Strengthening collaboration among ASEAN members for climate adaptation

28-30 May 2019, Chiang Rai, Thailand – The Government of Thailand hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Workshop on "Strengthening Climate Resilience of ASEAN Member States (AMS) through Experience Sharing and Lessons Learn on Progress of Climate Change Adaptation Activities". The workshop was jointly organized by the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP), Thailand’s Greenhouse Gas Management Organization (Public Organization) (TGO), German International Cooperation (GIZ), Mae Fah Luang University, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with financial support from the Government of Germany (BMU). 
 
This workshop aimed to encourage the sharing of knowledge and experiences among AMS representatives, and to learn from each other on vulnerability and risk assessment, climate change adaptation, and best practices at different levels. The workshop was organised as part of the activities under the Action Plan of ASEAN’s Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC). The event intended to foster increased joint ambition among ASEAN countries to address common concerns, develop shared visions, and identify possible collaboration in climate change adaptation. 
 
In his opening remarks, Dr. Vong Sok (Head of Environment Division of ASEAN) highlighted that: “ASEAN is addressing climate change through the framework of ASEAN community building, with strategies and actions to enhance regional and international cooperation in supporting adaptation". This notion for the need to strengthen collaboration among AMS countries due to imminent and increasing threats posed by climate change was taken up by all speakers, including Dr. Raweewan Bhuridej, the Secretary-General of ONEP, Mrs. Prasertsuk Patoonsittichai, Executive Director of TGO, and Assoc. Prof. Chayaporn Wattanasiri, President of Mae Fah Luang University. 
 
The workshop provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and building up on the rich expertise of the participants. In total, 80 participants, including 42 delegates from 9 ASEAN Member States and representatives from a range of national and international organizations, took part in the workshop. Throughout the event a range of best-practice experiences of adaptation interventions in different ASEAN countries were showcased. This included cutting edge research on reducing risks from vector-borne disease from Singapore, as well as a range of risk assessment and sectoral adaptation planning strategies from other member states. 
 
The presentations were complemented by group working sessions as well as structured and informal discussions. The groupwork revealed that there are some common barriers in the different countries, which include a low co-ordination between sectors and different actors, that in many countries the knowledge about potential climate change impacts and coping strategies is limited, the availability of quality data, and limited availability of technical and financial support and dedicated public budgets. To overcome some of these challenges and continue addressing these, the AMS expressed their interest to enhance the level of collaboration and proposed to establish a regional knowledge sharing platform and specified working groups. Overall, there was a sentiment of agreement of the need towards enhanced collaboration and adaptation action.
Last Updated: 10 Jun 2019