Recognizing the importance of cooperation and knowledge exchange in confronting the emerging threats of climate change in Southeast Asia and the role that ASEAN could play to promote this, the government of Thailand submitted a proposal, Production System Approach for Sustainable Productivity and Enhanced Resilience to Climate Change, to the ASEAN technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGARD). The proposal called to organize a regional network to address issues of climate change in Southeast Asia and to ensure that ASEAN Member States (AMS) are in a better position to adapt their agricultural sector to climate change and optimize its mitigation potential.
Based on the proposal and the initiative by Thailand, at the 8th Meeting of ATWGARD in Singapore, 2013, the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) was established. The ASEAN-CRN is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) through the ASEAN-German Programme on Response to Climate Change (GAP-CC) which supports ASEAN in improving selected framework conditions for sustainable agriculture and forestry in AMS. Under GAP-CC, the Forestry and Climate Change Project (FOR-CC), follows the objective that ASEAN has improved the cooperation and common positioning of AMS on climate change-related key topics in agriculture and forestry. FOR-CC supports the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) in the promotion of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices in ASEAN.
The first major activity of the ASEAN-CRN was to facilitate a coordinated regional study across ASEAN Member States (AMS) which was in early 2015. Based on the findings in the study, the ASEAN Regional Guidelines for Promoting CSA Practices (Regional Guidelines) have been developed and were approved in the 37th Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry in September 2015. The ASEAN-CRN constitutes the body and platform amongst AMS as well as other stakeholder groups for implementing the Regional Guidelines. In the first official ASEAN-CRN meeting in March 2015, Terms of Reference (ToR) and a work plan for 2015 were discussed and developed. In the second ASEAN-CRN meeting in October 2015, the network members exchanged knowledge on CSA practices as well as relevant processes of the UNFCCC and based on that further shaped the agenda of the ASEAN-CRN.
To concretize the activities that will be conducted through the ASEAN-CRN until 2017 in a 2 year work plan, a number of key representatives of the ASEAN-CRN will convene in a planning workshop in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2015. This will allow assessing the strategic approach of the ASEAN-CRN, making adjustments to the overall strategy and developing a work plan for 2016 and 2017.
Building on the previous work of the ASEAN-CRN and the findings of the Regional Study on the “Promotion of Climate Resilience for Food Security in ASEAN”, the meeting aims to:
- Agree on the strategies of the ASEAN-CRN for achieving its objectives
- Develop the ASEAN-CRN Work Plan for the next two (2) years until the end of 2017
- Assess the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines for Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Practices
The following outputs are targeted from the meeting:
- ASEAN-CRN vision and strategic approach corresponding with the ASEAN Food, Agriculture and Forestry (FAF) Vision 2016-2025
- ASEAN CRN 2-Year Work Plan (2016-2017)
Selected members of the ASEAN-CRN, focal points from:
- ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Crops
- ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change
- Regional and international development partners working on agriculture and climate change in ASEAN
- ASEAN-CRN, Chaired by Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC), Thailand
- Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD), Ministry of Agriculture
- The ASEAN-German Program on Response to Climate Change in Agriculture and Forestry, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in close cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC)