Asia and the Pacific
Civil Society in the Asia and Pacific Region is robust and wide ranging in scope, though extremely diverse and varying in national distribution. FAO has had long standing and substantial engagement with civil society building since the 1978 World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) which resulted inter alia in the establishment of the Asian NGO Coalition (ANGOC) as the first Asia-Pacific NGO apex organization dealing with rural development and food security.
Other examples of early cooperation are the farmers’ field schools initiated in Indonesia and then established in other parts of Southeast and South Asia, and support to fisher organizations and their capacities in the Bay of Bengal.
On food security policy and governance issues there has been increasing engagement at the Asia-Pacific level over the last 15 or so years as national organizations have grown stronger and have started to associate across boundaries. Their representation has become systematic globally, notably at the World Food Summit in 1996 and its follow up including the World Summit on Food Security in 2009.