• Asean forest network gets boost

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    The Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) has become the new supporting partner of the Asean Social Forestry Network (ASFN), which aims to promote of policies and sustainable practices in social forestry.

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    The ASFN is a government-driven social forestry network that links government forestry policy-makers directly with members of civil society, research organizations, academe, the private sector, and experts of related fields to share the common vision of growth of social forestry in all Asean member-countries. Asean is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

    “ASFN also aims to promote policy and practices of social forestry for sustainable forest management, and participation in climate change adaptation and mitigation,” said Searca Director Dr. Gil Saguiguit Jr.

    It is funded and continuously supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) through the Asean-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) program.

    During the ASFCC operational planning workshop in Indonesia, Searca presented the ASFN-Phase II Strategic Response Fund (ASRF), a flexible funding mechanism to enable Asean member-states (AMS) to quickly respond to emerging issues and challenges, and articulate policy recommendations and directions on the network’s common concern.

    “Based on its presentation, Searca said that the ASRF will be implemented on a pilot basis, initially for 18 months, to fund projects relevant to ASFCC and ASFN objectives and priority themes, and impactful by addressing gaps or issues of strategic importance in the interrelatedness of issues of food security, poverty, and climate change,” Saguiguit said.

    Also, during the ASFCC workshop, stakeholders discussed the

    accomplishments of the implementing partners in Phase I.

    They also tackled how the ASFCC research and knowledge generation activities in Phase II will contribute to the Asean Multisectoral Framework for Climate Change and Food Security (AFCC) and Asean Strategic Plan of Actions for 2015 and beyond.

    Member-countries also identified mechanisms for substantive exchange and peer review, and operational coordination in common research sites.

    In 2011, Phase I initiative launched the AFSCC as a support program embedded in and working through the structure of the Asean Secretariat, to define a conceptual frame and strategy that supports a network, allowing access and exchange to a variety of Social Forestry concepts and approaches, and the possibility to link them with emerging issues on climate change in the AMS.

    For Phase II, proponents aim to continue the program for another three years, along the three defined outcomes, including policy development, knowledge sharing and capacity building, and learning interventions.

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