ASEAN launches Phase III of project to address climate change through social forestry

ASEAN continues to make progress in addressing climate change in the region by intensifying its efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change through sustaining the region’s forests.

These efforts are part of the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) project, which began in 2011 and has now launched its third phase. This new phase will take place from 2017 to 2020, and is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The main objective of the project is to strengthen social forestry in ASEAN Member States (AMS) to facilitate climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The project aims to: 1) develop and integrate a coordinated social forestry framework into ASEAN and national forest and climate change strategies of AMS, 2) strengthen local, national and regional knowledge sharing, communication and networking on social forestry and climate change, and 3) conduct trainings and promote best practices in social forestry and climate change to improve implementation and policy development.

RECOFTC is one of the project’s implementing partners, along with NTFP-EP and ICRAF. RECOFTC’s main role is to develop capacities of the Secretariat of the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF), government officials in charge of forestry and environment from AMS, civil society organizations and rural people.

The new phase of the project builds on the successful previous phases of the project, and will implement regional and national initiatives that will contribute toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Strategic Plan for ASEAN Co-operation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2016-2025), the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Co-operation in Forestry (2016-2025), and National Determined Contribution (NDCs).

The new phase will offer continued support of policy initiatives from the Community Forest National Working Groups. This will include regional trainings on forest landscape restoration (FLR), tenure and livelihoods. Another major project activity will be translating the revised Climate Fund Inventory (CFI) into tangible outcomes through supporting the development of the CFI guidelines. The project will support networking and knowledge exchange through national-level FLR policy dialogues and Community Forestry National Working Groups. The project will also support national-level social forestry activities based on national opportunities and requests from the Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar governments. Project participants will be encouraged to develop and implement their own action plans based on their new learning. Where appropriate they will also receive support from RECOFTC in implementing their action plan.

The emphasis on Phase III will be on strengthening existing partnerships and creating new ones. Partnerships with universities will be strengthened during Phase III, recognizing the vital role that these institutions play in conducting research that feeds into policy development, and shaping the minds and skills of future leaders in the land use sector. In ASEAN, forestry education institutes and programs have often failed to mainstream social forestry and related activities, thus an action plan will be developed to address this gap.

For more information, please visit ASFCC webpage: http://www.recoftc.org/project/asfcc