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XII World Forestry Congress

58. The Commission was informed of the outcomes of the XII World Forestry Congress on the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2004/INF.4. The Commission noted that the Asia-Pacific region had been well represented at the World Forestry Congress, with more than 250 participants and a high number of written contributions.

Wildland fire agreements

59. The Commission was informed of the outcome of the International Wildland Fire Summit, convened in Sydney, Australia, in October 2003, and recent developments related to the establishment and implementation of international wildland fire agreements on the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2004/INF.5.

60. Forest fires remained a key concern of member countries. 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.

61. The Commission acknowledged the establishment of several bilateral and regional 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. It encouraged member countries to provide strong support for the effective implementation of such existing agreements.

62. 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.

63. The Commission was informed of the opportunity to further discuss issues related to forest fires, including options for developing a global fire agreement, at the seventeenth session of COFO, in 2005. Forest fire issues could also be discussed at the Ministerial meeting the Director-General intends to convene at the time of COFO.

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