CEADIR Series: Accelerating Investment for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry in Southeast Asia

Countries in Southeast Asia are working to reduce deforestation, forest degradation and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by implementing national climate change commitments and other strategies. Business leaders and investors have also made ambitious commitments to address climate risks. At the same time, the region continues to have some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, driven by land conversion for agricultural expansion and over-harvesting to meet growing demand. However, agricultural and forest productivity can be improved, while reducing GHG emissions and other adverse environmental and social impacts. Achieving these gains will require harnessing the power of the private sector and international markets to reduce commodity-driven deforestation and high-emission production practices across the region.

On April 26, 2018, CEADIR hosted a Discussion Series webinar on “Accelerating Investment for Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry in Southeast Asia.”  Speakers included:

  • Yohann Formont (Senior Finance Advisor for USAID Green Invest Asia) shared insights on helping investors identify new business models; expanding networks in agriculture, forestry and land-use to remove barriers; and opening up new opportunities for climate-smart finance.
  • Tony Siantonas (Climate Smart Agriculture Manager for the World Business Council on Sustainable Development) discussed how leading companies and financial institutions are working to increase food production while transforming agricultural systems to be more resilient to weather and climate risks and stressors.
  • Mikell O’Mealy (CEADIR Activity Manager for Clean Energy and Sustainable Landscapes) moderated the discussion and highlighted strategies for linking public and private finance and strengthening public-private collaborations to scale up climate-smart agriculture and forestry in Southeast Asia.

Video URL

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Key Takeaways

  • Participants at an October 2017 FAO Workshop in Thailand identified priorities for scaling up investment and finance for climate smart agriculture and forestry in Southeast Asia. Their recommendations included regular dialogues to improve understanding of climate-smart practices by the private and public sectors, leading to policy incentives and wider access to finance. 
  • USAID’s Green Invest Asia is one of several players increasing private finance for sustainable land uses in Southeast Asia. Funding opportunities largely lie in infrastructure, but demand still largely outstrips supply. Others facilitating investment in this region’s sustainable land use include international and local banks (ING, Wilmar), international and regional investment funds (Lestari Captial, TLFF), and impact funds like C4D Partners. 
  • Southeast Asia is the fastest-growing region for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, which has several projects in its Food Land and Water Program to address Sustainable Development Goals. Scalable solutions for climate-smart agriculture include alternate wet-dry for rice, digital agriculture, and index-based insurance. 

Link to presentation: https://ceadirseries.adobeconnect.com/apr2018_presentation/

Strategic Objective
Emissions, Climate Finance, Forest/Forestry, Land Use, Mitigation, Private Sector Engagement, Sustainable Landscapes

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