The second Consultation Workshop on the ASEAN Guidelines for Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Practices – Volume 3 took place virtually on 23 September 2021. The event was hosted by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) as the current Chair of the ASEAN Working Group on Agriculture Research and Development (ATWGARD) and member of the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN).
Dr Mohd Shukri Bin Mat Ali, Director of the Agrobiodiversity and Environment Research Center of MARDI opened the workshop by welcoming participants and providing a review of the first consultation workshop, which was held on 7 July 2021. The first consultation highlighted the need to identify assessment guidelines and implementation principles for climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices and take a systems-level approach. Volume 3 of the CSA Guidelines will contribute to existing regional frameworks and tools to help distill global, regional, national best practices for the benefit of ASEAN Member States. They will serve as references for policymakers and practitioners in the region. The guidelines will also provide an opportunity for countries to showcase how they are already implementing some of these practices. The first consultation included 75 participants from ASEAN sectoral bodies, other government agencies, academia and development organizations.
Since the last consultation, a research team of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Studies and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), have been working to develop an annotated outline of the upcoming CSA Guidelines Volume 3. They also conducted a regional survey to understand the capacity building needs related to climate-smart agriculture approaches at systems-level. The results of the survey encouraged the inclusion of three specific approaches in the guidelines: Climate Smart Villages (CSV), Direct Seeded Rice (DSR) and Climate Smart Mapping and Adaptation Planning (CS-MAP).
This workshop focused on the proposed annotated outline for Volume 3 of the ASEAN CSA Guidelines. It aimed to validate the findings of the research, generate insights into relevant climate-smart practices and policies supporting their implementation and scale-up, and reflect on how to move forward with the guidelines. Members of the research team presented an overview of the outline and provided ASEAN Member States with the opportunity to shape the guidelines. The proposed outline included four chapters: Participatory Approach in Prioritization of CSA Practices; Five Suggested Principles for the Promotion of Adoption of CAS Practices; Selected Success Stories of Climate Smart Agriculture Systems-Level Approach; Partners, Coordinating, and Implementing Institutions for CSA Across Scales. Throughout the workshop, participants were invited to ask questions and provide insights from their countries or institutions to ensure the production of relevant and usable guidelines.
Following the workshop, the next steps forward will be the preparation of the draft zero version of ASEAN CSA Guidelines Volume 3, considering the feedback given from this consultation and any other further comments. A review will be conducted by ASEAN-CRN and selected ASEAN working groups. Followed by a final review by ASEAN- CRN and ATWGARD. Ultimately, the guidelines will be submitted to Senior Official’s Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry for endorsement.
Mr Dian Sukmajaya, of the ASEAN Secretariat, closed the workshops by highlighting the call from ASEAN Member States to have more practical guidelines with clear and realistic guidance for implementation. He further emphasized the relevance of resource mobilization to support implementation and work across sectors. Mr. Sukmajaya went on to describe how this actionable aspect could distinguish the third volume from the preceding two guidelines.
The process is supported by the Climate Smart Land Use (CSLU) in ASEAN project, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmBH, with contributions from SEARCA.