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78. Recognizing COFO’s stated desire to see FAO’s regional forestry commissions strengthened, the Commission wished to bring the attention of COFO to the vitality and vibrancy of APFC, as exemplified by the large number of inter-sessional activities implemented during the past two years and the convening of the first Asia-Pacific Forestry Week.

79. The Commission wished to draw COFO’s attention to the critical issue of climate change. In particular, it highlighted the urgent need to strengthen country capacities to deal with complexities of climate change issues, which may otherwise constrain some countries from participating in forest-based responses to climate change.

80. Cognizant that people-centred development is increasingly the focus of forestry policies, the Commission wished to highlight to COFO the need to continue efforts to enhance community-based forest management and forestry initiatives that help reduce poverty, including training-of-trainers activities.

81. The Commission wished to bring to COFO’s attention the importance of forest law compliance and the detrimental impacts of illegal logging and associated trade.

82. The Commission wished to highlight to COFO the rapid emergence of new forestry issues, requiring re-invention of forestry agency functions and structures. The Commission wished to emphasize the need for assistance and capacity-building to better align institutional structures, policies and functions with new demands and objectives.

83. The Commission wished to highlight to COFO the importance of reinforcing Forest Resources Assessment elements that enable progress towards improved assessments of sustainable forest management. The Commission also wished to highlight the continuing need for capacity-building for forest resources monitoring and assessment.

84. The Commission wished to bring to COFO’s attention the opportunity provided by holding Asia-Pacific Forestry Week in conjunction with the twenty-second session of APFC to facilitate regional dialogue on issues related to the forthcoming UNFF session. The Commission requested COFO to consider the implementation of processes used in each FAO region in order to determine how the regional forestry commissions can best contribute input to UNFF.

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