Fifth Meeting of GMS Working Group on Agriculture (WGA-5): Summary of Proceedings
The Fifth Meeting of the GMS Working Group on Agriculture (WGA-5) was held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 22-24 September 2008. The objectives of the Meeting were to (i) identify priority strategic interventions in subregional agricultural cooperation that address critical food security, energy security, and climate change concerns; (ii) review and refocus WGA's work program towards speedy implementation of priority initiatives under the Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP) as an integral component of the Vientiane Plan of Action; and (iii) catalyze support from development partners to implement CASP initiatives. The Meeting was attended by participants from the six GMS countries: Cambodia, People's Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Resource persons from FAO, IFAD, EOC, IRRI, ADB, and ADBI, representatives of various development partners and the private sector, and individual experts also attended.
The Meeting was briefed on key directives from the Third GMS Summit relating to agriculture. The GMS Leaders' directives include implementing the GMS initiative on biofuel and rural renewable energy development; expanding transboundary animal disease control programs; and expanding access to agricultural information in rural areas. WGA reviewed the status of the Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP) as an integral component of the Vientiane Plan of Action (2008-2012) endorsed at the Third Summit. The Meeting reached broad agreement on a new proposed umbrella regional technical assistance that will take the WGA agenda forward in addressing food security, energy security, and climate change concerns, and in leveraging investments to provide the balance for software and hardware inputs, particularly for RRE development.
The Meeting also provided an opportunity for the sharing of knowledge, ideas and experiences concerning the agriculture nexus in the GMS economic corridor development approach, case studies on cross-border contract farming and agricultural trade - and food safety issues, and the impact of climate change on agriculture - including response and mitigation measures. An important side-event of WGA-5 was a GMS Development Dialogue on Food Security, organized under the Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management. The Dialogue made a contribution to WGA-5 deliberations in three areas: (i) the setting of the basic principles to guide policy choices in addressing the impacts of increasing food prices; (ii) the focus on what might be the role of government partners - the private sector, and academic and research institutions and civil society organizations in promoting productivity and long-term food supply; and (iii) the identification of potential areas for regional and international cooperation.
- Opening Session
- Session I: Significant Developments in the Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP)
- Session 2: GMS Economic Corridors: Cross-border Challenges and Opportunities for Agriculture
- Session 3: Food Security and Climate Change: Strategic Directions and WGA Response
- Session 4: WGA and CASP: Next Steps
- Other Matters
- Closing Session