SEARCA pushes climate-smart agri

THE Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) conducted virtual learning sessions on climate-smart villages (CSVs) to enhance the capacities of participants to promote, disseminate and advocate for local platforms for scaling inclusive forms of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) and anticipatory climate adaptation.

SEARCA Director Glenn Gregorio said these learning sessions jointly offered with the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) from Sept. 19 to 20, 2023, via Zoom, were part of an eight-day blended course "Climate-Smart Villages as Platforms for Community-Level Anticipatory Climate Adaptation to Improve Food Security and Resiliency."

A module was delivered virtually with 22 participants attending the sessions from academic institutions, nongovernment organizations, the private sector and government agencies from Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Germany.

Other modules were provided onsite through a roving workshop from Sept. 25 to 30, 2023, where participants visited sites in Bailen, General Emilio Aguinaldo in Cavite; Pagbilao and Guinayangan in Quezon; and Los Baños, Laguna.

The six-day roving workshop allowed participants to witness firsthand how food systems-sensitive climate change adaptation platforms are established, sustained and scaled at community levels.

On behalf of the SEARCA director, the webinar participants were welcomed by associate professor Joselito Florendo, SEARCA deputy director for administration. He highlighted the role of a village in scaling CSA, emphasizing that "it takes a village to scale up climate-smart agriculture."

During the online session, Emily Monville-Oro, IIRR-Asia acting regional director, provided an overview of the hybrid methodology used in the course covering various concepts on CSVs.

Packed with knowledge sharing and learning from both the speakers and participants, the online sessions with selected participants also discussed climate change interventions of their organizations, the challenges they encountered and the lessons they learned.

Experts also made presentations on CSV, agrobiodiversity, nature-based solutions, food systems and community-based adaptation.

They included Julian Gonsalves, IIRR senior advisor; Danny Hunter, Alliance Biodiversity International and CIAT senior scientist; Dindo Campilan, regional director for Asia and hub director for Oceania of the International Union for Conservation of Nature; Alice Ilaga, director of Climate Resilient Agriculture Office of the Department of Agriculture and ASEAN Climate Resilience Network focal point for the Philippines; Jessica Fanzo, University of Columbia professor in New York; and Magnolia Mosimo, IIRR operations director.