Building a climate-smart agriculture sector in Southeast Asia
After its successful ten-year run in the region, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) organized the Closing Conference on 26 October 2021. Hundreds of stakeholders and partners gathered (in-person and online) to celebrate its success and important achievements. Hosted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) – Viet Nam Office, CCAFS SEA has done various interventions with its partners in its several priority countries, such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
Scientists and program implementers from the various CGIAR centers, such as the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), International Potato Center (CIP), IRRI, and the World Agroforestry (ICRAF), presented the major outputs and outcomes of their respective flagship project under CCAFS. They spotlighted the innovations that empowered smallholder farmers to implement in climate-smart agriculture production with gender mainstreaming, to name a few:
- Climate-Smart Maps and Adaptation Plans (CS-MAP) developed together with the Department of Crop Production, one of most successful works of CCAFS SEA;
- Climate-smart village and broadcasting school models;
- Low-emission cultivation technologies and GHG MRV in rice;
- Climate information services.
National partners appreciated CCAFS SEA’s considerable support for government policies and programs to fulfilling their international commitments, remarkably the Nationally Determined Contributions, National Adaptation Plans in agriculture, Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action for rice, and the United Nations Food System Summit.
Recognizing the contributions
Because of its contribution to the agriculture sector of Viet Nam, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) awarded a special recognition to IRRI and CGIAR-CCAFS SEA. “CCAFS's activities have drawn lessons and recommendations for Vietnam’s agriculture sector and farmers in responding to and addressing challenges imposed by climate change… As a result, it has contributed to building a high-tech and sustainable agriculture sector with high resilience to market and climate fluctuations”, stated Dr. Le Quoc Doanh, Vice Minister of MARD. The award was presented by Vice Minister Le Quoc Doanh and former Minister of MARD to IRRI-CCAFS and the individuals with valuable contributions under the programme.
Dr. Cao Duc Phat, former MARD Minister and IRRI Board of Trustees Vice Chairman closed the conference by thanking the CCAFS SEA team and highlighting one of the key factors that lead to CCAFS’s success: the partnership with national and local stakeholders: “The CCAFS Southeast Asia program has emphasized the value of a participatory and partner empowerment approach… The success of CCAFS has shown the importance of cooperation and enhanced the sense of ownership and responsibility of stakeholders.”
Even though the CCAFS program is ending, OneCGIAR will continue its work in Viet Nam and in SEA under its next initiatives. In the event, Dr. Jean Balié, Director General of IRRI and OneCGIAR Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Pacific, introduced the participants to OneCGIAR’s 2030 Research and Innovation Strategy. He highlighted the regional focus; one of the key initiatives for the region is the Initiative on Securing the Asia-Pacific mega-deltas against sea-level rise, flooding and salinization (AMD). He also emphasized the importance of OneCGIAR cooperation and with ASEAN countries to develop comprehensive solutions to respond to and solve pressing issues of climate change, food security and nutrition, disruption of agricultural supply chains, and depletion of natural resources.