State of forestry in the region
1. The Commission recommended that member countries take further action to implement internationally agreed actions related to forests, especially the IPF/IFF proposals for action. It further recommended that FAO help convey member country experiences in working toward sustainable forest management, including successes and impediments, to the Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) (para. 12).
2. The Commission urged FAO to expedite its efforts to help countries build capacity for sustainable forest management, especially by facilitating interaction among countries and by organizing workshops and training sessions at the regional, sub-regional and national levels (para. 13).
3. The Commission urged member countries and FAO to explore new avenues for obtaining finance for sustainable forest management, including through partnerships with the private sector (para. 14).
4. The Commission recommended more regional and bilateral collaboration among member countries in dealing with problems of illegal logging and associated illegal trade of forest products. FAO was urged to provide additional technical support to help member countries control illegal logging and associated illegal trade, and to assess the costs and impacts of illegal logging (para. 15).
5. The Commission recommended that FAO continue promoting the importance of conserving biological resources as a priority among efforts to achieve sustainable forest management (para. 16).
6. The Commission requested FAO to continue providing sound scientific information on relationships between forests and water, including flooding, and on successful watershed management approaches (para. 17).
Forestry activities of interest to the region
7. The Commission urged member countries, FAO and the National Forest Programme Facility to strengthen support for implementing national forest programmes (para. 21).
8. The Commission requested FAO to collect regularly and disseminate information on the Global Forest Resources Assessment, the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study, and the State of Forestry in Asia and the Pacific in collaboration with APFC member countries (para. 22).
9. The Commission requested FAO to continue efforts to enhance national capacities for conducting forest resource assessments, including assessment of tree resources outside forests (para. 23).
10. The Commission requested FAO to continue promoting the development and use of criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. It also recommended that the seven thematic areas of sustainable forest management, as acknowledged by the International Conference on Criteria and Indicators in Guatemala (February 2003), the sixteenth session of the Committee on Forestry (March 2003) and further discussed at the recent FAO/ITTO Expert Consultation in the Philippines (March 2004), be used as globally agreed criteria for sustainable forest management, for harmonizing purposes (para. 24).
11. The Commission recommended that FAO develop practical guidelines for the sustainable use of non-wood forest products, and work to improve marketing of such products (para 25).
12. The Commission requested FAO to continue providing support for the implementation of codes of practice for forest harvesting and the application of improved forest harvesting (para. 26).
13. The Commission endorsed the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network, under the auspices of APFC. It urged FAO and member countries to support the network as a mechanism for sharing information on existing and potential forest pests and approaches for combating such pests. FAO was requested to work with member countries to mobilize funds to effectively manage the network (para. 27).
14. The Commission urged FAO to continue providing strong support for the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), particularly its collaborating and coordinating functions (para. 29).
15. The Commission encouraged FAO and other CPF members to further simplify forest-related reporting in order to reduce the burden on countries (para. 30).
16. The Commission urged FAO, in collaboration with other CPF members, to continue work to harmonize concepts, terminology and definitions used in assessing, monitoring and reporting on sustainable forest management (para. 31).
In-session seminar: in search of excellence: exemplary forest management in Asia and the Pacific
17. The Commission recommended that the results of the In Search of Excellence initiative be widely distributed and promoted through media briefings, workshops, and the preparation of materials to help managers of nominated forests to promote a common message. The Commission also suggested that FAO consider organizing a side meeting at the next session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) to feature the initiative (para. 37).
Financing sustainable forest management
18. The Commission encouraged FAO to strengthen its work with donor countries and financial institutions to help facilitate the efforts of developing countries, especially during their transition to sustainable forest management (para. 40).
19. The Commission requested FAO to continue providing information and advice on policies, legal resources and approaches for improved pricing and taxation of forest products and resources, strengthening measures for collecting royalties and fees and controlling illegal activities (para 41).
20. The Commission requested FAO to facilitate the exchange of information and experience related to the valuation and the development of markets for non-wood forest products, environmental services (e.g., carbon sequestration, provision of clean air and water) and ecotourism (para. 42).
21. The Commission urged FAO to continue raising awareness of the contributions that forests make to the environment, rural development, poverty alleviation and other economic sectors (e.g. tourism, water resources). It also requested FAO to maintain efforts to ensure that sound scientific knowledge on the actual benefits provided by forests and trees was readily available to policy makers and other decision makers (para. 43).
22. The Commission requested FAO to distribute information on available guidelines for assessing the magnitude of environmental services provided by forests and the impacts and repercussions of unsustainable forest management and forest clearing (para. 44).
In-session seminar: alternative forest management models: alternatives for achieving sustainability and reducing poverty
23. The Commission urged FAO to continue discussions with donors to secure funding for a proposed regional model forest network in Asia and the Pacific (para. 50).
24. The Commission requested FAO to review the changing forest, demands and expectations placed on forestry agencies as a result of the transition to alternative management models and to assist forestry agencies in reorienting, retraining and restructuring, as appropriate (para. 51).
25. The Commission recommended that FAO continue monitoring experiences in implementing alternative forest management models, disseminate information on such experiences and support efforts to strengthen capacities for effective implementation (para. 52).
Forest conventions, treaties and more: are regional agreements the way to go?
26. The Commission recommended that member countries actively participate and provide forestry expertise in the intergovernmental negotiations related to forests, especially the UNFF and the conventions on biological diversity, desertification and climate change (para. 55).
27. The Commission requested FAO to examine the possibility of organizing an intersessional meeting for thorough regional preparations prior to the fifth session of UNFF in 2005, which will decide on future international arrangements on forests, or to provide other mechanisms to assist countries preparations (para. 56).
28. The Commission urged member countries to strengthen their commitment to implement the existing regional forest-related agreements and initiatives, including the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia-Pacific. FAO and other international organizations were requested to continue support for the effective implementation of these regional mechanisms (para. 57).
Wildland fire agreements
29. The Commission encouraged member countries and FAO to intensify regional collaboration on combating and preventing forest fires. FAO was requested to further assist member countries in the formulation and implementation of effective training programmes to prevent, control and manage forest fires (para. 60).
30. The Commission encouraged member countries to provide strong support for the effective implementation of existing agreements intended to facilitate cooperation in managing and combating wildland fires, including the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, which entered into force in late 2003 (para. 61).
31. The Commission requested FAO to examine the potential strengths and weaknesses of regional and global arrangements on forest fires, including the feasibility of developing and implementing a global agreement on forest fires, taking into account the lessons learned from the development and implementation of existing bilateral and regional arrangements (para. 62).
Report of the Regional Workshop on Implementing IPF/IFF Proposals for Action through National Forest Programmes: Strategies, Initiatives and Tools
32. The Commission recommended that FAO, in collaboration with other CPF members, continue to facilitate the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action; assist countries in sharing experiences; and help build capacity of countries to effectively participate and negotiate in international fora and follow their progress (para. 78).
33. The Commission endorsed the workshop report and encouraged member countries to effectively implement its recommendations (para. 79).
Report of the Workshop on Developing an Action Plan for Addressing Forest Invasive Species in Asia and the Pacific
34. The Commission endorsed the workshop report and encouraged member countries to effectively implement the action plan and related activities within the framework of the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network (para. 82).
Report of the First Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission Executive Committee
35. The Commission endorsed the report of the meeting and its recommendations. It recognized the valuable contributions of the Executive Committee in reviewing and guiding the work of the Commission and recommended that regular meetings of the Executive Committee be convened between the main sessions of the Commission, giving due consideration to budget implications (para. 85).