The workshop was jointly organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in close coordination with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH/German-ASEAN Programme on Response to Climate Change (GAP-CC) and Thailand’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC). It aimed to present and discuss the good practices of climate change adaptation measures identified and being promoted by each of the participating ASEAN Member States (AMS); elaborate on the specific technical requirements and implementation issues and challenges in the possible upscaling of these practices in other areas; discuss the implementation plans for the field demonstration and documentation of good practices as climate adaptation measures properly modified to suit specific locations; present and discuss the working paper that forms the Guidelines for Implementation of Regional Cooperation for information to ATWGARD and endorsement of SOM-AMAF; and draw up the plan for continued collaboration and networking of the CRN in rice and other crops. Dr. Suwit Chaikiyattiyos, Thailand DOA Deputy Director-General, chaired the workshop.
Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director, highlighted in his opening speech that, “coping strategies and policies at the national and regional levels must be well-coordinated and directed towards effectively addressing the effects of climate change in the sector in which the majority of the population reside and eke out a living.” He also expressed his gratitude towards ASEAN and GIZ for entrusting the implementation of the project to SEARCA in addressing important development issues affecting the ASEAN region, which is consistent with the Center’s mandates.
Likewise, Mr. Thomas Heindrichs, GIZ Principal Advisor, said that the government of Germany, through GIZ, is very eager to support the CRN in addressing regional issues on climate change, particularly in the agriculture sector focusing on the good practices along the value chains for food security. Specifically, GIZ would like to continue supporting the regional upscaling and outscaling of these good practices as climate change adaptation (CCA) measures for adoption of the AMS. He further stressed that regional-level support can only be successful if there is strong national leadership and contribution.
The ATWGARD focal persons and the SEARCA project team leaders from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam were gathered in this event. Also present were resource persons and representatives from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), MicroEnsure-Philippines, CGIAR Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) Southeast Asia, ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC), Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) Project-United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and USAID-Philippines. Dr. Felino P. Lansigan, SEARCA Regional Agricultural Value Chain/Climate Resilience Expert served as the overall resource person and workshop facilitator.
Dr. Lansigan brought forward the following recommendations on CCA areas for regional collaboration for the CRN’s consideration for the next phase of project implementation in 2015: (1) regional collaboration through knowledge sharing and technology transfer; (2) partnership with development institutions to facilitate capacity building and enhance climate resilience or local communities and crop production systems; (3) climate-proofing of crop production systems; (4) research and development on CCA; and (5) establishment of a Regional Center for regional and country-level climate forecast, monitoring and evaluation, and mainstreaming of CCA policies in the respective AMS.
Complemented by national consultation meetings and member state analyses, the workshop is the culminating activity of the GAP-CC-funded project ASEAN Network on Promoting Climate Resilience of Rice and Other Crops, which was proposed by Thailand and adopted by ATWGARD. The project aims to advance the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) and the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security (AFCC).
SEARCA’s Project Development and Technical Services (PDTS) provided support during the event. (Kristine Joy S. Villagracia)