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This publication is the result of the outstanding efforts of numerous individuals and organizations involved in the In search of excellence initiative over the past three years. FAO and RECOFTC express sincere appreciation to all the organizations and individuals who contributed to the success of the initiative. Our gratitude goes far beyond the list provided here and includes those people who nominated forests, participated in national workshops, involved themselves in e-mail discussions or helped to publicize the initiative. It also includes forest managers who allowed their forests to be nominated, and those who later assisted in the drafting of case studies by giving their time freely to show authors around the forests and, along with various other stakeholders, participated in interviews.

The In search of excellence initiative, an activity sanctioned by the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, was implemented under the supervision of Patrick Durst (FAO), Somsak Sukwong and Yam Malla (RECOFTC).

The following individuals played key roles in coordinating various aspects of the initiative: Patrick Durst, Chris Brown (Consultant), Karen Edwards (RECOFTC), Michael Victor (RECOFTC), Cor Veer (RECOFTC), Steve Rhee (Consultant), Henrylito Tacio (Editing Consultant) and Miyuki Ishikawa (FAO).

Valuable support was provided by various groups of individuals in each stage of the initiative. Initial preparatory work before and during the nomination phase was facilitated by Patrick Durst, Mette Løyche Wilkie (FAO) and Chris Brown. Ernesto Guiang (Consultant) led in publicizing the initiative and ensuring wide distribution of information and nomination forms, with assistance from Thomas Enters (FAO), Michael Victor and Tan Lay Cheng (Consultant). Special thanks are due to David Kaimowitz (CIFOR) who publicized the initiative through the POLEX list of contacts.

National nominating workshops were conducted in several countries. Particular thanks are due to Sushil Saigal (India), Ir. Agung Nugraha and Ali Arsyad (Indonesia), Surin Onprom (Thailand), Paul Lane (New Zealand), Ernesto Guiang (Philippines), Christian Sloth (FAO Viet Nam) and Pham Hoai Duc (Viet Nam), who coordinated workshops and national nomination processes, and to Winrock International, which provided support for the India national workshop.

Steve Rhee did excellent work in the initial screening of nominations and drafting paragraph summaries for all the nominated forests. Steve also took the lead in identifying and contacting case study authors. Thanks are due to the many people who suggested names, or otherwise assisted in identifying appropriate authors.

Two expert panels reviewed the nominations and selected forests for in-depth Jim Carle, Doug Williamson, Froylan Castañeda, Kailash Govil, C.T.S. Nair, Dominique Reeb, Oudara Souvannavong, Paul Vantomme and Adrian Whiteman, and an Asia-Pacific-based Technical Working Group comprising Karen Edwards, Brian Belcher (CIFOR), Cherukat Chandrasekharan (Consultant), Ernesto Guiang, Nigel Sizer (The Nature Conservancy), John Tay (Innoprise Corporation), Tang Hon Tat (FAO), Patrick Durst, Chris Brown and Thomas Enters.

Special thanks are due to Henrylito Tacio who undertook the task of coordinating the drafting of the case studies, including helping to provide thematic direction for the case studies and completing initial editing.

Chris Brown and Patrick Durst took the lead in technical editing of the case studies, with assistance from Murugesu Pushparajah (Consultant) and Miyuki Ishikawa. Thomas Enters' contributions to editing, refining and substantially improving the overview chapters - as well as writing the chapter "Achieving excellence: can we afford it" - are gratefully acknowledged, as are the initial thoughts on the "costs of excellence" contributed by Simmathiri Appanah (FAO).

During the preparation of the publication, several individuals provided valuable additional assistance. Special thanks go to Robin Leslie (Consultant) and Janice Naewboonnien (FAO) who assisted with proofreading and finalizing the papers found in this publication, and to Chrystel de Beaumont (FAO intern) who contributed to the analysis of case studies. The editors would also like to acknowledge all the contributors who provided information, advice and insightful comments during the development and evolution of the publication.

The editors recognize the tremendous efforts of all the case study authors: Ernesto A. Cadaweng, Jun Ariolo N. Aguirre, Phan Nguyen Hong, Suprava Patnaik, Melissa Marschke, Buenaventura L. Dolom, Rogelio C. Serrano, Anne Casson, John Liu, M. Govindan Kutty, T.K. Raghavan Nair, Hukum B. Singh, Biswa Ranjan Phukan, H.M. Bandaratillake, Jiang Chunquian, Don Hammond, Bryan McKinlay, Yasuhiko Nisawa, Yayoi Fujita, Thoumthone Vongvisouk, Houngpheth Chantavong, Somvilay Chanthaleunnavong, Yu Ling, Fiona Scarff, Sonya Duus, John Dargavel, Se-Kyung Chong, Juan M. Pulhin, Maricel A. Tapia, Lemeki Lenoa, John Tay, Kan Yaw Chong, John Novis, Ian Platt, Alan Griffiths, Bart Willem van Assen, Jacki Schirmer and Chas Perry. In addition, the editors are grateful to the individuals who provided supplementary information to the case studies and photographs, including Simmathiri Appanah, Manuel Bonita, Patrick Evans, Jiang Chunqian, Gar y King, Edwin Payuan, Murugesu Pushparajah and Tang Hon Tat. Appreciation to Ralph Houtman (FAO) for assistance in developing more descriptive case study titles and to Peter Kanowski (ANU) for assisting in commissioning authors for - and helping to finalize the Australian case studies. Special thanks go to Amy Tanachiva (FAO) and Ferngfa Panupitak (RECOFTC) who provided administrative support over the past three years.

FAO and RECOFTC would like to thank all the people who nominated forests for their interest in and support to the initiative. Our gratitude is extended to people who actively participated in national workshops as well as the in-session seminar on the initiative at the twentieth session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission. Special thanks go to Cor Veer (RECOFTC), Mohd. Basri Hamzah (ITTO), Don Hammond (New Zealand Institute of Forestry Registered Consultant), Lemeki Lenoa (forestry consultant), Rogelio C. Serrano (Forestry and Environment Division of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development) and Ian Bail (Timbercorp) who shared their experience and views on exemplary forest management at the APFC in-session seminar. The support and cooperation of Bagong Pagasa Foundation, which helped facilitate the APFC in-session seminar is also gratefully acknowledged.

Finally, the most important tribute is to the forest managers in the nominated forests for their efforts to achieve excellent forest management. This book is a tribute to their enormous endeavours.

Dedicated to all the people who are striving to improve
the management of forests in Asia and the Pacific

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