in the attainment of NDCs.

Time Needed in Total: 2 Days

  • 21-22 September 2021
    (approx. 5 hours/day) workshop combined with self-organised group work
  • Home-based reading and reflection
  • Self-organised sensing journey

Time Needed in Total: 2 Days

  • 11-12 October 2021
    (approx. 5 hours/day) workshop combined with self-organised group work
  • Home-based reading and reflection
  • Self-organised sensing journey

4. Final Module

Learning Objectives

  • Learn and practice to present a Change Project with the framework of Theory U.
  • Feedback on change projects, finalise and develop an implementation plan.

Thematic Highlight

Reflect on actionable policy processes that promote climate-resilient and climate-friendly land use to achieve NDC.

Time Needed in Total: 4 Days

  • 25-28 October 2021
    (approx. 4 hours/day) workshop
  • Self-organised group work
  • Home-based reading and reflection
  • Closing ceremony

About the Organisers

Climate-Smart Land Use in ASEAN (CSLU)

The Climate-Smart Land Use in ASEAN (CSLU) project builds on the successes of the previous Forest and Climate Change project under the former ASEAN-German Programme on Response to Climate Change. The CSLU project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in close cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat.

The CSLU project continues to strengthen the ASEAN bodies in their coordinating role to drive forward international and national climatepolicy processes for climate-smart land use. In doing so, it contributes to increasing resilience and the capacity to adapt to climate change, reduce or remove greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase productivity and incomes in the agriculture and forestry sectors.

Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA)

SEARCA is one of the 26 special institutions of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). Founded on 27 November 1966, SEARCA is mandated to strengthen institutional capacities in agricultural and rural development in South-East Asia through graduate scholarship, research and development, and knowledge management. It serves the 11 SEAMEO member countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. SEARCA is hosted by the Government of the Philippines on the campus of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) in Laguna, Philippines. It is supported by donations from SEAMEO members and associate member states, other governments and various international donor agencies.