Bangkok, Thailand – To further strengthen unity of the Southeast Asian agriculture sector in the face of climate change, the ASEAN Negotiating Group on Agriculture (ANGA) held a coordination meeting and a subsequent training workshop on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from the 12th to the 15th of February 2020 in Bangkok.
ANGA’s recent engagement at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) exhibited strong regional cooperation in the formation and articulation of unified positions on agricultural issues. In line with gearing up for the 2020 Climate Negotiations, the coordination meeting provided a venue for debriefing ANGA’s performance at COP25 and discuss key negotiation positions for upcoming UNFCCC technical workshops, focusing on the Koronovia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA).
The first day was dedicated to the review and reflection of ANGA’s engagement in the last COP, and the coordination of ANGA views and strategies to prepare for climate discussions in 2020. ANGA representatives began mapping out common positions on two topics under the KJWA road map, due in April 2020. These positions were subjected to preliminary rigorous discussions amongst ANGA members. They will also be further discussed and approved within their national governments in the upcoming weeks and ultimately to be endorsed as a joint submission to UNFCC’s KJWA.
The second and third day then focused on strengthening capacities for the UNFCCC negotiation sessions. Here, ANGA was joined by Mr. Ayman Tharwat Amin Abdel Aziz, lead negotiator from The G77 & China Group, who provided insights into the strategic positions of G77 and China, as well as rationale behind the views of the group. Mr. Dirk Nemitz, of the UNFCCC Secretariat in Bonn, also provided foundation knowledge of UNFCCC bodies and structures. Representatives from the ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC) also joined the group for the training workshop.
As a testimony to ANGA’s successful visibility, Dr. Tekini Nakidakida, Koronivia Research Center – Fiji Ministry of Agriculture and Dr. Buddhi Marambe, Negotiator and Chairman of the National Experts Committee on Climate Change Adaptation (NECCA) from the Ministry of Environment and Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya of Sri Lanka who both joined the group on the training workshop, expressed the desire for their regions, the Pacific Islands and Fiji, to learn from the experiences of ANGA in coming together as a group with common positions.
As ANGA’s current chair, Brunei, represented by Mr. Muhammad Izzanudin bin Haji Buang, from the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, encouraged all participants to use this opportunity to gain insights and experiences from senior negotiators in his opening speech.
Facilitating cross-regional cooperation
The coordination meeting and training provided an excellent and necessary platform to explore opportunities for coordination and alignment across parties. Dr. Buddhi Marambe, highlighted its importance in the workshop, stating:
“Both ASEAN and South Asia countries share similarity on challenges in the agriculture sector in relation with the climate change. It is very important for these countries to work together and put forward the commonalities.Dr. Buddhi Marambe
Indeed, multiple countries set-up poses challenges, but a group of countries with a unified voice sharing commonalities is contributing positively toward success. Knowledge sharing and exchange with ANGA colleagues in this occasion will enhance the understanding of how the negotiating group formed, challenges and way forward to overcome those challenges that will lead to a success story that can be shared with SAARC colleagues”
As in the past, the event was jointly supported by the United Nations Food Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO-ROAP) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Upcoming important events:
- 3-5 March, Bonn: KJWA intersessional workshop on sustainable land and water management and modalities to scale up implementation
- 20-23 April, Rome: Fourth Koronivia Dialogue
- 1-8 June, Bonn: SB52 in-session workshop on livestock management (2e), and socio-economic and food security dimensions of climate change (2f)
Photo credit: @GIZ/Build Yosawat, @GIZ/Wikran Pongpout, 2020
Prepared by : CSLU Team, 2020
ANGA’s Strong Negotiation Presence during COP25 Madrid
Advancing ASEAN positions on agriculture in the climate policy process
ASEAN Negotiating Group on Agriculture engaged in climate negotiations
Further, the FAO maintains a very informative overview about the KJWA, including a number of knowledge products