Regional climate-smart village leaders meet for talks in Laos

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - The CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security in Southeast Asia (CCAFS SEA) is holding the 4th Climate-Smart Village Roving Workshop in Laos to encourage climate-smart farmers to use knowledge-sharing and on-site learning approaches.

The workshop is taking place from September 10-15 in Vientiane and Savannakhet province, with participation from climate-smart villages, CCAFS, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), and other local and international organisations from Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Co-organised with the IRRI and NAFRI, the workshop specifically aims to build participants’ knowledge of climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices, facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience in these areas among farmers and climate-smart village support teams, and demonstrate community-based climate-smart agriculture approaches that are successful in the Lao context.

Regional Programme Leader of CCAFS SEA, Dr Leo Sebastian, said “Through the roving workshop we would like not only to enhance participants’ knowledge of climate-smart agriculture but also facilitate across-learning among local leaders in Southeast Asia and prepare for the upscaling of climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices.”

Introduced by CCAFS in 2015, climate-smart villages were established in the region to serve as models of climate-resilient communities and field laboratories of climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices.

Currently, there are seven climate-smart villages in the region, including Ma, Ly Loi and Tra Hat in Vietnam, Phailom and Ekxang in Laos, Rohal Suong in Cambodia, and Guinayangan in the Philippines.

As part of the five-day workshop, the participants from the seven climate-smart villages will discusses the progress of their respective climate-smart agriculture initiatives.

They will also visit Ekxang and Phailom villages and other project areas for and institutions working on climate-smart agriculture, where they can interact with people from the communities and other implementers of climate-smart agriculture technologies and practices.

After these field visits, participants will engage in reflection sessions to process what they have learnt.

Through the workshop, CCAFS together with its partners hopes to further enhance climate-smart village implementation and climate-smart agriculture scaling in Southeast Asia.

Dr Sebastian said “By engaging farmers and local leaders in climate-smart villages and nearby communities in activities like this, we are nurturing climate-smart agriculture champions.

The knowledge-sharing and field trips will not only expose them to different options for making their own communities climate-smart but will also make them advocates of climate-smart agriculture scaling.

Previous roving workshops were held in Cambodia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and farmers from Southeast Asian climate-smart villages first visited the municipality of Guinayangan, Philippines, in September 2015.

Successive workshops were held in Vietnam and Cambodia in May 2016 and August 2017, respectively.  

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