Strategic Responses to Emerging Issues in Social Forestry: Experiences from Selected ASEAN Member States
For over a decade, the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC) has supported ASEAN’s pursuit of food security through sustainable, efficient, and effective use of land, forest, water, and aquatic resources and by minimizing the risks and impacts of climate change. The central element of the ASFCC program, which concluded in February 2020, was its support for the ASEAN Working Group on Social Forestry (AWG-SF) and its strategic priorities and plans of action. The ASFCC Strategic Reserve Fund (ASRF) was then designed and used as an instrument to help AMS and AWG-SF deliver their mandates. The ASRF aimed to provide AMS, particularly the AWG-SF focal points, with flexible seed funds to enable them to quickly respond to strategic opportunities and to test innovative policy approaches in order to address the interlinked issues relating to forests and food security, livelihoods, and climate change.
The ASRF was conceived initially as an experiment, and it has proven to be successful. The funding mechanism enabled AMS to conduct focused studies, to test policy innovations for scaling up, to consult and engage a wider range of stakeholders, and to
participate in learning exchanges with other countries. The narratives included in this publication showcase the results and lessons from the studies and pilot projects supported by the ASRF in individual AMS during the third phase of ASFCC. Apart from such country-specific projects, the ASRF was also used to respond to the ASEAN Secretariat’s requests for technical assistance in developing ASEAN-wide guidelines, strategic reviews, and analytical studies in support of the ASEAN Vision and Strategic Priorities for Food, Agriculture, and Forestry.