Bali, Indonesia – The ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) participated in the 5th Global Science Conference on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) on 8–10 October 2019 in Bali, Indonesia.
This year, the 5th Global Science Conference on CSA brought together more than 420 people from 200 different institutions and over 60 countries. The conference allowed stakeholders, comprised of government officials, the private sector, NGOs and farmers, to share and exchange cutting-edge practices in the agricultural sector under this year’s overarching theme of ‘Transforming Food Systems in a Changing Climate’.
ASEAN-CRN played an active role in speaking out about challenges in the sector and seeking collaboration to scale up CSA.
The event was co-hosted by the governments of Indonesia, Australia, the Netherlands and the Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) programme of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ASEAN-CRN liaised with the co-organisers and the host institution, the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), one of ASEAN-CRN’s founding members. ASEAN-CRN also included many of its network partners from civil society organisations, the private sector and government officials in various side events and activities.
Showcasing the Success of Collaboration
South-East Asian countries have made remarkable progress on enhancing agricultural practices and thus food security. The varying levels of development among the countries in the region, as well as a changing climate, enable a range of methodology, policy designs and approaches to the issue.
The Climate-Smart Land Use (CSLU) project, supported by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH working closely with the ASEAN Secretariat and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, provided a space to exhibit and discuss this dynamic in the region.
The ASEAN-CRN exhibition booth became a meeting place to showcase the priorities and successes of ASEAN and its member states in transforming CSA science into policy. The use of knowledge-sharing materials, such as posters, short videos, brochures and books containing technical guidelines, drew many conference participants to the exhibition booth.
Using science to inform actionable NDC priorities for agriculture
During the conference, ASEAN-CRN organised a side event on using science to inform actionable Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) priorities for agriculture.
Faced with the dual challenge of reducing emissions from agriculture while sustainably increasing food production to meet growing demand and irregular weather event patterns, the participants discussed the tools and methodologies identified and how these can be amplified further.
The panellists identified that there is a uniform tendency to view agriculture exclusively from a perspective of quantity of production, overlooking the sector’s potential in mitigation and adaption. Various ASEAN member states shared ideas and pilot projects to link science and policy and tackle the challenge.
The discussion focused on the unique language and approaches required by science to inform policy and the need to incorporate agricultural science in the country’s NDC processes. There were heated exchanges on whether science or policy should be the first to govern direction.
The discussion highlighted the importance of having a knowledge broker as an intermediary to bring stakeholders together and allow science and hard data to be translated into actionable NDC implementation.
Working together to promote CSA investments in the region
ASEAN-CRN’s involvement in the global CSA conference was extended to the Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) side event, where ASEAN-CRN contributed by showcasing two pilot projects in the region. One of the highlights was a local cooperative in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam, which had adapted to extreme weather while raising their income through agroforestry. The successes of the pilot project in the Philippines were also featured, showing integration with ongoing policy processes and the potential to reproduce this and deliver concrete outcomes in the region.
GACSA has committed to facilitating support for these two project ideas and ASEAN-CRN will be involved in following up on the next steps towards implementation.