SEARCA participated in the ASEAN Conference on Policy and Governance for Climate-Smart Land Use (CSLU) held virtually on 16-18 November 2021 and hosted by the Department of Agriculture Thailand. The conference, with the aim of increasing knowledge on strategies, policies and governance framework on CSLU, provided an avenue to share experiences and lessons learned on how to engage local communities and groups and mobilize the private sector to work towards resilient, productive, and sustainable use and management of land. The presentations and discussions during the conference featured one of the three core themes on CSLU: multi-level governance for Day 1; inclusive and participatory policymaking for Day 2; and enabling environment for private investments for Day 3.
Aside from providing organizational support throughout the event, SEARCA also hosted a parallel session and presented updates on its project with the the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Focusing on “Models of Climate Resilient Strategies for Enhancing Women's Participation in Agricultural Entrepreneurship”, the Research and Thought Leadership Department (RTLD) of SEARCA, together with Women’s Business Council Philippines, INC. (WomenBizPH), spearheaded a dialogue in recognition of the growing importance of women’s role in policymaking for climate-smart land use. Ms. Mylene Abiva, the CEO of FELTA Multi-Media, Inc, moderated the parallel session, with Mr. Joselito B. Florendo, Deputy Director for Administration of SEARCA, delivering the welcome remarks.
Invited key experts were Dr. Nerlita M. Manalili, Managing Director of Nexus Agribusiness Solutions, who underscored the relevance of science and technology-based institutions in the social inclusion of women in agriculture; Ms. Cherrie D. Atilano, founding farmer and President of AGREA Agricultural Systems International, Inc., who highlighted the need for sustainable agri-women empowerment through an enabling environment for women’s capacity and economic development; and Atty. Dulce Blanca T. Punzalan, World Bamboo Ambassador and representative of UN Global Impact, who discussed the environmental, economic and health benefits of bamboo, including its potential for women’s entrepreneurship.
For the plenary session, Dr. Romeo V. Labios, agronomist and SEARCA lead expert, presented the key highlights of the Volume III of the ASEAN Guidelines for the Promotion and Adoption of Climate-Smart Agriculture. The volume, formulated in accordance to the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, embodies the principles of Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) towards a sustainable post-COVID recovery. Moreover, it provided tangible guidance on the promotion, adoption, and upscaling of CSA approaches while complementing the existing CSA practices at the systems level to respond to theats and challenges due to the pandemic. Dr. Labios noted that the draft of the Guidelines will undergo further revisions and will be reviewed by various ASEAN sectoral bodies, the ASEAN-CRN and the ASEAN Technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGARD), before it is submitted for endorsement to the Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF).
The three-day conference was organized with support from the CSLU in ASEAN project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ. SEARCA’s Management Information Systems Unit, led by Mr. Jaymark Warren T. Dia, provided technical assistance during the three-day conference.