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ERIA Co-Organises Regional Forum Advancing Sustainable Agriculture Action Plan in ASEAN

22 November 2023

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Jakarta, 22-23 November 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) co-organised the ASEAN Forum on Developing the Action Plan for Implementing the Regional Guidelines on Sustainable Agriculture together with the ASEAN Secretariat on 22-23 November, at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta. The main participants of the Forum were government officials of ASEAN Member States (AMSs) and Timor Leste who are in charge of food and agriculture. Additionally, representatives from research institutes, academia, the private sector, and ASEAN Development Partners attended as resource persons. Approximately 70 participants actively engaged in discussions during each session.

At the 45th Meeting of ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) on 4 October 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Ministers confirmed that an Action Plan for the Implementation of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Sustainable Agriculture should be developed as one of the Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) of Lao PDR’s 2024 ASEAN Chairmanship. In response to the Minister’s statement on the PEDs, this forum was conducted to support developing a practical Action Plan containing specific activities, timelines, responsibilities, and resources needed.

Co-chairing the forum, Dr Pham Quang Minh, Head of Food, Agriculture, and Forestry Division at the ASEAN Secretariat, explained that the agriculture sector has two PEDs of Lao Chairmanship 2024, namely: the development of an Action Plan for the Implementation of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Sustainable Agriculture and a Strategy for Crop Burning Reduction to Support the Implementation of the ASEAN Carbon Neutrality Strategy. He emphasised that these two PEDs will support agriculture sustainability across the region. Moreover, he appreciated ERIA's continuous support for the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines of Sustainable Agriculture, including the development of the action plan.

Masanori Kozono, ERIA’s Senior Policy Fellow and Co-chair of the forum, explained ERIA's contribution to support the implementation of the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Sustainable Agriculture through conducting research and surveys, organising workshops, and providing a consultant team and knowledge inputs for drafting the Action Plan. He also emphasised the necessity of collaboration between ASEAN Member States and collaborative partners, including the private sector, academia, and international organisations, for the effective implementation of sustainable agriculture in ASEAN, as the Action Plan’s scope of activities and coverage of stakeholders are quite broad.

The two-day event focused on discussions amongst participants to enrich the development of the draft action plan. During the discussion session, Kozono shared the key findings of ERIA’s recent study including disparities among the countries in the diffusion of emerging innovative technologies and practices such as digital agriculture and carbon measures. The forum participants were dedicated to discussing the current status of sustainable agriculture in ASEAN, the policy direction in terms of sustainability, key areas for capacity building and application of technologies for sustainable agriculture, as well as potential collaboration between the public and private sectors. The participants shared best practices, proposed projects for the future, and identified the challenges and opportunities for each country to enhance agriculture sustainability in ASEAN. At the end of the event, the participants agreed that further collective efforts are required to improve the action plan for endorsement and adoption by the Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF) and AMAF in 2024.

ERIA reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development of the Action Plan for the ASEAN Regional Guidelines on Sustainable Agriculture through its research and other

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