ASFCC is a program funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to support the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) in addressing three interrelated issues confronting the region – food insecurity, poverty, and climate change. SEARCA implements the AWG-SF Strategic Response Fund (ASRF), a flexible funding mechanism that aims to enable AWG-SF Leaders and Focal Points to quickly respond to emerging issues and challenges and articulate policy recommendations and directions on social forestry.
Now on its third and last phase, the ASFCC is geared towards institutionalization of support after 2020. The ASFCC partners, with their expertise, experiences over the last two phases, and planned activities for Phase III are committed in advancing social forestry in the ASEAN region. The partners reaffirmed their commitment to contribute to the vision of the ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (2016-2025) and the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security (AFCC).
Dr. Doris Capistrano, ASFCC Regional Advisor, commended SEARCA and the AWG-SF Secretariat for taking the lead in developing the proposed integrated framework for AFCC Component 4 titled, 'ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework for Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food and Nutrition Security and Achievement of SDGs.' Further, the AWG-SF Secretariat announced that the proposed integrated framework will now be disseminated across relevant ASEAN bodies for peer review before it gets to the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) and ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF).
Through the various programs and activities of ASFCC over the last six years (2011-present), the ASEAN has recognized the contributions of ASFCC in the region and has delegated important lead roles in developing various ASEAN documents such as the ASEAN Agroforestry Guidelines and the Proposed Integrated Framework for AFCC Component 4, among others.
In reporting the ASRF accomplishments, SEARCA highlighted (1) the review of proposals received from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam; (2) the drafting of the conceptual framework for the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change (AFCC); (3) the Gap Analysis on social forestry of 8 AMS; and (4) some updates on the ASRF Business Plan.
The implementing partners who were present in the planning meeting are the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP), Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), and World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF). Also present were Dr. Juergen Blaser, SDC Global Program Climate Change Advisor; Dr. Doris Capistrano; Mr. Sreeram Koottala, ASFCC Fiduciary Advisor; and representatives from the AWG-SF Secretariat.
Some of the major events in 2018 that the ASFCC will participate in are the 6th Ad-Hoc Steering Committee on Climate Change and Food Security, Donor Round Forum towards the development of ASRF Business Plan, 12th AWG-SF Annual Meeting, 40th AMAF Meeting, and the ASFCC Phase III Planning Meeting for 2019. (Xyrus Godfrey B. Capiña)