The Regional Coordination Workshop on Rehabilitation of tsunami-affected forest ecosystems: strategies and new directions was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and held from 07 to 08 March 2005 in Bangkok, Thailand. The overall goal of the workshop was to enhance rehabilitation efforts in the tsunami-affected areas through better coordination of national, regional and international agencies involved in forest rehabilitation and management of tsunami-affected areas.
The workshop brought together 15 national representatives from seven tsunami-affected countries (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand) and about 30 representatives from international and regional organizations. The workshop served as a forum to share information, collectively assess initial findings related to rehabilitation needs and opportunities, share plans and proposals for future rehabilitation work and develop mechanisms for collaboration and joint activities.
Participants expressed their support of a regional coordination mechanism suggested by FAO. Three working groups discussed the possible scope, the structure of the proposed coordination mechanism and the products and services to be provided. Based on the presentations, discussions and ideas expressed, participants:
The participants recommended that a regional partnership be established, to foster collaboration and coordination of forest-related initiatives in rehabilitation efforts in the tsunami affected countries. The participants recognized that such regional partnerships for information sharing, technical support and capacity building are consistent with existing FAO-supported networks and other partnership mechanisms in which its member countries are actively participating.
The partnership should include affected countries, international and regional organizations, NGOs, research organizations and other stakeholders, as well as donors supporting the partnership. The objective would be to support a forestry response to the tsunami that is cost effective, comprehensive, technically sound and developed within the context of integrated coastal area management and sustainable livelihoods.
The participants further recommended that FAO, in collaboration with other potential partners, continue to work to develop and establish the partnership and, as an interim measure, formulate a programme of action related to the critical issues identified in this document.
FAO and other UN organizations together with affected countries and other partners should quickly work together to make specific requests for support through the mid-term review of the flash appeal, and other sources, for regional cooperation and work on other priority issues related to forests and tsunami.
The participants proposed that the summary report be made available at the Ministerial Meeting on Forests and the Committee on Forestry to be held at FAO, Rome on 14 and 15-19 March, respectively.