Wednesday, May 1, 2019

FAO PH - CSO Consultation: Strengthening Engagement and Convergence

I. Background
During the 34th FAO Regional Conference for Asia Pacific ( APRC), there was a call and recognition for in-country or national follow-up dialogues on agreements made during regional CSO-FAO consultation, especially on priority agenda such as responsible agricultural investments (RAI), decade of family farming, SDG localization, among others.  As such, there is a need to establish and strengthen relationships between and among Civil Society Organizations stakeholders and FAO country offices. Cooperation can be fostered if there is an in-depth understanding of mandates and priorities, ways of working, and openness to build partnership.

In this regard, the FAO-CSO consultation-workshop in the Philippines is being organized to discuss engagement mechanisms deemed relevant for common agenda and joint actions in the immediate term. It is hoped that similar consultations would take place in other countries, to promote and mobilize broad-based support for short and long-term development agenda of civil society, together with FAO.

II. Objectives
In general, the objective of this consultation-workshop is to promote dialogue and coordination between FAO and CSO stakeholders in the country. Specifically, it aims to:
·       Understand FAO Global, Regional, and Country initiatives, including key on-going and pipeline projects;
·      Understand Philippine CSOs’ priorities in agriculture and rural development and existing mechanisms for cooperation;
·       Discuss and explore common agenda for convergence;
·       Identify engagement mechanisms for advancing common agenda; and,
·       Strengthen coordination mechanisms to bridge global-regional-national agenda.

III. Expected Outputs
At the end of this consultation-workshop, the following outputs are expected:
·      Identified engagement mechanism between FAO-CSO to promote common agenda and joint initiatives;
·     Priority FAO-CSO convergence agenda (e.g. in relation to UNDFF, CFS Instruments, SDG30) for follow-up actions at national and local levels; and, possibly, at Asia-Pacific region;
·     Improved solidarity and partnership between FAO and CSOs.

2019 FAO PH - CSO Consultation Participants

Key Recommendations

Key Recommendations from the Consultation:

For FAO and CSOs to:

·       push for and support strengthening the enforcement of existing policies and programmes on food security and nutrition and agriculture;
·       promote and advocate youth in agriculture, fisheries, and forestry;
·       promote inclusive sustainable rural development or integrated territorial area development framework
·       continue this consultation platform allowing for stocktaking and sharing of knowledge and information, planning for national action, and, sustain contacts with established networks
·       conduct joint actions  and, as a priority, jointly launch the UNDFF 2019-2028 in the Philippines

For FAO to
·       join the national multi-stakeholder ARDKPP platform TWG and strongly support actions for family

·       continue its role of bridging CSO priorities and issues to government

Opening Session

The first FAO PH - CSO consultation workshop formally opened with a message from Ms. Kaori Abe, Resource Mobilization and Partnerships Officer of the FAO Regional office for Asia and the Pacific, who welcomed some 46 participants representing national, sub-national, and, local organizations (NGOs, farmers organizations, agri-cooperatives, development partners). Ms. Marlene Ramirez, Secretary General of AsiaDHRRA, co-organizer of the event, underscored the importance of convening to discuss most important issues of the countries and brainstorm for resolutions to fill in these gaps, with the hope of being able to work closer together building upon existing platforms and/or creating new mechanism to move forward.