PETALING JAYA: More than 100 experts in fields related to land use and forestry management are gathering here today for a week-long workshop to develop a curriculum to promote smart land management as a means of fighting climate change.
The curriculum is the first of its kind in the region. When it is ready, it will be rolled out in 12 universities in six countries, namely Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.
The workshop is organised by the United States Agency for Interna-tional Development (USAID) Lowe-ring Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF), which is a five-year cooperative agreement funded by the USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia.
Malaysia is represented at the workshop by Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
USAID LEAF is implemented by Winrock International in partnership with SNV-Netherlands Develop-ment Organisation, Climate Focus and The Centre for People and Forests (RECOFTC).
It employs a regional approach to produce significant yet sustainable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from the forest-land use sector across the six focus countries.
To push for a meaningful curriculum pertaining to climate change, USAID LEAF has been collaborating with these 12 universities as well as with other USAID-funded programmes with similar aims at other universities such as USAID’s Forests and Deltas Programme in Vietnam and USAID’s Supporting Forests and Biodiversity Programme at Cambodia.
According to the organiser, bringing together over 100 university professors, trainers and partners to Petaling Jaya is a significant step in scaling up climate change curriculum development efforts at both national and regional levels.
“This training of trainers covers basic climate change, social and environmental soundness, low emission land use planning as well as carbon measurement and monitoring,” it said in a statement last week.
USAID LEAF’s curriculum development work is part of the joint effort among regional universities under the US Government’s Lower Mekong Initiative to support an emerging group of climate change professionals who can engage in low emissions development planning.
More about the initiative is found at www.leafasia.org.