SEARCA tapped to manage ASEAN funds

  • 31 July 2014, Thursday

Source: Manila Bulletin
24 May 2014

The Philippines and other ASEAN Member States (AMS) will benefit from a new funding mechanism for projects that address food security, poverty, and climate change.

The Philippine government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) has been tapped by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to manage ASEAN Social Forestry Network (AFSN) funds.

SEARCA will implement the ASFN Flexible Funding Mechanism as a new supporting partner of the ASFN.

SEARCA signed an agreement with the SDC and joined in implementing the programs of the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) Phase II.

The ASFN Flexible Funding Mechanism will be launched during the 8th ASFN Annual Meeting on May 27-28 at the Sabah Forestry Department Office in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Swiss Ambassador to the ASEAN Heinz Walker-Nederkoorn will grace the occasion to inaugurate Phase II of ASFCC and officially launch the flexible funding mechanism. Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., SEARCA Director, will also be on hand during the event.

Funded by SDC, ASFCC aims to integrate social forestry into the climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies of ASEAN and its Member States (AMS). It promotes the inclusion of communities, women, and vulnerable groups in social forestry and climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

The flexible funding mechanism under SEARCA will support in-country initiatives that enable AMS focal points to quickly respond to emerging issues and challenges and increase their ability to articulate policy recommendations and directions.

Also called ASFN Strategic Response Fund (ASFN-SRF), it will finance projects relevant to ASFCC and ASFN objectives and priority themes and address gaps or issues related to food security, poverty, and climate change.

These projects may be quick “turnaround” (QTA) studies, exploratory reviews, meta-analysis/analytical studies and “think” pieces, study tours, dialogues/roundtable discussions, position or background papers as inputs to policy debates and decision-making, and strategic training scholarships.