1. We, the Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry held our 34th ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) Meeting on 27 September 2012 in Vientiane, under the Chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Vilayvanh Phomkhe, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR.

Prioritizing Key Measures and Targets for 2015

2. We, while noting and appreciating on-going progress and significant achievements under the food, agriculture and forestry cooperation, continue to recognise the need for the effective and timely realisation of integration and community-building targets. In this regard, we have committed to ensure that the ASEAN Community Blueprints’ measures are implemented according to the strategic timeline, including their integration into national policy and programmes. To this end, we commit ourselves to intensify, strengthen our efforts and fast track implementation of measures at both national and regional levels. In doing so, we have agreed to identify strategies to fill gaps and develop supporting initiatives, prioritise key measures and develop a list of yearly targeted achievements on the implementation of the Community Blueprints.

3. We, in support for the attainment of the priority policies and measures, agreed to look into possible and effective ways of streamlining the processes and modus operandi of our Subsidiary Bodies, taking into account their potential synergies and respective complementarities. This streamlining process will be guided by a rational and flexible approach, and will be directed towards ensuring the achievement of AEC targets by 2015 in a more focused, high-impact, and realistic manner. However, cognizant of the daunting tasks ahead in delivering these targets and in consideration that some measures may require longer time to accomplish, we have agreed to support the proposed timeline for ASEAN Community by 31 December 2015.

Meeting Challenges and Opportunities for Food Security

4. We, while noting the good progress in the implementation of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Food Security (SPA-FS) (2009-2013), including the entry-into force of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Agreement, agreed to remain vigilant on the opportunities and challenges of food security in the region and the world, particularly at a time of high volatility of commodity prices and economic uncertainties. Moreover, we agreed to continue building on existing mechanisms and explore new initiatives that contribute to food security in the region.

5. We noted the outcomes of the Mid-Term Evaluation on the AIFS Framework and SPA-FS (2009-2013), and agreed to support the continued implementation of the AIFS Framework, including the development of a new SPA-FS (2014-2018). We also continued to recognize the importance of constructive platforms for private sector and civil society engagement in addressing food security in the region and urged close collaboration and partnership with other ministries, dialogue partners, development and international organisations to foster coordination and implementation of activities as well as monitoring and reporting of progress of the AIFS Framework and the SPA-FS.

6. We commended the contributions and support by development partners such as the Asian Development Bank’s extension of technical assistance to support the implementation of AIFS framework particularly on the area of emergency rice reserve, rice trade and food security information system through existing mechanisms such as the APTERR, ASEAN Food Security Reserve Board (AFSRB), and ASEAN Food Security Information System (AFSIS). We also expressed our appreciation for continuing support from the European Commission-Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Food Security Programme: Linking Information and Decision Making to Improve Food Security, and Learning Programme for Food Security Professionals; Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP), led by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); and the Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge Enterprise and Trade (MARKET) Project of the United States.

Strengthening of Cooperation on Sectoral and Priority Issues

7. We expressed satisfaction on the continuing progress in food, agriculture and forestry cooperation and further endorsed the following ASEAN standards and documents as a basis for supporting trade facilitation and joint approaches in food, agriculture and forestry sectors:

i.  List of twelve (12) MRLs for nine pesticides: beta-cyfluthrin (cabbage), triazophos (soybean immature in whole pods, soybean immature seeds, yard long bean), lambda cyhalothrin (okra and citrus), imidacloprid (okra), profenofos (pummelo), cypermethrin (carambola), chlorpyrifos (chilli), metalaxyl (pineapple), thiamethoxam (orange);

ii.  ASEAN Standards for i) Wax apple (ASEAN Stan 29:2011), ii) Chico (Sapodilla) (ASEAN Stan 25:2011), iii) Eggplant (ASEAN Stan 26:2011), iv) Pumpkin (ASEAN Stan 27:2011), and v) Sweet Corn (ASEAN Stan 28:2011)

iii.  Revised ASEAN Standards for i) Mango (ASEAN Stan 2: 2006, Rev.1-2012), ii) Pineapple (ASEAN Stan 3: 2006, Rev.1-2012), iii) Banana (ASEAN Stan 3: 2006, Rev.1-2012), and iv) Durian (ASEAN Stan 1: 2006, Rev.1-2012);
iv. Intra-ASEAN Phytosanitary Guidelines for the Importation of Paddy, Oil Palm, and Banana;
v.  Guidelines and Audit Checklist for ASEAN Nursery Certification Scheme for Export;

vi.  Additional Role and Functions of ASWGL and SOM-AMAF in the Utilisation and Management of the ASEAN Animal Health Trust Fund (AAHTF);

vii.  Executive Report on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI);and

viii.  Terms of Reference for the Steering Committee of the ASEAN Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (ARASFF).

ix.    Terms of Reference of the ASEAN SPS Contact Points (ASCP)

8. We agreed to strengthen cooperation on ensuring food safety and SPS issues. In this regard, we agreed for the maximisation of the ASEAN SPS Contact Points (ASCP) as the central body to coordinate SPS policies and cooperation initiatives under AMAF and those issues that cross-over with other sectors such as health, standards and conformance, science and technology, and trade, as well as the establishment of the ASEAN Rapid Alert System on Food and Feed as a formal meachanism under AMAF.

9. We noted and supported the efforts to harmonise the ASEAN Halal Food Standards in order to facilitate trade within the region and to the external market. We also supported the proposal on the ASEAN Halal Science Exchange Programme which is aimed to establish scientific and academic networking and exchange between halal research and development institutions and laboratories in ASEAN countries.

10. We also noted the efforts to establish a long-term vision/perspective on the management of ASEAN Good Agricultural Practices (ASEAN GAP) in preparing for economic integration, by having an ASEAN GAP Management System that includes a recognition mechanism and certification system for identified priority sub-sectors and with commodities of high potential for intra- and extra-ASEAN trade.

11. We recalled and continue to support the ASEAN Ministerial Statement, issued during the 32nd AMAF Meeting, on “ASEAN Cooperation on Animal Health and Zoonoses: HPAI and Beyond”, which embodies our collective aspiration for a strengthened national veterinary services that could effectively manage and address high impacting animal and zoonotic diseases in the region. We particularly highlighted our support for the commemoration of the “World Rabies Day” on 28 September and for the realization of a Rabies-free ASEAN by 2020. We further commended the efforts and provide support to the Preparatory Committee for the establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Animal Health and Zoonoses (ACCAHZ). We also recognized that financial support is very critical in the implementation of this Statement hence, we agreed in the streamlining of mechanism for the utilization of the ASEAN Animal Health Trust Fund (AAHTF).

12. We also noted and supported the Strategic Plan of Action (SPA) on ASEAN Cooperation in Fisheries (2011-2015), developed based on the adopted “Resolution and Plan of Action on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security for the ASEAN Region Towards 2020” and ASEAN Programme Framework on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security (2011-2015).

13. We further noted and continue to support cooperation activities under the ASEAN Cooperation in Forestry which include, ASEAN Cooperation on Trans-boundary Haze Pollution, Sustainable Forest Management in ASEAN, Pan ASEAN Timber Certification Initiative, Forest Products Promotion Scheme, Development of Herbal and Medicinal Plants in ASEAN, Cooperation in Forest Products Development, ASEAN Experts Group on CITES, ASEAN Wildlife Law Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN), ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN), International Forest Policy Processes, Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG), Asia Forest Partnership (AFP), ASEAN Regional Knowledge Network on Forests and Climate Change (ARKN-FCC), ASEAN Multisectoral Framework on Climate Change: Agriculture and Forestry towards Food Security (AFCC), and ASEAN-ROK Cooperation in Forestry including the outcomes of the recently concluded Special ASEAN Ministerial and ASEAN-ROK Ministerial Meetings on Forestry.

Responding to the Impact of Climate Change and Emerging Issues

14. We recalled the Declaration of Joint Response to Climate Change by the 16th ASEAN Summit, in which the Leaders tasked the agriculture and forestry sectors to engage in cooperation in research and development and knowledge sharing, and reaffirmed their agreement on the effective implementation of Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)-plus mechanisms in phases, as these initiatives will contribute to enhanced food production, agricultural productivity and water resources sustainability, while adapting to the adverse effects of climate change and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the sectors, thus ensuring sustainable livelihoods of farmers and food security in the ASEAN region.

15. We particularly noted the good progress of collaborative initiatives with dialogue and development partners related to climate change, namely: German-ASEAN Programme on Response to Climate Change: Agriculture, Forestry and related Sectors (GAP-CC); ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC); ASEAN-Korea Network on Climate Change Adaptation in Aquaculture; impacts of climate change in the fisheries and aquaculture sector under the Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade Project (MARKET); Workshop on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Agriculture Sector in India and ASEAN Countries; ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II (AADCP II) Project on REDD Plus; and new initiative with FAO on Biomass Energy for Food Security. We also noted the outcomes and supported the recommendations of the 1st Ad-hoc Steering Committee on Climate Change and Food Security to effectively monitor the progress of work and coordinate activities (i.e. Climate Smart Agriculture, and low carbon green growth in agriculture and forestry sectors) being implemented by various subsidiary bodies and partners.

Moving Together with Partners towards 2015

16. We collectively expressed our continued appreciation for the assistance and support, in advancing cooperation on food, agriculture and forestry in ASEAN region, rendered by various dialogue partners and international organizations, among others: Australia, China, European Commission, India, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, United States of America, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Southeast Asia Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC). In particular, we have agreed to support the implementation of the various cooperation work plans and initiatives that contribute towards a strengthened institutional capacity of our Member States and achievement of our priority measures and targets.

17. We, together with H.E Mr. Niu Dun, Vice Minister of Agriculture of People’s Republic of China, agreed to extend our Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Cooperation for another year and also endorsed 2013 China-ASEAN Agriculture Cooperation Work Plan. We urged our senior officials to finalize the new Memorandum of Understanding on Food and Agriculture Cooperation for signing at the 35th AMAF Meeting which will be held in Malaysia next year. We also seek the support of H.E. Mr. Niu Dun to facilitate the development of a Memorandum of Understanding on Forestry Cooperation with the relevant ministry in China.

18. We, in recognizing the critical role of the private sector and civil society organisations towards economic integration and community building, agreed to continue contributing in building an enabling environment and collaborative platform for dialogue and engagement. We, therefore, are encouraged by the successful outcomes of the second AMAF-Private Sector Dialogue held on 27 September 2012, and will look forward to our future engagements with all relevant stakeholders in ensuring a food secure and prosperous ASEAN Community.

35th AMAF Meeting

19. We agreed to meet again for the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry Meeting in Malaysia in 2013.

20. The Ministers from other ASEAN Member States expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of Lao PDR for hosting the 34th AMAF Meeting and for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.

LIST OF MINISTERS

H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam

H.E. Prof. Dr. Chan Sarun, Ministerof Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cambodia

H.E. Dr. Suswono, Minister of Agriculture, Indonesia

H.E. Mr. Vilayvanh Phomkhe, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao PDR

H.E. Datuk Seri Noh Bin Omar, Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry, Malaysia

H.E. Mr. Ohn Than, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, Myanmar

H.E. Mr. Joel . Rudinas, Under Secretary of Agriculture, Philippines

H.E. Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Defence, Singapore

H.E. Mr. Theera Wongsamut, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand

H.E. Dr. Bui Ba Bong, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Viet Nam

H.E. Mr. Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community