Report: Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change Workshop, November 19-23, 2012, Thailand

Group Photo of Participants

Group Photo of Participants

BRIEF DESCRIPTION / BACKGROUND OF THE PROJECT

The five-day Workshop on Agricultural Adaptations to Climate Change was organized by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Foundation for Thailand Productivity Institute (FTPI) and Asian Development Bank (ADBI). This was a follow though activity on the Workshop on the Impacts of Climate Change in the Agriculture Sector in 2011.

The objectives of the workshop are: a) to review the policies and programs on climate change adaptation in agriculture; b) to share successful examples of adaptation programs and measures to improve the resilience of vulnerable agro ecosystems, farming systems, rural communities, and the associated infrastructure; c) to formulate strategic action plans and road map for promoting good practices of agricultural adaptation to climate change; and, d) to create awareness of the use of tools and planning methods available to assess the impacts of climate change on agricultural productivity.

OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION

As a staff of the Development Academy of the Philippines’ Center for Quality and Competitiveness – Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Division (CQC-AgriPED), my participation is expected to strengthen my capacity in terms of providing technical assistance, especially in researches concerning agriculture productivity enhancement. The agriculture sector’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change is a very pressing concern as it affects the sector’s productivity. Thus, attendance to this kind of learning activity is not only important but timely since our division is now undertaking research projects with matters concerning the workshop’s subject.

PARTICIPANTS

All in all, there were 31 participants from APO countries and ADBI sponsored participants representing Republic of China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and of course, Philippines. There were 22 males and 9 females who came mostly from the agriculture ministry/department or the academe whose work concerns climate change adaptation and mitigation for the agriculture sector in their respective countries. Other participants represented  the finance sector and the National Productivity Organization (NPO).

SCOPE, CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY

The course is composed of eight modules as follows:

Session 1: Climate Change Challenges, Risks, and Planning Tools – Climate Change information, modeling, and sectoral perceptions for sustainable agricultural productivity; Effectiveness of early warning systems and monitoring tools in the Mekong river;

Session 2: Framework conditions for integrating climate change adaptation into sectoral planning – Integrated assessment of the impacts of climate changes on agriculture; Climate change challenges, risks, and country perspectives: insights from 2011 workshop on climate change and its impacts on agriculture; Panel discussion on adaptation and mitigation measures for sustainable agriculture and productivity in the face of climate change;

Session 3: Successful adaptation strategies and policies in vulnerable areas – Valuing resource management in the context of climate change at the national and regional level; Modernizing infrastructure and water saving methods in the context of climate change adaptation;

Session 4: Action plan for policy makers and planners to reduce risk impacts – Strengthening climate change and information database for risk assessment; Optimizing the choice of structural and non-structural change adaptation measures;

Session 5: Mainstreaming climate change adaptation measures into sectoral planning – Costing tools, budgeting frameworks, and international support mechanisms for agricultural adaptations to climate change; Mainstreaming climate change adaptation and enhancing adaptive capacity: opportunities for innovation and experimentation; Peer-to-peer learning in climate change adaptation road maps for agricultural sector;

Session 6: Field visit at Pathumthani Rice Research Center

Session 7: Sharing country experiences

Session 8: Peer-to-peer learning to identify and prioritize issues and problems in agricultural adaptations to climate change

During the first day, a public seminar was conducted attended by participants of the APO workshop, and people of  Thailand. The workshop utilized both lecture presentations and panel discussions with various experts. In addition to lectures and panel discussion led by experts, the course also utilized case study presentations, sharing of country experiences, group discussion-workshop, and field visit as methodology for learning. One of the highlights of the workshop is the field visit to Thailand’s Pathumthani Rice Research Center which showcased their “Research on Effect of Climate Change on Rice in Thailand” by Ms. Kingkaw Kunket, Rice Production Technology Expert. They also toured the participants to their laboratory, farmer service center, green houses, CH4 (methane) demonstration plantation.

OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION

I think the workshop was successful and fruitful in the sense that it was able bring participants together from different countries in a very interactive manner. The workshop was also able to elicit adaptation technologies/practices/efforts from amongst the participants, and that the resource persons generously shared their expertise on the subject. There was never a dull moment in the entire duration of the workshop, very interesting and practical knowledge sharing. Personally, I realized the importance of knowledge sharing, as some of our neighbor countries were proud to say that they learned from the Philippines, particularly from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) resource speakers. It is quite uplifting to hear comments such as these.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS

In general, the workshop met its objectives. I commend the course design because it was able to bridge the information gap by bringing in the results of the 2011 workshop to the present.

With regard to my action plan on my participation to this workshop, there is a lot of information that may be utilized for our upcoming benchmarking study with the Department of Agriculture (DA). In fact, I was able to establish a network with my fellow participants that are from the Academe and the Ministries of Agriculture.

I suggest that DA have a representative if there’s a follow through activity.

SUBMITTED BY:

ADELINA ALVAREZ
Associate Project Officer
Agriculture Productivity Enhancement Division
Center for Quality and Competitiveness
Development Academy of the Philippines

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