Review of ASEAN Guidance Documents for Climate-Smart Land Use

Submitted by Lena Grobusch | published 11th May 2021 | last updated 26th Apr 2023
Rice paddy, Indonesia

Rice paddy, Indonesia. Credit:@Shutterstock/Duchy


 The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are committed to addressing the challenges of food security and climate change in the agriculture and forestry sectors. As such, ASEAN has produced a number of policy documents, including guidelines, frameworks, recommendations, studies, books and many others. These are useful policy tools that help guide policy-makers and practitioners in the region working in particular areas and at the same time showcase ASEAN priorities and experiences. 

The ASEAN Climate Resilience Network (ASEAN-CRN) in coordination with the ASEAN Technical Working Group on Agricultural Research and Development (ATWGARD) has facilitated the development of several key policy and technical documents, which have been endorsed by the Senior Officials Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (SOM-AMAF). These documents (see below) are now being implemented by various ASEAN Member States. 

In order to raise awareness of selected ASEAN policy tools and informs how they can be utilised better in the future, the GIZ's Climate-Smart Land Use project commissioned the Stockholm Environment to explore the usefulness of land use guidelines and similar policy-tools in implementing ASEAN priorities related to climate-smart land use at the national level. This study aims to contribute to the strengthening of ASEAN’s role in coordinating and fostering contributions from AMS to international and national climate policies on climate-smart land use in agriculture and forestry.

Key Guidelines Reviewed

The following guidelines and recommendations specifically contribute to advancing the ASEAN agenda at the intersection between agriculture and forestry, climate change and food security: 

1. ASEAN Regional Guidelines for Promoting Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) Practices, Vol. I and II, 2015 and 2017;

2. 10 Phases in Developing a National Crop Insurance Program: Guide Overview, 2017;

3. ASEAN Guidelines for Agroforestry Development, 2018;

4. ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry, 2018;

5. ASEAN Public-Private Partnership Regional Framework for Technology Development in the Food, Agriculture and Forestry (FAF) Sector, 2017; and,

6. AMAF’s Approach to Gender Mainstreaming in the Food, Agriculture and Forestry Sectors, 2018.

Key Recommendations of the Review

  1. ​Assess if guidelines are the most effective policy tool for the intended outcomes. 
  2. Consult among AMS and with the ASEAN Secretariat the next time guidelines are requested to better understand the motivations and intended use of any new guidelines. 
  3. Accessibility, readability and legibility of the guidelines should be considered to attract more users, especially policymakers from the region. Social media-friendly approaches such as short video clips could be used to disseminate guidelines.
  4. The ASEAN Secretariat and AMS should move towards more strategic policy-making when responding to ASEAN-wide issues by breaking down silos and engaging with different sub-sectors to provide a more holistic view on the state of climate-smart land use in ASEAN.
  5. Guidelines should be produced with a concrete implementation plan that involves relevant stakeholders and provides adequate funding.
  6. A workable and suitable monitoring, evaluation (M&E) and learning framework needs to be developed to assess regularly how guidelines are being used. If this is not possible, M&E should at least be built into existing sectoral frameworks within ASEAN by specifically asking how the different guidelines are used.
  7. Advocate for more frequent intersectoral dialogue to bring together relevant sectoral bodies to talk about climate change and provide their own perspectives to further strengthen ASEAN’s agenda on climate change.
  8. Review guidelines at ASEAN Secretariat level to enable a system-wide reflection of their use.

Further resources