70. The Commission considered the changing roles of forestry agencies on the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/9. Delegates welcomed distribution of the new APFC publication “Re-inventing forestry agencies,” which also informed the dialogue.
71. The Commission recognized that significant changes in the forestry landscape are creating rapidly evolving expectations, necessitating review of forestry agency functions and structures. The Commission requested that FAO assist forestry agencies to review structures, policies and functions to better align these with new demands, objectives and expectations.
72. Delegates emphasized that forestry agencies will need to develop capacities to respond to many new challenges related to climate change, including the ability to respond quickly to natural disasters, manage for the ecological impacts of climate change, and conduct planning in an atmosphere of increased uncertainty. This will require forestry agencies to develop institutional adaptive capacities and improve coordination with other agencies and institutions.
73. The Commission acknowledged that forestry agencies have become less prominent, especially as forest management roles have been devolved to communities and the private sector. Delegates recognized that changing roles for forestry agencies are often driven by political decisions beyond the control of the agency. These include decisions on the extent to which agencies adopt regulatory or implementation roles.
74. The Commission emphasized that strong linkages exist between the emerging roles of forestry agencies and the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study. The Commission urged countries to ensure that the findings of the outlook study are incorporated into strategic planning processes and used to guide reform and re-invention of forestry agencies. The Commission further requested FAO to support member countries in maximizing the use of the findings of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study and the APFC study on re-inventing forestry agencies.