Madrid, Spain – The ASEAN Negotiating Group for Agriculture (ANGA) demonstrated a strong negotiation presence during the 25th Convention of Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Madrid, Spain from December 3-14, 2019.
The ANGA Focal Points, as nominated by the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) from Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore, brought forward common positions from the region to promote the resiliency of Southeast Asian agriculture and opportunities for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions in the sector. ANGA was additionally joined by representative from the ASEAN Secretariat.
ANGA was a key negotiation group along with other regional actors and entities under G77 and China. These groups articulated the terms and views for the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA), the UNFCCC landmark decision which emphasizes the key role of agriculture and food security in the international climate change agenda.
ANGA prepared for the convention in 2019 by reviewing concepts of UNFCC negotiations and further strengthening the necessary skills for effective engagement in this context. Although a joint submission on KJWA workshop topics was not sent, Indonesia submitted their views on the workshop topic 2(d), which was the Improved nutrient use and manure management towards sustainable and resilient agricultural systems. This statement provided ASEAN Members States (AMS) the opportunity to express their support for similar views during the intersessional workshop on the topic.
Discussions at COP25 were centered on consideration of the workshop reports from topics 2(b) (Methods and approaches for assessing adaptation, adaptation co-benefits and resilience) and 2(c) (Improved soil carbon, soil health and soil fertility under grassland and cropland as well as integrated systems, including water management). As a contribution to these discussions, ANGA produced a short paper, as requested by Egypt on behalf of G77 and China. The paper consolidated the views of ASEAN for the future of KJWA and its implementation. This became a useful exercise and can further shape assessing and communicating the needs of the region as well as solidify ANGA identity, even beyond the UNFCCC engagement.
Mr. Ayman Tharwat Amin Abdel Aziz, lead negotiator of G77 and China for Agriculture provided the following statement, in response to ASEAN’s engagement:
“I am very grateful for the incredible energy and alertness of the ASEAN group to give substantial contribution to the whole negotiation process. The importance of agriculture and its relation to climate change is on the rise every day. This was one of the main drivers to form a special group from ASEAN to handle climate change talks in agriculture. This was reflected positively on the unity of the Group of G77 and China. The ASEAN group was a strong advocate to deal with agriculture from the perspective of particular vulnerabilities of the important economic sector and its relationship with food security,”Mr. Ayman Tharwat Amin Abdel Aziz
As countries are now facing devastating impacts of climate change all over the world. It is crucial to achieve a more efficient engagement in responding to the global climate crisis. Therefore, ANGA will continue its efforts for promoting joint action, with the next meeting of the group already scheduled for February 12-14, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. In this workshop, ANGA aims to draft common positions on the next two calls of KJWA and to coordinate ANGA engagement in the next international workshops and negotiation sessions.
The meeting will also include a general training day, where ANGA invites some negotiators from other ASEAN working groups, from South Asia, and from the Pacific to join and together strengthen negotiation capacities. This meeting and workshop will again be supported by the United Nations Food Organization (UN FAO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).