Implementing sustainable forest management continues to be one of the most critical challenges facing wood-producing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Responding to this challenge, many countries have developed and are implementing codes of practice for forest harvesting or similar guidelines for improved harvesting practices in natural forests. To reflect the region's commitment to sustainable forest management, the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) published the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia-Pacific in 1 999. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Senior Officials on Forestry endorsed this code in 2001, as a guide to develop specific national codes and/or guidelines.
With regard to improving forest harvesting practices in general, and implementing national codes of practice for forest harvesting in particular, a comprehensive and current picture of the progress among ASEAN Member Countries was needed. Therefore, the 7th Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry, held in May 2004, called on the ASEAN Secretariat to undertake, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a review of the development and implementation of codes of practice for forest harvesting in ASEAN Member Countries. The results of the review are presented in this report.
The review indicates that while progress has been made, there is little room for complacency. Much needs to be done to make a significant difference on the ground. Foresters in the ASEAN Member Countries are generally aware of the shortcomings and the review has turned many of their suggestions into practical recommendations including more support for training, cross-border exchange of experiences and dissemination of relevant and up-to-date information.
In presenting the review, FAO and the ASEAN Secretariat are pleased to continue their support for sustainable forest management. We hope that the key findings and recommendations presented in this document will lead to tangible improvement in forestry and contribute to the protection of the valuable forest resources in ASEAN MemberCountries and beyond.
Ong Keng Yong