SEARCA, partners hold workshop on establishing climate-smart villages

Being at the forefront of climate-smart agriculture and climate-smart villages, the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) have partnered to implement a workshop on establishing CSVs for the weeklong ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) held this past week.

"This program is grounded on SEARCA and IIRR's proven experience in conducting innovative regional learning activities and working with communities on climate-resilient agriculture," said Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, SEARCA director.

SEARCA hosted the workshop on establishing CSVs in the ASEAN region to improve food security and resiliency in local communities at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.

The CSV approach was developed by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) to help address climatic risks to agriculture-based livelihood. Specifically, it aims to enable farmers to learn from evidences generated at the local level and build their own CSVs.

Designed for ASEAN member-states, the workshop was expected to provide the participants with experiential knowledge on the principles and practice of CCAFS's CSV approach to promote climate-smart agriculture and its potential in enhancing food security in local communities.

The workshop highlighted the experiences in establishing CSVs in Southeast Asia, particularly in Guinayangan, Quezon, that was initiated by IIRR.

Since 2014, the Guinayangan climate-smart agriculture interventions has reached 1,500 farmers through farmer-to-farmer scaling.

The Guinayangan CSV has also been a "go-to site" for agricultural development workers learning the participatory approaches, technologies, and social learning methodologies to promote climate-smart agriculture and villages.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) used it as a learning site for capacitating 17 DA regional field offices and their respective local government units in developing Adaptation and Mitigation Initiatives in Agriculture (Amia) villages—the Philippine adaptation of CSV—in all 17 regions in the country.

"Often in partnership with like-minded institutions, SEARCA regularly organizes high-level discussions that may support policy advocacy and encourage organizations to learn from best practices of their counterparts from the ASEAN region," Gregorio said.

Co-organizing the workshop is an initiative under SEARCA's Umbrella Program on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Southeast Asia.