Concluding and Continuing the Leadership Journey for Promoting Better Climate-Smart Land Use Practices in the Region

The joy expression of the ACLP 2021 participants after virtual ceremony award. Photo: GIZ/Diella Dachlan

Module 4 of the ASEAN Climate Leadership Programme (ACLP) took place on October 25-28, 2021, under the theme “Coming Home, Continuing the Journey”.  All sessions in Module 4 centred on the sub-group final Change Project presentations while reminding the core values and thematic area of the programme.

Participants of ACLP refreshed their memory on ASEAN policy context and institutional arrangement from Dr. Pedcris Orencio of Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). They also learned about the ongoing attempt to compile an implementation strategy of the promoting of regional ASEAN guidelines on climate-smart agriculture. The speaker from the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) is one of the alumni of the ACLP in 2020.

Although the ACLP is completed, the participants can continue to use all the leadership skills and knowledge updates they have acquired during the programme to promote any implementation of climate-smart land use practices back in their respective home institution.

Leadership of the future

Mr Andre de Witt, the coach and facilitator of the ACLP, completed the leadership journey by explaining behavioural change through the analogy of “the elephant and the rider”. A leader can better motivate and lead by understanding how “elephant” or the emotional side and “rider” or the rational side of individual’s mind work. The rider must appeal to the ‘elephant’s’ motivations by touching its feelings, and the ‘elephant’ also needs a well-directed ‘rider’ who see the bright spots and shape a path for easy and clear passage. He also explained that a leader cannot escape the current reality that the world is full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA)To be leading in the VUCA world, participants need a vision, understanding, willingness to connect and agile qualities.

Regional cooperation, implementation strategy of CSA

Dr Pedrics M Orencio,from SEARCA presented about regional policy and institutional arrangement of ASEAN. He cited a case of promoting climate-smart agriculture (CSA) in the Southeast Asia region. He observed the growth of policy and technical intervention in agriculture to integrate climate change in the region. Since the climate-smart agriculture (CSA) concept launched in 2010, many non-state actors and countries are implementing policies and promoting CSA in ensuring sustainable development and food security under climate change. A turning point that drive CSA uptake includes the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

At the ASEAN level, significant strides in adapting CSA are expanding toward a more holistic use of land in various contexts. The ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry (FAF) division developed a set of key performance indicators to monitor the progress of agreed outputs and outcomes under its Strategic Thrust 4, aiming to increase resilence in climate change.

Dr Orencio also spoke of how National Determined Contributions (NDCs) benefit from CSA adoption. In his presentation, he said the gross development product (GDP) share of agriculture is declining because of a lack of progress in the FAF sector. Meanwhile, the greenhouse gas (GHG) contribution of agriculture has been falling because the economic importance of agriculture has also declined. He said adjusted net saving adopts a broad concept of capital stock to account for many things, for instance, expenses depletion or the damage of ecosystem services.

In the same session, Mr Muhammad Hariz spoke on initiatives toward regional co-operation on CSA proposed by Malaysia. Malaysia was host of the 6th ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (CRN) and the 15th ASEAN Technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGARD) meeting this year. MARDI has also served to be the proponent of the upcoming CSA guidelines Volume III. The expected output is a provision of implementation strategy of CSA based on existing good practices from the region.

The session as a whole served as a reminder to understand some potentials of ASEAN joint policy responses and tools related to climate change in agriculture and forestry sectors.

Closing remarks for ACLP 2021                             

At the ACLP virtual closing ceremony, Dr Glenn B Gregorio, Director of SEARCA, and Mr Martin Hansen, Country Director for Indonesia and Timor Leste of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), congratulated participants for completing the ACLP in 2021. Both Mr Hansen and Dr Gregorio expressed hope the ACLP alumni will think and act more holistic, inclusive and interdisciplinary to face the challenges related to climate change, food security, degradation of natural resources and the Covid-19 pandemic. They also appreciated the cross country, cross-institution and cross-sectoral engagement and collaboration to showcase the ASEAN spirit despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Director of SEARCA, (left) and Mr. Martin Hansen, GIZ Country Director Indonesia, ASEAN and Timor-Leste, (right) delivered closing remarks during the ACLP 2021 virtual closing ceremony on 28 October 2021. Photo: GIZ/Diella Dachlan

Dr Gregorio explained SEARCA’s commitment to combat climate change by the overarching team on Accelerating Transformation Through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN) as part of a five-year plan. This also contributes to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13, which takes climate action by enhancing agricultural and rural development towards climate resilience. Mr Hansen also spoke of how the German government has been a long-standing trusted partner for ASEAN and its member states in international cooperation for sustainable development. GIZ has been assisting ASEAN in addressing the challenges caused by climate change for more than a decade.

Eventually, the participants of ACLP 2021 had virtual ceremony to award 20 leaders from seven ASEAN Member States with certificates. The organisers also gave an outlook on the next steps related to maintaining the network such as the alumni network, including main communication channels and activities.

Some captured moments from the virtual certificate award of the ACLP 2021.

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