Convening Private Sector Investment in Climate-Smart Commodity Production in Southeast Asia: A Workshop
The Asia LEDS Partnership Secretariat supported USAID in organising a workshop on Convening Private Sector Investment in Climate-Smart Commodity Production in Southeast Asia. The event was held on 29 March, in Bangkok, Thailand.
The one-day workshop aimed at aligning actions and accelerating investment into climate-smart value chains in the transition to greener and cleaner economies. It brought together 90 participants, including top executives from leading corporations, investment firms, regional small and medium sized enterprises, commercial commodity certification platforms, and senior government officials from Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.
Leading private sector organisations discussed their challenges and good practices in meeting their growing demand for food and forestry products while reducing GHG emissions in their value chain. During the discussions, it was realised that there is a dire need to translate sustainability concepts into something tangible with clear business impacts like weather events and disease management.
The regional and international financiers discussed the need for supportive policies from governments and central banks, such as incentives and penalties, integrating sustainability as part of bank’s framework, and mechanisms such as credit guarantee to reduce risks of banks and facilitate transition to climate smart financing.
The government officials from Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines believed that the adoption rate of climate-smart practices is low due to upfront investment needs. Few climate-smart practices are commercially feasible and have already been taken up by private sector even without government priorities. There should be more dialogues happening between public and private sector. Also, a transparent system to collect, assess and share data as well as a platform to share best practices with farmers and upstream commodity producers is crucial.
To conclude, majority of participants agreed that facilitating more regular dialogues between national level policymakers and businesses and smallholder farmers who are at the front of implementation is the most crucial next step. It is also important to identify solutions to enable small and medium enterprises to access financing, and to develop a policy framework to incentivise or penalise companies depending on their initiatives in pursuing climate-smart approaches.
The regional meeting is convened and sponsored by the Asia Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Partnership, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and organized by the USAID Climate Economic Analysis for Development, Investment and Resilience (CEADIR) ActivityNations (FAO).
Click here for more resources from the event.