ASEAN countries reflect on climate action in the agriculture sector

ASEAN Member States discuss progress on climate change responses in the agriculture sector and agree on next steps during the 5th Climate Resilience Network Meeting.
Photo credit: @GIZ/CSLU

Vientiane, Laos – The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) convened its 5th annual meeting, hosted by the Laos National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI) and chaired by Thailand’s Department of Agriculture on 29 May 2019 in Vientiane, Laos. The aim of the meeting was to intensify the implementation of the joint strategies to access relevant support mechanisms and to enhance the engagement with climate governance frameworks such as the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for a wider implementation of CRN’s workplans.

It was complemented by an additional workshop day on 28 May that allowed policymakers from the climate and agriculture spheres to prepare for the Bonn Climate Change Conference (SBSTA 50| SBI 50) in June 2019, specifically the processes related to the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture (KJWA). A total of 25 representatives from ASEAN Member States (AMS) plus 12 experts from development partners joined the two workshop days.

Key outcomes of the training on climate negotiations for ASEAN agriculture

Photo credit: @GIZ/CSLU

Representatives from AMS reflected on their involvement with the UNFCCC process so far and decided on how to continue with formalising the ASEAN Negotiation Group for Agriculture (ANGA). They decided to prepare an information note and a presentation for the ASEAN Technical Working Group on Agriculture and Development (ATWGARD) in order to seek further endorsement for ANGA’s work and gain recognition of the Philippines as ANGA’s coordinator.

Participants also received technical guidance on how to best engage in UNFCCC negotiations. They also discussed the potential content of interventions and the next steps in preparation for and coordination during the climate change conference in Bonn, from 17 to 27 June 2019.

Key outcomes of ASEAN-CRN annual meeting

During the ASEAN-CRN annual meeting the following day, more participants joined from the AMS as well as from the network’s development partners. Based on the national action plans that AMS representatives had produced during the previous year’s meeting, participants reflected on the progress made in aligning agriculture sector activities with their countries’ nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and updated their plans.

It was noted that all countries have progressed in their endeavours and that cooperation and coordination between the agriculture and climate policy spheres seem to have evolved and become more structured. Participants also reviewed activities at the regional level and updated the ASEAN-CRN Climate Action Plan which contributes to the Food, Agriculture and Forestry (FAF) 2025 Cooperation Vision and which will form the overall guidance for joint work over the next few months.

ASEAN-CRN development partners who participated in the meeting expressed their commitment to support the aforementioned activities. These include the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN-FAO), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), Grow Asia, CUSO International, the World Agroforestry Center, SOFOCO, and Grow ASIA.

The way forward

Dr Margaret Yoovatana, representing the Thailand Department of Agriculture which currently holds ASEAN-CRN chair, presented the outcomes of the two workshop days during the 15th ATWGARD meeting that followed the workshop on 30 and 31 May 2019.  ATWGARD welcomed the results and will forward them to the Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF) for endorsement, especially the information note on ANGA.

The new Climate Smart Land Use in ASEAN (CSLU) project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by GIZ will continue to support ASEAN-CRN in close cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC) and the UN FAO Regional Asia Pacific Office.

Photo credit: @GIZ/CSLU

Photo credit: @GIZ/CSLU

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