Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 14 June 2010

“ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security”

H.E. Mr. Zulkifli Hasan, Minister of Forestry of the Republic of Indonesia

H.E. Dato Paduka Mahmud Haji Saidin, Ambassador of Brunei Darussalam to Indonesia

H.E. Heinz Walker Nederkoorn, Ambassador of Switzerland to Indonesia and ASEAN

Honourable Sri Sultan Hamengkubowo X, Governor of Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta

Excellencies and Honourable Representatives of Embassies in Indonesia

Distinguished Speakers and Resource Persons

Distinguished Representatives of Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Selamat Pagi.

It is an honour for me to be here today with all of you and to deliver my Remarks at this important ASEAN Social Forestry Conference 2010 organised in the charming and historic city of Yogyakarta. At the outset, let me congratulate the Directorate General of Land Rehabilitation and Social Forestry of the Ministry of Forestry of Indonesia for organising and hosting this three days event and Governor of Yogyakarta for kindly providing your city as the venue.

I have learned that this conference and the following ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) meeting will discuss and elaborate on the plan of action related to community forestry. In developing the plan of action and projects, I am pleased to note that consideration would be given to the impact of climate change on the livelihood of communities who depend particularly on the forest.

Let me take a moment to inform you on ASEAN’s current efforts in addressing the impact of climate change in agriculture and forestry sectors. The ASEAN Member States have identified food security as a permanent and high priority agenda and are committed to achieving the goals of the World Food Summit and the Millennium Development Goals. At the 31st Meeting of the ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) held in November 2009 in Brunei Darussalam, the Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security or AFCC in short. The overall goal of the AFCC is to contribute to food security through sustainable, efficient and effective use of land, forest, water and aquatic resources by minimising the risks and impact of and the contributions to climate change. To achieve this goal, two major objectives have been identified: (i) coordination on the development of adaptation and mitigation strategies; and (ii) cooperation on the implementation of integrated adaptation and mitigation measures.

The AFCC is based on a cross-sectoral program approach for effective policy-making and implementation. While it focuses on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors, the implementation of the AFCC will have to be coordinated with the environment, health and energy sectors in ASEAN. In particular, the AFCC complements the ASEAN Climate Change Initiative (ACCI) activities, which are under the purview of ASEAN Environment Ministers.

The AFCC also provides a platform for ASEAN to better coordinate the support from its Partners. A number of ASEAN Development Partners have already indicated their interest to cooperate and support the implementation of AFCC. As of now, many ASEAN Partners such as Australia, Republic of Korea and Germany have agreed to support the implementation of the activities under the AFCC. In this regard, I am happy to learn that the Swiss Government will be providing assistance to the AFCC under the scope of social forestry. We appreciate this timely support.

Finally, I would also like to bring to your attention the issuance of the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Joint Response to Climate Change at their Summit in April 2010 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. Our Leaders have reaffirmed that agreement and effective implementation of Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)-Plus mechanisms is critical for contributions by ASEAN Member States to mitigate emissions, and offers major opportunities for enhancing biodiversity conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as supporting the livelihood of local communities in a sustainable manner. I would, therefore, urge all delegates to work hand-in-hand to address this important issue too to ensure the livelihood of local communities which will be increasingly subjected to the impact of climate change.

Concluding Remarks

In closing, I would like to underscore that ASEAN must take collective and coordinated actions in addressing climate change and food security given the multifaceted nature of the issues and the challenges they pose. As such, concerted effort and enhanced collaboration and partnership among all stakeholders are important for sustainable forest management while securing the livelihood and food security of the communities living in and around the forests. This is certainly the approach ASEAN will take in developing a viable strategy and a roadmap for the implementation of the AFCC-FS.

In a Peoples-centred ASEAN Community, climate change and food security must continue to be priorities and I am confident that with the comprehensive agenda for the AFCC and the active collaboration with our stakeholders and partners, ASEAN will be able to achieve this. This Conference is a clear testimony that ASEAN is moving in the right direction.

I wish the organisers and all of you a successful meeting.

Thank you.