Exploring indicators to monitor and evaluate adaptation in Thailand’s agricultural sectors

13-14 May 2019, Bangkok, Thailand � Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) hosted a workshop in Bangkok to enhance the technical capacity to monitor and evaluate (M&E) climate change adaptation in the country’s agriculture sectors. The workshop was jointly organized through the Integrating Agriculture in National Adaptation Plans Programme (NAP-Ag), a multi-country support programme led by the UNDP and FAO, and financed by the Government of Germany (BMU).

The importance of M&E of adaptation has been highlighted at a global level, including under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. National level M&E of adaptation can contribute to reporting on Thailand’s achievements towards goals set out in these agreements. Thailand’s agriculture sectors were recognized in the country’s strategic climate change plans (e.g. National Adaptation Plan (NAP), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)) as being particularly vulnerable to climate-induced risks. A successful adaptation process for the sectors should be supported by an adequate reporting mechanism to identify most feasible options to ultimately preserve livelihoods and the sectors contribution to the economy.

Ms. Unchana Trach, Deputy Secretary General of the Office of Agriculture Economics (OAE), under MoAC, and Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative of UNDP Thailand acknowledged the importance of M&E in contributing to achieving targets and showing results under these international treaties. In her opening remarks, Ms. Unchana Trach stated:

M&E can help us to revise and adjust our actions if we are not achieving the results we have set out regarding adaptation. We need to apply this to our work in the future and involve farmers and the local level where adaptation happens.

Adaptation interventions in the agriculture sectors include, organic agriculture, piloting drought-resistant crop varieties, soil and water conservation and farmer crop insurance. These interventions can enhance food security and national adaptive capacity. Such interventions often have their own M&E frameworks at the project or programme level. Within this context, it is important to understand whether a range of implemented adaptation actions, policies and plans are achieving desired results, across a broader scale. This is where adaptation M&E at the agriculture sector scale becomes relevant.

The workshop was structured to be participatory and interactive in order to create a platform for knowledge-sharing and leverage the diverse expertise of the participants. In total, 35 participants representing 15 institutions took part in the workshop. This included representatives from the Agriculture Sub-Committee on Climate Change, 10 different departments of MoAC, including Office of Agriculture Economics (OAE), Department of Agriculture (DOA), Department of Fisheries (DOF), Royal Irrigation Department (RID), Agricultural Land Reform Office, as well as the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), a private sector representative from the Charoen Pokphand (CP) Group, and participants from the international organisations GIZ, UNDP, and FAO.

These participants jointly identified the adaptation priorities to be monitored for the agricultural sectors, building on Thailand’s Agriculture Sector Climate Change Plan (ASCCP) and 15 associated flagship projects. Subsequently, the participants mapped the current M&E and reporting systems in MoAC, and identified linkages to national and international reporting systems, including to the UNFCCC. This exercise showed that the government of Thailand is already reporting on a wide range of indicators that are suitable for monitoring adaptation in its agricultural sectors. It became apparent that there is good data availability in Thailand, but that there is a need for enhanced coordination, data sharing and data analysis on adaptation specifically, which in turn can be fed into national reporting systems. The workshop provided a solid foundation for establishing an M&E system for adaptation in the agriculture sectors in Thailand.

Source: UN Development Programme