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The twenty-second session Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission

21-25 April 2008

Summary of recommendations

For the attention of governments and FAO

The Commission recommended:

For the attention of FAO

The Commission recommended:


  1. At the invitation of the Government of Viet Nam, the twenty-second session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) was convened in Hanoi, Viet Nam, 21-25 April 2008. Delegates from 31 member countries and 6 United Nations organizations participated in the session, along with observers and representatives from 5 non-member countries and 33 regional and international inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. A list of participants is given in Appendix B. The Commission welcomed the Russian Federation as a new member.
  2. Recognizing the Commission’s desire to see specific Asia-Pacific regional issues recognized and articulated in wider regional and global processes, and guided by recommendations of the twenty-first session of the Commission and by the Executive Committee of the Commission, the twenty-second session of the Commission was organized as the core activity within the broad concept of Asia-Pacific Forestry Week.
  3. Asia-Pacific Forestry Week attracted more than 700 participants from 55 countries. More than 40 partners supported Asia-Pacific Forestry Week with financial and in-kind contributions. Special plenary sessions were organized on three separate mornings of Forestry Week, focused on forests and human well-being, forests and climate change, and forest law compliance and governance. Twenty-eight parallel events were organized by various partners during Forestry Week. An Information Market featured 27 organizational booths, 55 posters, a photo exhibit, and three book launching events.

Opening ceremony

  1. The opening session featured addresses by the Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Viet Nam, the Assistant Director-General of the Forestry Department of FAO, and prominent keynote speakers.
  2. His Excellency, Hoang Trung Hai, Deputy Prime Minister, Government of Viet Nam, welcomed participants on behalf of the Government of Viet Nam. He noted the important role that forestry plays in the economy of Viet Nam, as a vital economic and technical sector. He emphasized the dramatic increase in exports of forest products during the past several years, but also highlighted the heavy dependence of many poor people living in and near forests. Mr Hai further reported Viet Nam’s impressive efforts in reforestation and forest rehabilitation, and the country’s strong commitment to sustainable forest management.
  3. Mr Jan Heino, Assistant Director-General, FAO Forestry Department, welcomed participants on behalf of FAO. He thanked the Government of Viet Nam, and especially the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, for the preparatory work and arrangements for Asia-Pacific Forestry Week, and acknowledged the collaboration of many partner organizations in jointly organizing the event. Mr Heino noted the challenges associated with poverty reduction, climate change and biofuels development as important long-term and emerging issues for forestry.
  4. Ms Sunita Narain, Director of the Centre for Science and Environment, presented the first keynote address. Ms Narain noted that the threat of climate change and the imperatives of development are providing practitioners of forestry with unprecedented challenges and opportunities. She stressed that forests are the key to poverty eradication in large areas of the developing world. Ms Narain emphasized the need to re-invent the way forests are managed and incorporated in economic planning processes. She stressed that the main challenge is in balancing forest conservation and economic development, especially in developing countries.
  5. Professor Norman Myers, Fellow of the Saïd Business School, Oxford University, presented the second keynote address. He emphasized the history and future outlook for deforestation, especially in the tropics. He noted that a continuation of current levels of conservation efforts will likely result in the loss of half the planet’s species within the next several decades. Professor Myers asserted that actions in the next several decades will determine the future of the earth for the next five million years. He stressed that the situation provides an enormous opportunity for foresters to develop new, effective strategies for biodiversity conservation and forest management.
  6. Ms Frances Seymour, Director-General of the Center for International Forestry Research, provided introductory remarks from the international forest research community. She emphasized that the rapidity of change and the emergence of new challenges called for urgent action. She also noted that many institutions lack capacity to deal with the complexities of the challenges and that science often does not have comprehensive answers to important questions. Ms Seymour stressed that policies need to minimize risks to the most vulnerable communities and ecosystems.

Adoption of agenda (Item 1)

  1. Under the guidance of Mr P.R. Mohanty (India), the outgoing Chair of the Commission, the provisional agenda (FO:APFC/2008/1) was reviewed and adopted (see Appendix A). Documents considered by the Commission are listed in Appendix C.

Election of officers (Item 2)

  1. The Commission unanimously elected the following individuals to hold office until the commencement of the twenty-third session:

Chairperson: Nguyen Ngoc Binh (Viet Nam)
Vice-Chairpersons: Karma Dukpa (Bhutan)
Zhang Hongyan (China)
Kanawi Pouru (Papua New Guinea)
Rapporteur: Neil Hughes (Australia)
Mr Patrick Durst (FAO) served as Secretary of the Commission.

Forestry in a changing world (Item 3)

Addressing the challenges

  1. The Commission considered the challenges confronting forestry in a changing world on the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/3, presentations from a panel of experts offering perspectives from the private sector, international agencies and non-governmental environmental organizations (NGOs), and a discussion report prepared by the Secretariat, elaborating the situation and prospects for forestry in the Asia-Pacific region.
  2. The Commission noted the growing influence of climate change, threats to food security, escalating energy prices, and increasing demands for water and forest products in shaping forest management policies and land use. Delegates recognized that emerging forestry challenges pose the greatest threats to vulnerable, impoverished, forest-dependent people.
  3. The Commission appreciated society’s aspirations for growth and development, but acknowledged that such development can have major impacts on forests. It also noted increasing regional and urban-rural disparities that sometimes lead to conflicts over forest management objectives and priorities. The Commission noted that utilization of forest resources to support national development and to alleviate poverty can result in improved forest conservation.
  4. The Commission noted that rapid change and the emergence of new forestry challenges require new responses from within and outside the forestry sector. The importance of developing multi-sectoral approaches and holistic policies was emphasized as necessary to avoid inconsistencies and conflicts among sectors and within the forestry sector itself.
  5. The Commission agreed that effective engagement of a wide range of stakeholders through participatory processes is necessary to develop practical solutions for the emerging challenges at global, regional, national and local levels.
  6. The Commission recognized the potential that forest carbon offers for attracting financing for sustainable forest management. Delegates stressed that emerging forest carbon funding mechanisms must reward countries for retaining forests and reducing damage to existing forests, and that “perverse” incentives encouraging forest loss must be avoided. Some delegates expressed concern that the complexity of existing and emerging climate change and forest carbon accounting mechanisms may constrain some countries from participating in forest-based responses to climate change.
  7. The Commission recognized that sustainable forest management, as a dynamic and evolving concept, is intended to maintain and enhance the economic, social and environmental values of forests for the benefit of present and future generations. Delegates reiterated the importance of capacity-building in the use of tools such as criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management and certification as important for encouraging sustainable forest management.
  8. The Commission highlighted the emergence of the biofuels sector in increasing land-use pressures. Delegates noted linkages among biofuels production, escalating food prices, demands for increased agricultural production, and commensurate pressures on forest lands. The Commission requested FAO to provide policy support to member countries in assessing the potential social, economic and environmental implications of biofuels production.
  9. The Commission noted that payments for environmental services could be one of the options for promoting sustainable forest management, noting recent activities in Viet Nam and other countries in this regard. Delegates recognized significant difficulties in valuing ecosystem services, and in implementing practical systems of payment for environmental services, as appropriate for respective member countries.
  10. The Commission requested FAO to give high priority to building and strengthening capacities for the transfer of skills and information, and to promote international and inter-sectoral cooperation and collaboration in developing responses to emerging forestry challenges.

Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study

  1. The Commission received a report outlining progress in implementing the second Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study (APFSOS). The Commission appreciated the objectives of the APFSOS: (i) to assess emerging socio-economic changes impacting on forests and forestry; (ii) to analyze probable scenarios for developments in the forestry sector to the year 2020; and (iii) to outline priorities and strategies to address emerging opportunities and challenges. The Commission expressed appreciation that satisfactory progress had been made in implementing APFSOS activities.

Special session: social dimentions of forests and forestry

  1. A special Asia-Pacific Forestry Week plenary session entitled, “People, forests and human well-being: managing forests for a period of rapid change,” addressed the question of whether the twin goals of achieving sustainable forest management and improving human well-being can be met. Several examples in which forestry contributed to livelihoods were described. However, it was recognized that forestry activities cannot always alleviate poverty effectively, nor benefit all impoverished groups.
  2. The following points emerged from the special session: (a) there is a crucial need to clearly identify and understand the poor (i.e. differentiate socially, spatially and by resource base); (b) solutions should target specific groups and arise from the standpoint of the target group; (c) rights-based approaches may be even more effective than participatory approaches or consultative processes; (d) risk management should be a component of forests and poverty alleviation efforts; and (e) support for small-scale forest enterprises and value-adding activities at village levels can be effective in reducing poverty. The importance of effective governance structures, conducive to equitable sharing of benefits, was stressed.

Forests and people: challenges and opportunities (Item 4)

  1. On the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/4 and presentations from a panel of experts, the Commission considered the challenges and opportunities confronting forestry in the region, in the context of people and forests.
  2. The Commission recognized that people-centred development is increasingly the focus of forestry policies. The Commission further noted that many countries are creating institutional structures that emphasize decentralization, participatory decision making, benefit-sharing mechanisms and empowerment of people who live in and around forests. The Commission requested FAO to continue efforts to enhance community-based forest management and forestry initiatives that help reduce poverty.
  3. The Commission acknowledged the importance of appropriate definitions of poverty in targeting the most vulnerable people. Delegates shared experiences in substituting simple GNP-based measures of poverty with more complex “quality of life” assessments and “well-being” indices. The Commission requested FAO to develop guidelines to assist countries in developing policies and practices relating to social aspects of sustainable forest management and poverty alleviation.
  4. The Commission recognized the need to balance economic development and conservation imperatives and acknowledged the sovereign right of countries to manage forest resources in accordance with national development objectives. The Commission urged countries to be cognizant of complex ecological factors and risks attendant to forest land-use change.
  5. The Commission emphasized that forestry can provide a springboard for development as well as contributing to poverty alleviation. The importance of forestry activities contributing to the Millennium Development Goals was highlighted. Delegates noted that forests may variously provide for subsistence needs, income and employment, cultural values and other social benefits. Delegates also recognized that development can lead to forest degradation, especially if planning is inadequate and development is uncontrolled. The Commission stressed the role of national forest programmes in ensuring planned development in forestry and requested FAO to continue providing support for effective implementation of national forest programmes.
  6. Delegates recognized that secure and clearly-defined resource tenure is a crucial factor in motivating sustainable forest management and reducing forest-based poverty. The Commission urged member countries to ensure secure forest tenure and provide other enabling factors that facilitate improvements in livelihoods for forest-dependent people.
  7. The Commission noted that emerging funding mechanisms for forestry, especially those relating to climate change and payments for environmental services, are difficult for community-based forest managers to access under existing arrangements. Delegates expressed concern that emerging climate change mechanisms may favour intensive forest protection and discriminate against sustainable forest production. The Commission requested FAO to assist countries in developing effective mechanisms, as appropriate, to collect and distribute payments for environmental services.
  8. The Commission expressed appreciation for the close collaboration among APFC, FAO and other regional and international organizations, and noted expressions of interest from several such institutions to collaborate more closely with APFC. The Commission encouraged FAO and APFC to strengthen partnerships with relevant organizations, and continue to participate in and inform international forestry processes.
  9. The Commission noted a proposal by the Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC) to establish closer collaborative links with APFC to support issues related to sustainable forest management and improved livelihoods. The Commission requested the APFC Secretariat to explore modalities to establish such an arrangement.

FAO/APFC activities in the region (Item 5)

  1. On the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/5, the Commission reviewed APFC and FAO-supported activities carried out during the past two years, including follow-up to the recommendations of the twenty-first session of the Commission, and priorities for future work.
  2. The Secretariat clarified that many regional activities supported by FAO were carried out within the framework of APFC. Activities generally had been concentrated in three areas: (a) activities designed to promote improvement in forest management for multiple benefits; (b) activities in the areas of economics, policies and institutions; and (c) activities designed to foster greater involvement of people in forestry.
  3. The Commission noted its satisfaction with the work programme that had been implemented and commended FAO on the number and quality of initiatives being undertaken in the region.
  4. The Commission expressed particular appreciation for FAO support related to national forest programmes, invasive species, codes of practice for forest harvesting, sericulture, livelihood development and poverty-reduction activities, and rehabilitation of tsunami-affected areas.
  5. The Commission acknowledged the importance of policy-related initiatives and requested FAO’s continued support for executive training in forest policy, forestry education networks, the regional forest policy initiative, follow-up to the second Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study, national forest programmes, and monitoring, assessment and reporting for sustainable forest management activities.
  6. The Commission noted increased costs associated with implementation of sustainable forest management and requested FAO to study mechanisms that might enable the realization of “green premiums” for sustainable forest management.
  7. The Commission emphasized the importance of activities that maintain and strengthen capacities in forestry agencies, and in the broader forestry sector, including local communities. The Commission urged FAO to maintain a strong emphasis on capacity building and requested specific assistance to strengthen national capacities for dealing with climate change issues.
  8. The Commission recognized the scarcity of FAO and APFC resources and the need to maximize the efficiency of initiatives. The Commission urged FAO to carefully assess priorities and potential synergies so that activities could be focused on the most critical issues.

Special session: forests and climate change

  1. A special Asia-Pacific Week plenary session entitled, “Forests and climate change,” addressed forests and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Discussions mainly focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD).
  2. Critical points that were raised during the session included: (a) the wealth of experience worldwide in sustainable forest management represents a sound foundation for climate change mitigation and adaptation; (b) the visibility of forests at the highest political levels and the current availability of funds for REDD “readiness” can be instrumental in supporting sustainable forest management; (c) forest carbon projects are unlikely to be successful unless the rights to carbon are clear and the distribution of benefits from forest carbon projects is equitable; and (d) forestry mitigation and adaptation strategies should be embedded in countries’ national forest programmes and development plans.

Forests and climate change: adaptation and mitigation (Item 6)

  1. On the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/6 and the special session plenary, the Commission considered the roles of forests in mitigating climate change, potential adaptation measures in forestry, and related emerging challenges in the region.
  2. The Commission recognized the need for a holistic and multi-sectoral approach to effectively address forestry issues related to climate change. The Commission further noted that forest policies and national development plans must be realigned in response to climate change developments. The Commission urged FAO to strengthen efforts to help countries integrate policies and strategies on climate change mitigation and adaptation into national forest programmes (NFPs).
  3. The Commission noted the need to resolve many outstanding methodological issues concerning a potential REDD instrument under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Commission requested FAO to support work on methodological issues related to REDD, including the definition of “forest degradation.”
  4. The Commission recognized that, while the focus of the role of forests in climate change is carbon, other ecosystem services and livelihood benefits should be considered in national and sub-national strategies to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. It urged FAO to develop tools that could assist countries to address these benefits in their REDD strategies.
  5. The Commission emphasized that climate change adaptation and mitigation measures must consider governance issues and social impacts, ensure the engagement of local communities, and address equity and benefit-sharing concerns.
  6. The Commission emphasized that implementation of sustainable forest management makes an essential contribution to effective climate mitigation and adaptation. The Commission stressed that focus must be on action, based on solid science, and urged member countries to employ the principles, approaches and tools of sustainable forest management in climate change projects and REDD demonstration activities.
  7. The Commission noted that readiness for REDD requires capacity and resources beyond those currently available in developing countries. The Commission requested that FAO assist with REDD-readiness and demonstration activities in developing countries by enhancing transfer of knowledge and technology, particularly with regard to monitoring and accounting of forest carbon, in addition to strengthening monitoring, assessment and reporting on sustainable forest management in Asia and the Pacific. The Commission urged FAO to assist developing countries in securing financial resources for carrying out REDD-readiness and demonstration activities.
  8. 6 RAP Publication: 2008/06 FO: APFC/2008/REP

  9. The Commission recognized that lack of information and data, and insufficient analytical capacity, currently constrain countries’ ability to respond to climate change challenges. The Commission requested FAO to enhance sharing of information and experiences across the region and to improve access to relevant data. The Commission further requested FAO to help strengthen countries’ analytical capacities, and to assist by summarizing and clarifying the complexities of climate change mechanisms.
  10. The Commission requested FAO to prepare guidelines for developing national forest climate change adaptation plans.
  11. The Commission urged FAO to use opportunities presented by United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF) and the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) to convey the forestry communities’ perspectives on forests and climate change to UNFCCC.

Institutional arrangements and international agreements (Item7)

  1. On the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/7 and presentations from a panel of experts, the Commission considered recent developments in institutional arrangements and international agreements.
  2. The Commission was informed of recent developments within the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
  3. The Commission welcomed the reported progress, including the development of the non-legally-binding instrument on forests, increased linkages with regional forest-related organizations and the multi-year programme of work in UNFF; the pending entry into force of the International Tropical Timber Agreement 2006; the review of CBD’s Programme of Work on Forest Biodiversity; and UNCCD’s adoption of a 10-year strategic plan. The Commission provided an opportunity for members to discuss how inputs from the region to the eighth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF8) could be achieved.
  4. The Commission emphasized the contribution of sustainable forest management in combating land degradation, desertification and mitigating and adapting to climate change.

    Delegates acknowledged that sustainable forest management has been under-financed, and noted potential avenues for increasing funding, including from national and donor resources, payments for environmental services, private-sector resources, and through international processes, as appropriate for the respective member countries.
  5. Delegates noted an increasing number of international agencies with involvement in the forests agenda. The Commission urged international agencies to coordinate closely to minimize overlaps in work programmes and ensure maximum efficiency in resource utilization.
  6. The Commission noted the importance of forestry agreements reached at the thirteenth Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and requested FAO and other international agencies to facilitate reporting of the outcomes of international forestry processes to UNFCCC.

    7 RAP Publication: 2008/06 FO: APFC/2008/REP

Special session: trade, forest law compliance and governance

  1. A special Asia-Pacific Forestry Week plenary session entitled, “Dialogue on timber trade, forest law compliance and governance,” addressed sustainability in the trade of timber and forest products and issues related to forest governance and forest law compliance.
  2. The following key points emerged from the special session: (a) issues related to illegal logging and associated trade are extremely complex and require strong commitment and cooperation from government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector; (b) patterns of timber production and consumption are changing in directions that encourage legal and sustainable forest harvesting, although increasing demand may exacerbate problems in the short-term; (c) consumer countries can facilitate legal and sustainable timber production through awareness raising and robust public procurement policies that create incentives for forest certification; and (d) recognition should be given to both national and transnational challenges related to illegal logging and associated trade.

Trade, forest law compliance and governance (Item 8)

  1. On the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/8 and the special session plenary, the Commission considered challenges relating to trade in forest products, forest law compliance and forest governance in the region.
  2. The Commission emphasized the importance of forest law compliance and acknowledged the negative social, environmental and economic consequences of illegal logging and associated trade. Delegates recognized the need for all actors (including producers, processors, and consumers) to share responsibilities in addressing illegal forestry activities by jointly developing collaborative modalities, including exchanging information, sharing data and experiences, and facilitating bilateral and multilateral dialogue. The Commission requested FAO to implement a stock-taking review of national forest law compliance and governance activities and initiatives.
  3. The Commission welcomed the development of frank and open discussions in national, regional and international dialogues related to forest law enforcement, governance and trade issues, as well as positive actions being taken by member countries to address these issues.
  4. The Commission noted the importance of regional processes in forest law enforcement and governance and the limited coordination and slow progress with these processes. The Commission urged member countries and FAO to strengthen discussion and collaborative action to enhance regional and national actions to combat illegal logging and associated trade.
  5. The Commission noted the need for clear definitions of the terms related to forest law compliance and highlighted efforts to distinguish between legal-but-unsustainable logging and illegal logging. Some delegates highlighted complexities of customary land tenure systems, where logging activities have sometimes been mischaracterized as being illegal.
  6. Delegates drew attention to awareness-raising activities in consumer countries to promote the consumption of legally-produced and certified timber, to capture price premiums, and to promote forest law compliance.
  7. Delegates stressed that combating illegal forestry activities entails significant financial and human costs. The Commission urged FAO and other international partners to assist countries in strengthening capacity and securing financial resources to enable effective implementation of measures to combat illegal logging and improve forest law compliance.
  8. The Commission requested FAO and other international partners to assist member countries in developing and implementing simple and practical tools and mechanisms for combating illegal logging and associated trade, including voluntary forest and chain-of-custody certification (including mutual recognition), legality verification systems, national standards and codes of practice, criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, and reviews of legislation and governance-related initiatives.

Changing roles of forestry agencies (Item 9)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Information items (Item 10)

  1. The Commission was informed of the upcoming XIII World Forestry Congress to be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 18-25 October 2009, with the theme: Forests in development – a vital balance, and members were encouraged to participate fully.
  2. The Commission was informed of the ongoing process to formulate a new FAO Strategy for Forestry. Revision of the strategy was mandated by FAO’s Committee on Forestry (COFO) and the Independent External Evaluation of FAO, and responds to UN and FAO reforms. Commission members were encouraged to provide inputs and recommendations in support of the strategy formulation process by mid-2008. The new strategy will be presented to FAO member countries for consideration at the nineteenth session of COFO in 2009.
  3. The Commission was informed of the launch of the Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) and upcoming FAO publications, including State of the world’s forests 2009 and State of the world’s forest genetic resources (2013).

Regional issues identified by the commission for the attention of the committee on forestry (Item 11)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Other business (Item 12)

Third and fourth meetings of the APFC executive committee

  1. The Commission was informed of the third and fourth meetings of the APFC Executive Committee, held respectively in Bangkok, Thailand, 19-20 December 2006, and Hua Hin, Thailand, 30-31 August 2007.
  2. The Executive Committee had made suggestions to help ensure that the twenty-second session of APFC would constitute the major regional forestry event in 2008, to attract broader and higher-level participation, to strive for a smaller number of high-priority recommendations, and to organize the first Asia-Pacific Forestry Week in 2008.

APFC auto-evaluation

  1. The Commission was informed of the APFC auto-evaluation which aimed to assess APFC’s strengths and weaknesses, provide suggestions for enhancing performance, and assess its effectiveness in producing tangible outcomes.
  2. The auto-evaluation highlighted the need for APFC to engage more with non-forestry sectors, the private sector and civil society in implementing activities, and that although effectiveness in addressing issues has varied, APFC publications and discussions on key forestry issues have been influential.
  3. The auto-evaluation recommended reducing the number of session recommendations to those of highest priority, to strengthen monitoring and evaluation, to enhance member country participation, and to continue efforts to engage NGOs and the private sector in the sessions and activities.

Changes to APFC rules of procedure and terms of reference for the APFC executive committee

  1. The Commission considered proposed changes to APFC Rules of Procedure and Terms of Reference for the APFC Executive Committee on the basis of Secretariat Note FO:APFC/2008/12.3. The Commission adopted the proposed Terms of Reference for the APFC Executive Committee (Appendix D) and the proposed changes to the APFC Rules of Procedure by general acclamation (see Appendix E for the adopted Rules of Procedure).

Asia-Pacific network for sustainable forest management and forest rehabilitation

  1. The Commission welcomed a report on the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Rehabilitation, endorsed at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in September 2007, in Sydney, Australia. The network will address challenges on forests and climate change, and promote sustainable forest management in the region.

Reporting to UNFF

  1. Recognizing the revised modalities of the United Nations Forum on Forests to facilitate enhanced linkages with regional forest-related organizations, and the desire to enhance input from regional forest-related organizations into the Multi-Year Program of Work agenda items to be discussed at the eighth session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF8), the Commission endorsed a proposal that:

  2. (a)commended FAO and the host country for their outstanding efforts in organizing the first Asia-Pacific Forestry Week as part of the twenty-second session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, which enabled enhanced dialogue among a broad range of stakeholders on regional and global forest-related issues;
    (b)requested FAO to submit the report from the twenty-second session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, including a summary of the outcomes relevant to the UNFF8 agenda items, to the UNFF Secretariat by October 2008; and
    (c)invited organizations participating in Asia-Pacific Forestry Week to submit relevant information to the UNFF Secretariat to complement the regional report provided by FAO.

Asia-Pacific universities’ forest education network

  1. Recognizing the importance of professional forestry education in developing skills for sustainable forest management and forest policy analysis and development, the Commission welcomed the establishment of the Asia-Pacific Universities’ Forest Education Network and urged FAO and member countries to promote investment in forestry education and to support collaborative efforts such as this network.

Date and place of the next session (Item 13)

  1. The Commission noted with appreciation the offer of the delegation from China to host its twenty-third session.

Adoption of the report (Item 14)

  1. The draft report was adopted by the Commission with minor corrections and clarifications, which are reflected in this report.


  1. Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Binh, Director-General, Forest Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Government of Viet Nam, officially closed the session.

The Pacific regional workshop: “Global Forest Resources Assessment - FRA 2010”

18-20 April 2008


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

1. Preamble

FAO is conducting a series of sub-regional and regional workshops as part of the preparatory work for the country reporting to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010).

The workshops respond to requests made by many National Correspondents (NCs) to increase FAOs support and capacity building at sub-regional and regional levels. The regional workshop for the Pacific region was held at the National Convention Centre in Hanoi, Viet Nam as a pre-event to the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (21-26 April 2008). The workshop was jointly organized by the FAO Forestry Department in Rome, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and co-funded by the Monitoring Assessment and Reporting (MAR) Project. Invitations to the workshop were extended to the officially nominated National Correspondents (NCs) and focal points for the FRA 2010 country reporting process. In total 18 participants from 11 countries attended the meeting. The National Correspondents were brought up to date with the FRA 2010 reporting process. The workshop mainly focused on the contents of the 17 National Reporting Tables for FRA2010.

2. Workshop objectives

The main objectives of the workshop were to provide technical assistance and guidance in order to ensure high-quality reporting which meets the specifications established for FRA 2010, through:

3. Content

The first session was dedicated for introductory presentations on the workshop including organization of the workshop, presentation of the FRA 2010 reporting process and reporting methodology. Following the introductory presentation the participants were briefed on the FRA 2010 remote sensing survey. After the introductory presentations the participants presented the current status of their country report and problems or data gaps they are faced with. The remaining sessions of the workshop were dedicated to clarification and discussion on the 17 national reporting tables and on addressing information gaps and how to handle various technical issues related to the reporting and the reporting tables. Each table was discussed in plenary, where the participating countries presented the main problems and issues related to the reporting table. Many of the issues identified by the countries were clarified during the meeting, and the remaining issues were forwarded to the FRA secretariat to be clarified and included in the Frequently Asked Questions on the FRA website. The background documents Guidelines for country reporting to FRA 2010 and Specifications of national reporting Tables were presented in detail as were references to relevant Thematic studies carried out in FRA 2005. The workshop was concluded by a plenary discussion on the FRA 2010 and the outcomes of the workshop.

The workshop: “Facilitating and promoting national forest programmes in Asia-Pacific region”

Sunday, 20 April 2008


United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Co-organized by the National Forest Programme Facility and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the Workshop on Facilitating and Promoting National Forest Programmes in Asia-Pacific Region was successfully held on Sunday 20 April 2008 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, as a side event of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (21st – 26th April 2008). The main objective of the one day event, focussing on national forest programmes (nfps), was to bring together all national focal points of the Facility partner countries in the Asia and the Pacific Region to share experiences on nfps and to discuss the role of the Facility in these processes. 25 participants from the Region attended the workshop, among which 11 were the Facility National Focal Points in partner countries.

A number of presentations were made by experts from IUFRO, GTZ and the Facility staff providing background information on nfps and guidance on these processes. The Facility principals and procedures for implementing activities under the Facility partnership at the country level were also explained. Through a facilitated debate, issues were clarified, information exchanged, lessons learned and recommendations formulated to the Facility Management. The Facility Focal Points from China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, and the Philippines made presentations about their Nfp process and the role of the Facility therein. The major outputs and impacts of the Facility support are summarized as follows:






The key recommendations from the partner countries to the Facility regarding priorities and areas for future actions and improvement include the following:

The Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network (APFISN) workshop: “Risk-based targeted surveillance for forest invasive species”

20-23 April 2008




A workshop on ‘Risk-based targeted surveillance for forest invasive species’ was held at the National Convention Centre, Hanoi, Viet Nam during 20-23 April 2008 in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week. The workshop was sponsored by USDA Forest Service and organized by APFISN in association with FAO, Asia-Pacific Association of Forest Research Institutions (APAFRI) and USDA Forest Service. The main objectives of the workshop were:

Opening session

The workshop began at 9 am with the welcome remarks by Mr. Patrick Durst, Senior Forestry Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok. He outlined the origin of the APFISN, its objectives and the various activities of the network since its inception. He said that the present one is the sixth workshop organized by APFISN for capacity building in member countries and during this workshop we move towards an operational activity. Dr. Larry Yarger (USDA Forest Service) in his welcome remarks said that invasive alien species (IAS) is a global issue and this workshop is indented to address some of the important issues concerning prevention of new incursions of IAS to the Asia-Pacific region and mitigation of its ill effects. He offered continued support of USDA Forest Service to the activities of APFISN. Mr. Sarath Fernando (APAFRI) in his welcome address observed that workshops organized by APFISN are a good opportunity for participants for sharing and exchanging information and experience on combating the threat of invasive species. He stressed the need of capacity building in the member countries to deal with pathogens and pests. He also outlined the aims of APAFRI and its role in the genesis of APFISN.

Following the opening remarks by various dignitaries, Dr. Mike Cole (Australia) outlined the purposes of the workshop. He said that the workshop will examine whether the network can develop and implement surveillance activities for early detection to minimize the spread and impact of invasive species across the region. After Dr. Mike’s talk, Dr. Sankaran (APFISN Coordinator) discussed the workshop agenda. This was followed by self introduction of participants.

Country presentations

Bhutan- D.B. Dhital- Dr. Dhital discussed the problem of bark beetle Ips schmutzenhoferi on spruce and blue pine forest in Bhutan. In its natural environment, the beetle attacks trees and logs of spruce and blue pine. Drought is one of the factors which trigger attack by bark beetle. To contain the problem, the trees are regularly monitored to identify outbreaks and freshly attacked trees are felled and debarked immediately before beetles become adults and escape from the breeding host.

Indonesia- Wida Darwiati – Potential pest attack to forest plantation. Ms. Darwiati said that the most widespread pest on Pinus merkusii in West Java is Pineus boerneri, a polyphagous insect. Infestation results in decline in growth of older trees and death of young pine trees. Natural insecticides such as pine wood acid or logged wood acid mixed with Bacillus thuringiensis is found effective in controlling the insect. Teak is affected by various pests in Indonesia such as Hyblaea puera, Pyrausta macheralis, stem borer, Neotermes tectonae etc.

Japan- Takeshi Toma - Invasive species potentially threatening Japanese forestry and forest biodiversity- Pine wilt nematode, Asian longhorned beetle, Erythrina gall wasp, Quadristichus erythrinae are the main threats to forestry in Japan. Potential invasive species through international trade of wood include Ips cembrae, Xyleborus perforans, Ips sexdentatus etc. The Govt. of Japan has proclaimed an Invasive Species Act. The objectives of the act are: 1) to regulate various actions such as raising, planting, storing, carrying and importing IAS; 2) to mitigate IAS that are already existing in Japan; 3) to contribute to preventing damages against biodiversity, human safety, or agriculture in Japan. Japan has produced a list of invasive insects of imported timbers and a checklist of Japanese insects.

Malaysia- Grace Tabitha Lim- Pests and Diseases of some forest plantation species in Malaysia- Rubber, Acacia mangium, teak and Azadirachta excelsa are the main forest plantation species in Malaysia. Leaf wilt and root rot are the main disease problems in rubber while Acacia mangium is affected by phyllode rust and red root rot (caused by Ganoderma philppi). In teak, leaf defoliators Hyblaea and Paliga caused the most damage. The mahogany shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta is successfully controlled by the ant Oecophylla smaragdina. Infestation by barnacles on Avicennia offcianalis is a recently encountered problem. Malaysia has facilities for interception surveillance of rubber and oil palm diseases. The challenges for conducting forest surveillance include lack of training for foresters for on-the-ground surveillance, lack of pests and lists and associated information.

Myanmar – Wai Wai Than- Risk-based targeted surveillance for the grass Pennisetum in Myanmar – Ms. Than explained the damage caused by three species of Pennisetum, viz., P. polystachyon, P. pedicellatum and P. purpureum in teak plantations in Myanmar. These species thrive well on road sides, open dry land and plantations. Manual weeding has not been very useful in containing the weeds. Other important weeds in Myanmar include Imperata cylindrica, Chromolaena odorata, Saccharum sp., Thysanolaena maxima etc.

Nepal- H.B. Thapa- Sections in Department of Forest Research and Survey for Surveillance of Forest Invasive Species – Mr. Thapa outlined the mandate of Department of Forest Research (DFRS) in Nepal. The DFRS has various sections under which the inventory section falls under the Survey Division. Tree disorders can be surveyed but the concerned staff may need training. Likewise, reporting mechanisms can be developed and specimens referred for identification through DFRS. Lack of expertise in identifying causal organisms is a big hurdle which can partly be solved by coordinating with the Agriculture Department. Mr. Thapa said that aerial photographs of forests and other landscapes and forest maps are available in Nepal which will aid in forest surveillance for insects and pathogens. Facility for data storage and storing and rearing of specimens may have to be developed.

Pakistan- Rizwan Irshad- Significant forest invasive species: Pakistan’s status – practices and prospects – Mr. Irshad said that as with other parts of the world, forest resources in Pakistan are under pressure from factors like increasing human population, poverty and other socio economic factors and natural and biological factors. Limited awareness of the invasive species problem and lack of capacity to address the problem has resulted in poor attention to the issue. Also, relatively less effective and delayed response in reporting, reacting and managing the invasive species has increased negative impacts due to IAS. Some of the important invasive species in the country are: Broussonetia papyrifera (paper mulberry), Lantana camara, Parthenium hysterophorus and Prosopis juliflora. Of late, recognizing the importance of IAS, Government of Pakistan has allocated and amount of Rs. 102 m for a project to deal with the IAS problem in the country. The main objectives of the project include 1) raise awareness of invasive species impacts and their control; 2) develop management strategies for the control of alien aquatic weeds etc.

Technical session-1

1. Selecting target pests for hazard site surveillance by Dr. Ross Wylie, Queensland, Australia. According to Dr. Wylie, globalization, increased volumes of containerised freight and competition for space at domestic ports means that goods are increasingly being first opened at premises some distance from the port of entry, thus dispersing risk away from the main inspection point. A system of post-border surveillance targeting these areas, often referred to as ‘hazard site surveillance’, is being developed in several countries as a backstop to border control to ensure early detection of invasive species. This is particularly important for some of the more cryptic forest pests whose presence in a forest often is not discovered until populations are already high and the pest is well established. In choosing which pests to target for hazard site surveillance there are a range of factors to consider and a nine-step guide is presented to assist in this process. These steps are: (1) What do we want to protect? (e.g., tree plantations, timber in buildings, lumber) (2) What exotic pests could be a threat to this resource? (Information on potential forest pests and disease threats comes from international forest health or quarantine networks, scientific literature meetings and internet) (3) Does the pest have the potential to be transported by trade/ human movement? (Depends on the lifecycle and behavior of the pest, what are its hosts, where does it lay eggs, feed and pupate, whether it is associated with a commodity etc.) (4) Is there a pathway for the pest into the country? (Whether commodities that could harbor the pest are being imported and history of past pest interceptions, living plants, logs, dunnage and packaging are high risk) (5)

What is the likelihood of establishment? (Environmental suitability of the country, geographical location of ports, reproductive potential of the pest) (6) What is the likelihood of spread? (Pests ability for natural dispersal, potential for human assisted dispersal, distribution and abundance of hosts, natural barriers) (7) What are the potential consequences of establishment? (Economic, environmental and social impacts) (8) What is the ability to detect the pest? (9) What is the ability to eradicate/ manage the pest once detected? (Detecting early enough improves the chances for eradication/containment, breeding for resistance and biological control arte better management approaches. Dr. Wylie discussed these steps using an example from the Pacific (Hypsipyla robusta shoot borer of mahogany and other trees) and from Asia (Sirex noctilio wood wasp affecting many species of Pinus).

2. A hazard assessment method and survey sample design by Marla Downing, USDA Forest Service. Dr. Downing discussed the method of assessing hazards and identifying sites for sampling invasive pests citing the example of Sirex noctilio. The steps involved are: collecting information on commodities associated with the pest, distribution of the pest, identifying principal ports (first point of introduction), distribution centers (second location to find invasive species) and markets. The places to target lie in the overlapping areas between port of entry and distribution centers. A susceptibility potential map can be prepared by identifying and mapping potential hosts and rating disease establishment potential of trees (over dense sites, stress sites) and locating where places overlap. The Google earth can be used to determine sample areas where to set a trap. Patches of trees near ports where the pests can hop on are also areas where traps need be set. To identify stressed trees, soil wetness and dryness index can be used.

3. Surveillance methods for early detection of pathogen incursions by Tim Wardlaw, Forestry Tasmania, Australia. Detecting forest pathogens is a big challenge since the vegetative stage is hidden in host, damage symptoms are non-specific and fruiting bodies and spores more diagnostic but very small. So, specialized and expensive methods are needed for detection. The methods of detection include visual symptoms, fruiting bodies, screening asymptomatic plants (culturing onto agar, DNA tests), soil/water sampling etc. The general surveillance methods are: forest health surveillance, sentinel surveys, blitz surveys, quarantine surveys, area freedom surveys and ad hoc detection - the inspection platforms are aerial, vantage point, roadside and ground. The forest health surveillance relies on highly trained observers inspecting forests. They should have the capacity to detect new incursions and symptoms due to diseases (whole tree symptoms, crown symptoms, stem symptoms). Sentinel tree surveys involve regular inspection of specifically located areas – near hazard sites or disease-free areas beyond infection fronts. Blitz surveys are detailed inspection for damage of trees in a local area covering all trees present. Area-freedom surveys are designed for surveys in defined areas to prove absence of a pathogen often targeted for specific pathogens. The quarantine screening may be focused on a small number of plants and is generally based on symptoms. Ad hoc detection is an unplanned detection usually carried out during routine forest activities. In short, surveillance for early detection of forest pathogens must have a substantial ground component, must be done on a regular cycle, must be done by trained people and must be restricted to relatively small areas or number of trees. A thorough understanding where new incursions are likely to establish and information on pathogen threats to host are also vital points.

4. Using static traps for hazard site surveillance by Ross Wylie, Australia. According to Dr. Wylie hazard site surveillance (HSS) is a system for post-border detection of new pest incursions targeting sites which are considered potentially of high risk of such introductions. A primary necessity of HSS is that we need to know 1) what pests we have got, 2) what pests you don’t want, 3) assess the likely pathways for exotic pest entry, 4) identify and categorize risk sites , 5) have a methodology for detection of target pests, and 6) be able to identify what you find. The primary risk sites are port environments and international airport environments. Secondary risk sites include container emptying sites, quarantine approved premises and importers of raw material. The tertiary risk sites are botanic gardens and military camps and quaternary risk sites are forests or forest parks within city boundaries. The primary risk sites are first choice for trapping and inspections. With the help of quarantine officials, sites/premises can further be ranked for risks according to the goods they handle. Untreated logs, timber packaging are high risk goods and container depots, forest parks and areas with recycled and imported timber with vegetation adjacent are high risk habitats. Traps commonly used are Panel traps, Lindgren traps and Japanese traps. Different types of lures used depending on the target taxa. Preservatives used in traps also vary based on climatic conditions- the most preferred preservative is a mixture of ethyl alcohol (20%), glycerol (5%), non-scented detergent (1%) and water (74%). The positioning of traps is important. They are best positioned under shelter to reduce evaporation and rain problems. Trees are convenient to hang traps but expect leaves; dust sites are not suitable to set a trap. Traps need be set in secure sites to avoid stealing. The catch should be collected every two weeks and the preserving fluid changed; lures should be changed every 4 weeks. Empty the fluid plus the specimens onto a piece of gauze, fold gauze and place in plastic bag with trap number and date. Place bag with gauze and insects in the freezer until ready to sort the catch. Diagnostic capacity is a major factor determining the scope of the detection program. Initial sorting may be done to pest groups of interest. Specimens may be stored for eventual identification.

5. Practical issues of diagnosis by Tim Wardlaw (Australia). In general, surveillance can result in much detection of damage symptoms of insects/fungi on host. The step from detection to diagnosis may be huge and full diagnosis of every detection would be beyond the capacity of most countries. Dr. Wardlaw explained how to make judgments of when to proceed to formal diagnosis citing the example of stem gall on Pinus radiata. Type of damage symptoms can be general (low diagnostic value), distinctive (high diagnostic value and the symptoms contain elaborate features such as fungal fruiting bodies and insects associated with the damage) and unusual (of neutral diagnostic value with symptoms rarely or not previously seen on the host). The responses should vary with the symptoms. For general symptoms, it would be necessary to establish current damage levels (if the host is only half dead the causal organism is still around), exclude possible causal factors and monitor the affected area for progression of symptoms. In cases where distinctive symptoms are observed, the possible suspects need be identified *(scan literature/internet) and short-listed. If unusual symptoms are observed, there is likelihood of symptom being caused by an agent new to the area. If so, additional information need be collected to aid diagnosis.

In the case of stem galls on Pinus radiate both distinctive and unusual symptoms were observed and the photo of symptoms was e-mailed to colleagues familiar with the disease. Preserved samples of the rust were also sent to experts to find out whether western gall rust was a possibility. DNA studies were conducted to detect rust DNA in galls which confirmed that the disease in question was not western gall rust. Resources available to assist in diagnosis, colleagues (pathologists and entomologists), reference sites of pests and pathogen images, visual glossary of damage symptoms and internet searches for suspected pests/pathogens and damage symptoms would be of immense help.

Field trip to a wood yard near Hanoi: During the field trip, participants were trained on setting up of various types of insect traps for surveillance for invasive alien pests (led by Dr. Ross Wiley) and how to identify disease problems on trees to facilitate early detection of invasive pathogens (led by Dr. Tim Wardlaw).

Technical session-2

6. Diagnostics, record keeping and communications by Larry Yarger (USDA Forest Service). Presenting a flow chart on early detection and rapid response (detecting and reporting→ diagnostics, recording, communications → rapid assessments → planning → response), Dr. Yarger explained the various steps involved in arriving at the correct diagnostics, record keeping and communications. For diagnostics it is necessary to establish a functional network of diagnostic experts to rapidly and accurately identify and report pests, pathogens and invasive plants. Also, standard protocols need be developed for early detection, submission of specimens, identification and vouchering, verification, archiving of information and reporting of suspected new invasive pests. The success of diagnostics will depend upon effective communications and cooperation among pest specialists in Govt., industry, academia and the general public. The action points in diagnostics are: develop data collection standards, use readily available identification keys, use pest specific information sources, develop web-based identification keys, identify diagnostic locations or centers, identify expertise for difficult identifications etc. The National Plant Diagnostic Network is established to assist the process.

The main objective of communications is to help a rapid and secure communication system. The main components of which are: 1) communications to identify a source of expert identification skills, 2) communications during the identification process, 3) communications after the identification. Rapid response is dependent upon effective and rapid communications. Communications also aid to protect individuals and industry and help quarantine services. Recording of pest information improve abilities for early detection of potential threats to forests. Records contain basic data (plant host name, pest or weed name, name collection locality and date of collection), advanced data (symptoms, host parts affected, host history and additional site- specific information). Examples of good database systems are China Species Information Service, DAISIE (Europe), EXFor (USA), Invasive species information management (APFISN) etc.

7. Use of ExFor website for entering invasive species risk assessment records by Marla Downing (USDA Forest Service). Ms. Marla Downing presented the various features of the Exotic Forest Pest Website (ExFor) and explained how invasive species risk assessment records can be included in the website. Pest records in the website include information on pest identification, detection, control methods and biology (documentation) and potential to establish and spread, propensity to cause economic and environmental harm (risk assessment). Risk rating may be 1 (very low) to 9 (very high). The ExFor is sponsored by the North American Forest Commission and North American Plant Protection Organization. The address is: URL

8. Forest surveillance for insect pest in Fiji by Sanjana Lal (Fiji). Potential threats of invasive species in Fiji are Sirex noctilio (Pine wood wasp), Hypsipylla sp. (mahogany shoot borer) and Asian gypsy moth. Greater incursion by exotic pests and pathogens through international trade and travel necessitated surveillance in Fiji. Moreover, the quarantine resources in Fiji are inadequate and there is no sufficient capacity to manage pests in a sustainable way. Earlier on, surveillance for invasive species in Fiji were based on ground surveys, reports of abnormal situations from stations officers, saw millers, quarantine reports from infested ships, light trapping in logged and un-logged forests etc. A research project supported by ACIAR, Australia paved way for improvement on these methods. Initial steps for implementation of the project involved surveys in different aged plantations to determine what is present and data base analyses of timber species. The insect traps used for surveillance include lindgren funnel trap, intercept pane trap. Delta trap for Asian gypsy moth. Specimens collected are either identified at source, compared with voucher specimens, assessed by specialists and stored until dispatch. Sentinel plants were surveyed at frequent intervals for target pests viz., foliar pests of pine, sandal wood, mahogany shoot borer and eucalypt rust.

For fruit fly surveillance, insect traps were set in urban areas, farms, ports of entry, areas of tourism activity etc. Rhinoceros beetle traps were used to survey population size of the beetle and test viability of the Metarrhizium biocontrol agent. Identification of insect pests has been a main problem in Fiji since the country lacks taxonomic expertise. However, there are benefits through the improved survey system which helps targeted pest surveillance, regular monitoring of hazard sites, early detection of entry at ports and early identification of potential pests.

9. Forest invasive species and convention on biological diversity by Tim Christophersen, United Nations Environment Program. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Article 8 (h) of the Convention proclaims that “each contracting party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate prevent the introduction of, control or eradicate those alien species which threaten ecosystems, habitats or species.” The suggested activities are: a) reinforce, develop and implement strategies at regional and national level to prevent and mitigate the impacts of IAS that threaten ecosystems, including risk assessment, strengthening of quarantine regulation, and containment or eradication programs taking into account the guiding principles on IAS if adopted at the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties. b) Improve the knowledge of the impacts of IAS on forest ecosystems and adjacent ecosystems. The immediate priorities are: 1) preventing international movement of IAS, 2) rapid detection at borders, 3) collaboration among governments, economic sectors and non-governmental and international organizers, 4) building capacity and public awareness and 5) once spread, eradication and mitigation. CBD guiding principles on IAS are grouped under 1) General, 2) Prevention, C) Introduction of Species and 4) Mitigation of impacts. CBD also decided to (Decision VIII/27) consult with IPPC, OIE, FAO and WTO regarding whether and how to address the lack of international standards covering IAS, in particular animals that are not pests of plants under IPPC. Discussions towards the goals of CBD and in-depth review of IAS at COP 9 recommended 1) finding best practices on preventing risks associated with international trade, 2) further invitation to the relevant international organizations, 3) improving partnership and building capacity and 4) further economic valuation of damages on ecosystems by IAS.

Technical session-3

10. Mr. Hiroshi Makihara (Japan) talked on the use of different types of insect traps which can be set up on trees including Artocarpus.

11. Invasive forest pest monitoring and forecast in China by Jianbo Wang and Hongbin Wang (P.R. China). Forest cover in China is increasing; the forest pests also increased. More than 8000 species of forest pest species have been recorded of which about 200 can cause damage and more than 20 of them are very damaging. Main exotic pest in China include, pinewood nematode, red turpentine beetle, fall web worm, Japanese pine needle scale, loblolly pine mealy bug, coconut hispine beetle etc. The Central Government of China has evolved a framework of pest management in China. It is technically supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and colleges and institutions. The State Forestry Administration in China has established early warning institutions the base institutions of which are local forest pest monitoring sites. China has established 1000 national forest pest monitoring and forecasting stations and more than 8000 monitoring sites in the whole country. Training has been provided to concerned officials in survey and investigation methods for IAS, trap setting for insects, data recording and exchanging and in soft aware application. Field investigation for IAS was done by walk over survey, sample plot survey and thorough examination of trees (shaking, cutting branches etc.). Investigations were also done using light traps, traps with insect attractants, airborne video monitoring and GIS monitoring techniques.

Data analysis and transmission is done through software named Control & Quarantine Information System of Forest Pest. Sharing of data is done through a website of forest information center. Occurrence and the trend of forest pest can be reflected visually by “Chinese Forest Pest Index”. Publications on invasive pest alert and prediction are also released often to create awareness. Public notices through media are also done. Cooperation with in the region is mandatory for pest monitoring techniques, such as pheromone attractant, aerial photography and other advanced techniques, sharing of forest pest information to improve the ability for quick action against invasive pests, control techniques, international collaborative research on IAS, establishing effective early warning systems and quarantine checking and treatment against imported seedlings and other plant parts.

12. Increasing our chances for early detection- what can we do? By Mike Cole (Australia). Dr. Cole said that the current situation in most of the countries in the Asia-Pacific region is limited resources, capacity and capability versus need for early detection for more effective incursion response/management of exotic pests. When we think of early detection, the common questions posed are what to look for (impact, chances of detection and eradication), where to look (pest biology, host plants, environmental stability, areas of more movement) and when to look (pest biology/life cycle, host biology/life cycle)? The components of specific surveys are: specific pests, specified sample, specified time, statistical basis and sample survey methodology. For general surveillance, we need identify and use a range of surveillance sources. For example, industry/consultants, arborists, universities, public, special interest groups such as garden clubs etc. (non-government). In the government sector, we need the support of quarantine, departments of agriculture and forestry and the local government. Also, we need identify stakeholder network (interested people, linkages, coverage), establish two way communication to keep engaged and promote, develop and maintain appropriate training and develop and maintain a reporting system to capture information.

Specific surveys in Australia are carried out by NAQS, National AGM Program, National Hazard Site Surveillance, State Forest Surveillance Programs and Industry Forest Surveillance Programs. General surveillance in Australia is carried out by the help of general public (national and regional), timber industry and pest control operators, arborists, quarantine workers, and weed spotters. The tools used are: pest awareness material (forest pest field guide), website, e-communications, national plant pest hotline etc. In risk-based site targeting the most important point is where the pest is more likely to be detected? Examples of risk sites are: port/ port environments (primary), loading/unloading areas, quarantine facility areas (secondary), transport corridors, botanic gardens (tertiary) military facilities, University campuses (tertiary) and Urban forests (Quaternary). Australia is currently involved in targeting pests like Asian longhorn beetle, pine wood nematode, pine pitch canker, Asian gypsy moth and eucalypt rust. The underpinning issues are: training and education, appropriate sample/ survey methodology, reporting and recording, identification/diagnostics and linkage to an action upon detection. Dr. Cole concluded by saying that we can do several things through he network to promote and implement forest surveillance in the member countries.

Technical session-4

Panel discussion: The panel discussion was chaired by Dr. Ross Wiley. He introduced the theme and identified the objectives of the panel discussion. The main objective is to understand the major forest invasive species threats in the region, how the threat changes over time and what are we doing to prevent threats worsening. To accomplish these, the following actins are proposed.

  1. It is necessary that current state of knowledge on key pest species in the region is documented and arrangements made to share this knowledge widely (making use of the network).
  2. We need to understand the respective country priorities and capacity with respect to forest invasive species. What can be done in the short-term using existing resources? What can be done in the longer term with additional capacity?
  3. We need to develop ways of assisting countries in meeting their aspirations regarding forest invasive species.

To facilitate detailed discussions on these aspects the workshop participants were formed in to three breakout groups. The groups were lead by Ms. Sanjana Lal (Fiji), Dr. Grace Tabitha Lim (Malaysia) and Mr. Hussain Faisal (Maldives). The following questions were framed to address in break-out sessions:

What are your counties main priorities for forest?

Does your country have current concerns for forest health?

What information do you currently have about the pest species in your country?

What capacity does your country have to survey for forest pests?

What do you think you would be able to do in your country following this workshop?

We would like to identification some achievable projects that can be done in the short term following this workshop. We want to use progress from a small number of short-term projects to make some longer term goals that can be the basis for develop funding proposals.

Summary of break-out group discussions


  1. Training in methodology for forest health surveillance and provision of some basic equipment to do this is a top priority for the majority of countries.
  2. A list of key pests (insects, fungi, weeds) should be compiled for the region with information on known distribution, hosts, importance and (where possible) management (network to assist).
  3. Each country will select one or more target pests according to its own priorities using the methodology presented at the workshop (network assistance required for some).
  4. A list of experts who can assist with identifications is to be compiled and posted on the network website.
  5. A list of websites of databases and images useful for identifications is to be compiled and posted on the network website.
  6. Efforts are to be made to improve communication between members of the network.
  7. One or two countries (Malaysia, Bhutan) are to commence pilot projects for early detection of target invasives (assistance may be required).


The INBAR workshop: “The potential of bamboo in the CDM”

Monday, 21 April 2008




INBAR’s session on “The potential of bamboo in the clean development mechanism” was held in Hanoi, Viet Nam on the afternoon of 21 April 2008. INBAR’s Director General, Dr. Coosje Hoogendoorn, chaired the meeting. Over 110 participants attended the session and six speakers gave presentations, which were followed by a brainstorming discussion session.


  1. Promote bamboo for CDM. Lou Yiping (Programme Director, Environmental Sustainability Programme, INBAR).
  2. Bamboo dominated secondary succession after shifting cultivation in Northern Lao PDR: opportunities and constraints in the context of forest management and carbon mitigation. Bernhard Mohns (GTZ - Laos).
  3. Bamboo plantations and their potential for CDM in the northern mountainous region of Viet Nam. Dr. Ha Tran Thi Thu (Forestry University of Vietnam).
  4. Bamboo value added products. Dr. C. N. Pandey (Indian Plywood Research and Training Institute – IPIRTI).
  5. Bamboo research and development in the Philippines. Aida Lapis (Environment research and Development Bureau, Philippines).
  6. The next steps. Andrew Benton (Manager, Networking and Partnerships Unit, INBAR).



The workshop: “REDD: a steep learning curve notes from a session”

Thursday, 24 April 2008


Netherlands Development Organization (SNV)


To some NGOs it is a threat to indigenous rights and community forestry programmes. To some governments it is an opportunity to significantly magnify the monetary value of their forest estates. From any perspective, the new concept of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) has renewed foresters’ interest in the carbon market. ‘Which countries are eligible for REDD?’, ‘What is the value of a REDD credit?’, ‘How will REDD affect forest-dependent communities?’. These are just a few of the questions overheard at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (APFW) held in Hanoi from April 21-26th, giving an indication of the uncertainty surrounding the topic. Focussing on the economic and social implications of REDD, an APFW side event attempted to unpack these questions and shed light on the current status of REDD-related issues in Asia. Co-organised by the Hanoi offices of the Dutch and German Development organisations (SNV and GTZ), the event brought together representatives of the World Bank, IUCN and Fauna and Flora International (FFI) to lead discussions.

How will the mechanism look in 2012?

Long acknowledged as a key element in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, deforestation was excluded from the Kyoto Protocol chiefly because the technology was not considered far enough advanced for accurate calculation and monitoring of forest carbon stocks. These hurdles being crossed (or expected to be by 2012), the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) achieved consensus in Bali that REDD will be part of a post-2012 Protocol. However, there will be vigorous debate over the coming 2 years, and beyond, over the elements to be included in REDD under UNFCCC. The most likely outcome is that the mechanism will recognise the contribution of reduced forest degradation – the second ‘D’ in REDD, as well as avoided deforestation. A deforestation-only mechanism (RED) had been advocated by a number of heavily-forested nations, such as Brazil, by virtue of the relative simplicity in calcuation and monitoring. Reduced degradation will require more complex, and potentially controversial, calcuations and a significantly greater emphasis on ground truthing of data generated by remote sensing. Nevertheless, REDD spreads the benefits wider than RED. Not only nations at risk of large reductions in forest area, but also those in which the threat is chiefly to forest quality, stand to generate revenue under such a system. Hence the broader support for REDD among tropical nations.

Like all other mechanisms resulting in measurable emission reductions, REDD is market-based. APFW delegates therefore proposed that the prospective producers of REDD credits would do well to promote a demand-driven system by encouraging buyer countries to set out their priorities, independently of the UN negotiations. This would give producer countries a clear indication of the measures they need to put in place in order to satisfy the market post-2012. The long-term shape of REDD will not become clear until UNFCCC negotiations are much further advanced. In the meantime, the world is not standing still. Markets are developing independently of the negotiations and tropical forest nations are preparing to implement their own REDD strategies in a number of ways.

What is the role of the World Bank?

The World Bank has been intricately involved in the development of REDD through their Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), generating a degree of controversy in the process. Indeed, such is their prominence in the field that it was not uncommon to hear FCPF and REDD used interchangeably at the APFW, as though REDD was itself a World Bank programme. As the Bank’s Dr Joe Leitmann explained, however, the FCPF is essentially a pilot scheme, not a fixed template for REDD. It is designed to identify the suite of positive incentives for target countries that will ensure an ‘economically effective and socially just’ implementation of REDD. The FCPF consists of two funds – a Readiness Fund, which is being rolled out in 2008, and a Carbon Finance Fund to be launched subsequently, probably in 2010.

‘Readiness’ involves the preparation of target countries for implementation of REDD, including a coherent national strategy, development of skills, infrastructure and legal frameworks. Perhaps most important for an ‘economically effective’ REDD mechanism is the proposed determination of baselines and reference scenarios for deforestation and degradation. Leitman stressed that this would be done ‘ideally following guidance from the UNFCCC’ but independent of them if negotiations do not produce guidelines of the required clarity within the necessary timeframe. The World Bank has not imposed stringent pre-conditions to limit the number of countries applying to the Readiness Fund, beyond stipulating that they be tropical countries which are not listed in Annex 1 of the Kyoto Protocol (i.e. without GHG emission reduction commitments). Countries that can convincingly demonstrate a deforestation and/or forest degradation problem which is likely to continue or further deteriorate in future will be considered for support under the Readiness Fund. By April 2008, 38 countries had embarked on the first stage of application by submitting an Expression of Interest to the Bank.

Delegates at APFW saw an important role for the Bank in using the FCPF to build market credibility for REDD. Countries supported by the Readiness and Carbon Finance funds should therefore be those which are the least challenging, where reliable data on forest trends are readily available and where domestic skills and infrastructure need relatively minor improvements. Countries which are further behind need more time, and more investment, and are not expected to be ready to enter a REDD market by 2012. But whence, in this case, can the assistance be found to prepare such countries to join the market at a later date? If quick, positive results govern the disbursement of FCPF funds it is equally likely that bilateral aid will follow the same routes and bypass those countries perceived as laggards in sustainable forest management.

Ready or not – REDD markets are here to stay

Dr Mark Infield of FFI presented an outline of a project in Aceh, Indonesia, which demonstrates that private investment is already creating a market for REDD credits independent of both the UN negotiations and the FCPF. The project aims to reduce deforestation by 85% over 30 years in the Ulu Masen ecosystem, which covers 750,000 ha of forest land in the province.

Containing the largest remaining contiguous forest block on the island of Sumatra, the Ulu Masen project is feasible partly because Aceh’s war-torn recent past prevented the large-scale exploitation of natural forests experienced in other parts of the country. The peace agreement reached in 2005, however, raised fears that forest clearance for timber and oil palm plantations would accelerate. REDD credits will be calculated, therefore, not on projections of past unsustainable extractive activity, but on assumptions of how a loosely-regulated peacetime economy would affect the decisions of forest industry stakeholders. Incidentally, as Leitmann pointed out, this closely resembles the rationale behind the FCPF applications of some recently stable African nations such as Liberia. The quickest wins for REDD, in contrast to popular perception, may not be in areas of the highest past deforestation levels, but in those with some of the lowest.

The partnership between government, non-government and private sector bodies bodes well for the sustainability of the project. Carbon Conservation Pty Ltd secured a multi-million dollar financial commitment from the investment bank Merrill Lynch, while FFI provides technical advice to the project implementers, the government of Aceh. As an early adopter of the market for REDD credits, Merrill Lynch exposes itself to the risks, but also the high potential benefits, common to all untested new markets. But this investment in itself will serve to build confidence within carbon markets that REDD will be a significant element in ‘green’ portfolios of the future.

Can markets allay civil society concerns?

FFI advice will focus on land use planning and benefit sharing mechanisms. As Infield pointed out, one of the main risks of the project is the failure to provide sufficient financial incentives to secure the engagement of all stakeholders. Chiefly, these concerns revolve around forest-dependent communities and those with traditional tenure or use rights over forests. Equally important for success of the project is adequate remuneration for local forest officials and monitors.

David Huberman, an environmental economist with IUCN, participated in the APFW session as a representative of the Poverty and Environment Partnership (PEP), a group comprising civil society organisations committed to exploring the social implications of REDD and to ensuring that the mechanism delivers benefits to poor communities in the target countries. Huberman warned that REDD risks being seen solely as a technological fix to what is, essentially, a political problem. The business of determining baselines and targets and establishing market mechanisms for REDD will be meaningless unless governments implement the key reforms to forest governance, usufruct rights and tenurial systems that are at the root of poor forest management.

Ultimately, carbon markets will have a key role in determining whether benefit sharing systems in REDD are sufficiently equitable. Except in very remote areas, the failure to motivate local communities to support or participate in REDD measures will undermine market confidence in the ability of projects to deliver on their projected results. Underperforming projects will not produce tradable credits and investment will dry up. It is therefore in the interests of early investors to ensure that market-based systems are in place to verify the credibility of projects. A number of standards have emerged over the past few years to evaluate afforestation projects for carbon markets, such as Plan Vivo, CarbonFix and the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA). The Ulu Masen project has been evaluated according to the CCBA standard. APFW participants advised that the principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) could also be used as a basis for evaluating the social and environmental credibility of REDD projects. FSC is, indeed, already exploring this possibility.

Will REDD markets learn from the past?

Prior to 2012, REDD credits will be tradable only on voluntary markets. The development of the voluntary market for REDD will certainly be affected by the pace and nature of progress in UNFCCC negotiations but, if projects such as Ulu Masen continue to emerge, the balance of influence may shift as UN parties find that emerging market conventions render some of their discussions obsolete.

Certainly, the voluntary market in REDD credits will provide the clearest indication of the likely price of credits under the UN-sanctioned compliance mechanism after 2012. The current methodology for afforestation and reforestation projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (ARCDM) does not have much relevance to the emerging REDD market. Indeed, one of the simplest but most important take-home messages from the APFW could be that REDD is not, nor is it likely to become, a part of CDM. Both REDD and ARCDM are based on trade in carbon sequestered by forest ecosystems but they are very different products. ARCDM involves forest plantations, which are explicitly excluded from REDD.

However, ARCDM and the market for voluntary emission reductions (VERs) based on forest plantations do hold relevant lessons for REDD markets. ARCDM has not been taken up by countries with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol because of the high perceived risk of project failure and the temporary nature of the credits, making them intrinsically much less valuable than credits from other CDM projects. REDD credits should, if possible, be classed as permanent and methodologies kept simple to reduce the risk of project failure. It will be a challenge for UNFCCC negotiators to achieve this without compromising on social equity and environmental sustainability, particularly in the measurement of reduced forest degradation. Forestry VERs have developed a dubious reputation for double accounting and environmental probity, resulting in the emergence of the CCBA and other industry standards mentioned above. Consequently there is now huge variation in the price of forestry VERs (from below $1 to >$30 tCO2e), depending on the quality of the product. A similar pattern is likely to emerge for REDD markets but this poses a dilemma for many NGOs, as described by Infield. Civil society organisations will prefer ‘deluxe’ credits which use higher standards to guarantee socially equitable and environmentally sound outcomes, which will fetch a high unit price. Many investors, however, will be looking for no more than the most basic standards and the lowest risk. NGOs will need to develop a certain degree of marketing skill to persuade private sector partners to invest in the deluxe varieties of REDD.

Can REDD be pro-poor?

Much of the discussions among APFW delegates in the REDD session centred on this question. Local communities and rural poor are often considered merely as objects of development but REDD provides an opportunity for them to become constructive actors. The extensive work required to verify reductions in forest degradation, in particular, gives them a potentially crucial role and hence a claim to a large stake in the decisions over strategy development and benefit sharing. From the World Bank perspective, however, it is not possible for the FCPF to oblige states to ensure a broad consultative process for REDD, but, with the encouragement of APFW delegates, they can stress that stakeholder buy-in is a main pre-condition for effectiveness of national strategies.

The delegates further underlined the importance of formalising traditional or customary land tenure and use rights as an intrinsic part of any REDD strategy. However, one of the most common fears concerning REDD is that it will in fact act as a disincentive for governments to press forward with formal decentralisation. The instinct of most forest authorities is to focus decentralisation programmes, such as community forestry or co-management, on areas which are of less intrinsic value. REDD increases the potential value of natural forest areas, irrespective of timber quality or accessibility, and thus the temptation for state and private sector actors to stake their claims to areas previously considered uneconomic, to the disadvantage of forest-dependent peoples.

Conversely, as mentioned above, the active participation of rural communities may be essential to build market confidence in REDD, particularly for effective monitoring of reduced forest degradation. It is therefore possible to envisage REDD as both a driver for and against forest decentralisation and social equity. It is not yet clear which it will be. But the importance of the question is now accepted by the most influential stakeholders in the development of the process. Consultation with civil society groups after an unexpectedly hostile response to the launch of the FCPF at Bali in December 2007 led the World Bank to significantly expand and refine the Readiness Fund application template. The majority of the changes increased the burden of proof on applicant countries to show that their REDD strategy guaranteed socially equitable outcomes.

A steep learning curve ahead

What precisely are the measures that will contribute to a REDD strategy? Those mentioned during the APFW session included strengthening forest governance, improved conservation measures, environmental education, community forestry, land use planning, forest zoning, improved tenure security, to name but a few. In short, REDD is essentially an attempt to promote sustainable forest management. Like forest certification and payment for environmental services, it works through financial markets to provide economic incentives to forest managers and stakeholders in natural, tropical forests. The difference is in the direct link of the scale of those incentives to measurable results, in the form of forest carbon stocks.

Much remains to be learned regarding the eventual nature of the voluntary and compliance markets in REDD but it is important to note that, whatever the current hype, the mechanism is certainly no panacea for reversing the deterioration in the condition of forest ecosystems. The success of REDD will be limited by the market value of REDD credits relative to the opportunity cost of other land uses or forest management systems. Leitmann estimates that the price will be sufficiently high to be effective in many areas where timber production is the main opportunity cost, but is unlikely to match the economic benefits of ranching or soya cultivation in the Amazon, for example.

Of particular significance is the method of calculation for REDD baseline scenarios and targets. Political considerations are likely to be at least as important as technical issues in the determination of historical baselines and future projections of national deforestation and degradation trends. Host countries will be tempted to exaggerate baseline trends and thus set low targets, to maximise potential output of carbon credits. This risks undermining the market. REDD credits generated by countries which are still undergoing high rates of deforestation will bring the whole system into disrepute. The lesson of FSC forest certification shows that control of targets by producers can lead to a race to the bottom in terms of quality.

The existence and unrestricted availability of high quality satellite data means that non-government agencies are perfectly capable of monitoring global forest trends and exaggerated claims will be easily uncovered. Even so, the surrender of such a politically sensitive task to an external body will be resisted by nation states. It bears repeating, however, that REDD, like climate change in general, is a global issue and will inevitably involve some dilution of national sovereignty to ensure effective results.


The meeting: “Proposed Asia-Pacific universities forest education network”

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


University of Melbourne, Southeast Asian Network for Agroforestry Education (SEANAFE)


The objectives of the workshop were:

  1. To identify major issues facing the development of forest education in the Asia-Pacific region;
  2. To discuss potential solutions to these issues;
  3. To discuss the development of a formal network of tertiary forest education institutions, how it might operate, what kind of resources would be required to make it effective and where these might come from;
  4. Decide on next steps and future actions.


The meeting was attended by more than 50 representatives of institutions from 12 countries and seven international organisations. The co-chairs and rapporteur made brief presentations about the background to the workshop, the South-East Asia Network for Forestry Education (SEANAFE), and the International Partnership for Forestry Education (IPFE), respectively. Background papers to each of these, and from workshop participants, were tabled.


1. Issues

Workshop participants identified key issues of concern to them. These issues are listed in point form in Annex 2. Common issues included:

Some responses:

2. Potential solutions

On the basis of the issues identified in #1, potential solutions were discussed by small groups in the context of three questions:

Key points:

Making networks work

Top priorities for collaboration

Keeping the curriculum relevant and enhancing links with ‘the industry’

Other points

3. Development of a formal network of tertiary forest education institutions

It was agreed that the formation of such a network should be pursued but there were varying opinions about whether or not the network should be developed separately from related existing networks (eg APAFRI, SEANAFE), with the advantages and disadvantages of both options noted.

4. Next steps and future actions

It was agreed that Professor Keenan would convene a steering committee to explore options for #3; membership is listed in Annex 5. It was agreed to circulate notes from the meeting to all participants, and keep them (and any other interested parties) of progress and developments. The possibility of a meeting in Korea in 2009, kindly hosted by Seoul National University, was noted.


The workshop: “Protected areas, equity and livelihoods (PAEL)”

Friday, 25 April 2008


World Conservation Union (IUCN)
Asia Forest Network (AFN)
World Wide Fund For Nature WWF


The full-day workshop on Protected Areas, Equity and Livelihoods (PAEL), which took place during the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (APFW), was jointly hosted by IUCN,1 the Asia Forest Network (AFN), the Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC), and the FAO. Its main purpose was to feed into the ongoing work of the global Task Force on PAEL by providing insights and highlighting key issues relevant to the social implications of managing Protected Areas in the Asia-Pacific (AP) region. The day was divided into four main sub-sessions, focusing sequentially on (i) an overview of the Task Force and case studies highlighting some of the main issues related to PAEL, (ii) lessons learned from relevant projects in the AP region, (iii) potential policy options and tools for managing PAs in an equitable and socially sustainable way, and (iv) general recommendations on best ways of addressing the challenge of incorporating equity and livelihood concerns in the management of PAs.


Sub-session one an overview of PAEL

Close to 100 APFW participants were officially welcomed to the event by Mr. Nguyen Huu Dzung, Vice Director of the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Forest Protection Department, who strongly affirmed the relevance of the day’s topic to forest conservation efforts in Viet Nam and in the AP region. Mr. Ronnakorn Triraganon of RECOFTC provided a basic introduction to the workshop by providing some background information on the PAEL Task Force, and by highlighting the urgent need to integrate PA management into broader sustainable development objectives and to ensure that equity and poverty concerns are properly addressed.

Linkages between PA management and sustainable development objectives were further elaborated by Ms. Nguyen Thi Yen of IUCN Viet Nam, who drew from experience in her country to highlight some general limitations to pro-poor PA management, such as limited contribution of PAs to poverty reduction, unequal distribution of costs and benefits, and limited market access for marginalized communities.

Modesto Ga-ab, member of the Applai Sub-Tribe and Planning & Development Officer for the Besao Municipal Government in the Philippines, discussed further limitations to the equitable and socially sustainable implementation of PA management, and advocated for multi-stakeholder partnership processes that fully recognized the cultural diversity of PAs. In the open forum discussion following the three presentations, participants debated various opportunities for a more pro-poor management of PAs. However, the issue of compensation to local communities was often seen as being complex, and risked being highly inequitable unless sufficiently equitable participation was assured.Eco-tourism in PAs was also presented as an opportunity, but it was cautioned that large-scale enterprises could potentially marginalize local communities. The issue of land rights was also evoked as a significant hurdle to the equitable distribution of benefits from PAs management.

Sub-session two lessons learned: strategies & methods

The second sub-session began with a presentation by Dr. Kadi Warner (IUCN) on the problem of ‘paper parks’ and ‘paper partnerships’ in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Dr. Warner revealed findings from three case studies that bore witness to the cost to local livelihoods of the ongoing degradation of PAs in the GMS. Lessons learned from these experiences highlighted the urgent need to bring closer attention to the underlying institutional factors that undermine the effective and sustainable management of PAs. The following presentation by Professor Shanta K. Hennayake (IUCN) drew from experiences with the Strengthening Voices for Better Choices (SVBC) initiative in Sri Lanka to show that effective and sustainable forest governance arrangements are a necessary condition for the enhancement of local livelihoods. Professor Hennayake highlighted strategies which aim to build trust among key stakeholders as a critical element of equitable and socially responsible PAs management planning. To achieve the requisite level of trust for effective governance arrangements in the Knuckles Conservation Zone, the SVBC project set up an office in a house at the project site and ensured that project staff were present to meet with community members and answer any questions about the project 24 hours/day. The project also employed local youth in the initial research component as a mechanism to build trust, while at once engaging young residents in the project and providing capacity-building. He also noted the important role of the private sector in supporting small-scale entrepreneurial activities. SVBC’s partnership with Dilmah to support tomato production and marketing as an alternative source of livelihood is a good example of private sector engagement with direct livelihood benefits for farmers. The third case study was presented by Mr Ho Manh Tuong of the Vietnamese Forest Inventory and Planning Institute (FIPI). Mr Tuong discussed the integration of local communities in the establishment of PAs, showing how they were effectively included in the consultation process while acknowledging their limited participation in the ensuing conservation activities. The open discussion with the participants was very much focused on the relationships between PA managers and local communities. The existing ‘disconnect’ between PA policy and practice was often mentioned as a reality in the AP region, where local communities are often unaware of existing restrictions and regulations.

Sub-session three policy options & implementation tools

Dr. Arvind Anil Boaz of the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) was the first to present during the third sub-session. He discussed the feasibility of regional collaboration in environmental management by drawing from experience with wildlife trade and showcasing how measures to control illegal trade in wildlife can help empower local communities and provide livelihood opportunities when combined with better management of legal trade at sustainable levels and related capacity-building. Some examples include providing technical and capacity-building support at the village level for legal and sustainable alternatives, such as processing Mahul leaves to make food wares and manufacturing sticks of incense from bamboo, as part of the Network of People’s Protected Areas initiative in India. Kimberly Marion Suiseeya (IUCN, Lao PDR) discussed various policy interventions for a more sustainable approach to managing PAs in Lao PDR, including participatory management, sustainable financing and clarifying the current management system by designating specific management categories to different PAs depending on the appropriate conservation objectives. Ms. Suiseeya highlighted the need for policymakers and managers to begin ‘re-thinking’ PAs in a way that prioritizes not only effectiveness, but efficiency and equity criteria as well.

David Huberman (IUCN) presented Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) as a potential tool for integrating conservation objectives into rural development. Mr. Huberman stressed the importance of having incentive-based instruments fit into a broader landscape-level strategy of sustainable development that fully addressed the ‘equity-efficiency’ trade-off. The final presentation, by Grace Villamor (CI/ICRAF), elaborated further on the use of economic incentives by discussing how optimizing the delivering of ecosystem services could help to conserve biodiversity in multi-functional landscapes. The issue of participation was the central topic of the following open discussion. What exactly is participation? What is its purpose? Different approaches to increasing participation in decision-making related to land-use and PAs, as well as the value of participatory processes were questioned and discussed. It was generally acknowledged that there was a need to bring the focus down to the household level to address problems such as elite capture and equitable benefit sharing (e.g. gender inequality).

Sub-session four recommended actions

In the final session, moderated by Ronnakorn Triraganon, the discussion highlighted some of the key issues that need to be addressed by the PAEL Task Force. Firstly, the urgency of action was emphasized. The sustained loss of biodiversity despite the increase in PAs in the AP region was seen as an indication that PAs could become ‘dinosaurs’ (as illustrated by the widespread existence of ‘paper parks’). On the livelihoods side, the urgency of action was seen as being no less significant, demonstrated notably by the fact that most of the Millennium Development Goals are highly unlikely to be achieved. It was acknowledged that PAs were currently in a period of crisis, and that new approaches and initiatives were needed to ensure that PAs are not merely expanded, but enhanced and made consistent with the livelihood needs of local communities. Or else, they will simply be made obsolete. One potential avenue discussed for generating new opportunities for local livelihoods in PAs was to encourage greater private sector involvement, although it was acknowledged that such interests risk undermining the equitable sharing of conservation benefits. On the subject of equity, it was strongly stated that this is a very context dependent issue, and cannot be addressed through a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. PES and new opportunities through carbon finance were also seen as potential opportunities for the pro-poor management of PAs. However, without proper recognition of traditional land tenure and ownership systems, such incentive-based mechanisms were seen as being ‘out of reach’ for many local communities.

In conclusion, it was reminded that forest-dwelling communities ought to be recognized as the owners of the resources around them, and that any effort to manage these resources sustainably must fully recognize their importance for local livelihoods. Acknowledging that many local communities wish to preserve biodiversity simply because they depend on it for their livelihoods, it was generally agreed that greater empowerment at the local level could go hand-in-hand with wider conservation efforts.


The workshop: “Towards responsible management of planted forests in the Asia-Pacific region”

Friday, 25 April 2008


United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)


During Forestry Week, help in conjunction wth the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, a workshop was held to introduce the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Management of Planted Forests and to discuss its implementation in the Asia-Pacific region with different stakeholder groups. The workshop was aimed at a wide range of planted forests stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific Region, including senior Government, private sector, NGO, CBO, academic, scientific and other civil society groups responsible for policy, planning, managing, monitoring and investing in planted forest developments.

FAO introduced the scope and context of planted forests in the Asia-Pacific region, detailed the justification, process and partners in preparing the Voluntary Guidelines and introduced the Guideline Framework of Principles. The contexts of planted forests, stakeholder processes and implementation actions and experiences with the Guidelines were presented by Thailand, Lao PDR, China, Vietnam and New Zealand, to illustrate different geographic, socio-economic, environmental and governance situations in which planted forests were being undertaken and the Voluntary Guidelines being used. The results of the Chiang Mai sub-regional workshop “Towards Responsible Management of Planted Forests” and the preparatory stakeholder workshops in Thailand, Lao PDR, China and Viet Nam were highlighted and the outputs discussed. At the workshop a Needs Assessment questionnaire was completed by participants to highlight strengths and weaknesses in planted forests developments in their respective contexts. The workshop also discussed Voluntary Guidelines implementation issues and gave guidance to FAO and other organizations on technical support for capacity building in implementation of the Guidelines in the Asia-Pacific region.


It was recognized that planted forests, whether intended for productive or protective functions currently play a critical role in providing a wide range of goods and services in the Asia-Pacific region. The continued expansion of planted forests in the region would ensure that they would increasingly supply wood products, fibre, bioenergy, non-wood forest products and social or environmental services in the future.

It was acknowledged that the expansion of planted forests had not always complied with best practices and negative social, environmental and economic impacts had resulted. It was recognized that a better understanding and commitment to balance the social, cultural, environmental and economic dimensions of planted forests development was necessary in the Asia-Pacific region. The Action Frameworks prepared by Thailand, Lao PDR, China and Viet Nam at the Chiang Mai sub-regional workshop “Towards Responsible Management of Planted Forests” to improve planted forests policies, planning and implementation practices were considered valuable tools. However, Governments, FAO, multi-lateral and bi-lateral donors, private sector and other institutions needed to have the will and commit resources to support implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines at the policy, planning and practices levels in planted forests programmes and projects. It was agreed that the Voluntary Guidelines provided the framework of institutional, economic, social/cultural, environment and landscape principles necessary to maximize the benefits and minimize the negative impacts of planted forests in differing contexts in the Asia-Pacific Region. The Needs Assessment highlighted that there were strengths and weaknesses in all countries represented in the workshop. These were across all the principles, whether institutional, economic, social/cultural, environmental or landscape. The weaknesses highlighted will be used to target geographic, institutional and technical areas for future sub-regional workshop support in the region.



The workshop:“Disseminating scientific information for policy and management”

Friday, 25 April 2008


International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO)


Over the past several years, the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) has implemented a number of initiatives that aim at promoting the interactions between forest science and policy, and the dissemination of scientific knowledge to forest stakeholders. Towards this end, a one-day seminar was organized by IUFRO as a Parallel Event at the first Asia-Pacific Forestry Week in Hanoi, Viet Nam, on 25 April 2008. The event was made possible through generous funding by the Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI) and contributions from various members of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF). In his welcome address, Professor Don K. Lee, President of IUFRO, expressed his gratitude to FAO for accommodating this IUFRO event within the programme of the First Asia-Pacific Forestry Week. He welcomed the participants and thanked them for their interest in the issue of effective dissemination of forest-related scientific information. Professor Lee informed the participants about IUFRO’s current involvement in three global initiatives promoting the interaction between forest science and forest policy and management. These initiatives are (a) Capacity Building on Science Policy Interfacing, (b) Joint CPF Initiative on Science and Technology, and (c) the Global Forest Information Service (GFIS). Based on these initiatives the programme of the seminar was organised in three sessions and is briefly described in this report.

Session 1: Capacity building on science policy interfacing

The need for sound scientific information in the development of public environmental and forest-related policies at the local, national and international levels has grown significantly in recent years. So, too, has the need for such information within the private forestry sector and among non-governmental organizations, whose role in the development, sustainable management and conservation of forest resources in all regions of the world is steadily increasing in importance. Although it is commonly accepted that scientific information is indispensable for policy and management, linking substantive knowledge and authoritative political decision making is a chronically difficult task. Michael Kleine, Coordinator of IUFRO’s Special Programme for Developing Countries, described in his presentation some of the major features of the science-policy interface and discussed past experiences made with work in science-policy interactions. He further reported on the work of the IUFRO Task Force on the Science Policy Interface, which compiled a best practices guide on “Effectively working at the interface of forest science and forest policy.” These guidelines are available online on the IUFRO website at

Based on the work of this Task Force, IUFRO’s Special Programme for Developing Countries (IUFRO-SPDC) has developed a training module on science-policy interfacing for scientists and research managers in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The aim of this training is to provide concepts and methods for researchers on how to plan, conduct, and organise research activities, so that results can more quickly and easily be transformed into usable information for problem-solving and policy-making. Over the past three years several training workshops have been organised in all three regions and the demand for such training continues to remain high. The training events were made possible through contributions by expert institutions (e.g. resource persons and expertise) and financial support through various donor organisations of international development. Detailed information about the training workshops is available on the IUFRO-SPDC website at

Session 2: Joint initiative on science and technology

Markku Kanninen, Director of CIFOR’s Environmental Services Programme and member of the Steering Committee of the Joint Initiative on Science and Technology, gave a presentation on IUFRO’s science-policy work at the international level. Since 2001 IUFRO, through its Special Project on World Forests, Society and Environment (WFSE), has been actively involved in global networking focusing on the broad interrelationship between forests, society and the environment. The WFSE network shares scientific knowledge and participates in forest-related policy processes, synthesises research findings on topics of global and regional importance and publishes the results in books, scientific synthesis reports and policy briefs. The core group of WFSE is composed of 9 leading research institutions coordinated by IUFRO. Over the past four years, the work of IUFRO at the international level has intensified significantly with representations of IUFRO in sessions of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). One of the results of these efforts is a new Joint Initiative of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF), coordinated by IUFRO. This Joint Initiative supports international forest-related processes by assessing available scientific information and by producing reports on forest-related issues of high concern. The main principles of the work of the Joint Initiative include the incorporation of scientific results generated by experts from all regions of the world, the assessment of existing information without conducting new research, and communicating effectively with policy makers at the right time (

The outcome includes focused reports reflecting state-of-the-art understanding on the subject matter, representing comprehensive, peer-reviewed scientific assessments with each report containing a summary for policy makers. Based on consultations with policy-makers and stakeholders at UNFF-7 (April 2007), CBD SBSTTA-12 (July 2007), and the Forest Day Bali (December 2007) “Adaptation of Forests to Climate Change” was confirmed as the first priority theme to be addressed by an expert panel to be established under the Joint Initiative. This panel provides sector specific assessments of available knowledge on impacts and vulnerabilities of forests and people, and adaptation options, recognizes various spatial and temporal scales involved, makes best use of information provided by IPCC, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and prepares a report for use by UNFF-8 (April 2009), and also by UNFCCC and CBD.

Core issues to be addressed in the panel report include potential future environmental, economic and social impacts as well as adaptation options for policy and management. Session 1 and 2 each concluded with lively discussions on science-policy interfacing whereby the participants shared their own experiences on interactions between policymakers and other stakeholders. Overall the discussions showed that although there is agreement on the importance of interacting with stakeholders at various levels, constraints on the part of the science community in many developing countries with regard to time, human and financial resources, and hierarchical and cultural barriers prevent effective interactions with the decision-making levels.

Session 3: Global Forest Information Service (GFIS)

The third session of the IUFRO event – taking place in the afternoon – focused on the Global Forest Information Service (GFIS) and was moderated by Ho Sang Kang, GFIS Regional Coordinator for Asia and Russia. GFIS, an IUFRO-led CPF Initiative, provides the framework for sharing forest-related data and information through a single gateway. The main objectives of this session were a) to introduce the GFIS concept, b) invite current information provider partners from the regions to share their experiences with GFIS, c) invite new potential partners to discuss their expectations of global information sharing, and d) demonstrate under real-world conditions how easy it is to create the necessary information feeds (RSS) and link them to the GFIS gateway at

In the first presentation Eero Mikkola, the GFIS Coordinator, introduced the participants to the latest GFIS internet gateway as well as the status of partnership development with expert institutions from around the world. This was followed by short presentations prepared by three GFIS partners – i.e. Research Center for Forest Ecology & Environment (RCFEE) Viet Nam; Asia-Pacific Association of Forestry Research Institutions (APAFRI); and USDA Forest Service (USA) on their experiences with providing information to GFIS and using the system in their daily work. Some recommendations and plans for future development of GFIS were mentioned. In a second block of presentations, potential GFIS partners in Asia – i.e. Indonesian Ministry of Forestry; Indonesian Center for Education & Training (CFET); Myanmar Forest Research Institute, and The World Resources Institute Forest Team Indonesia informed the participants about their own information resources and how these are currently stored, managed and disseminated. They also elaborated on their expectations of GFIS when joining as GFIS partners. In a final session, Mr. Randy D. McCracken, USDA Forest Service demonstrated how a forest information news feed – based on “Really Simple Syndication” (RSS) – can be created and linked to the GFIS gateway. In this way, individual information resources can be located from anywhere in the world.

Overall, the participants showed great interest in GFIS and some of them expressed their interest to join as GFIS partners. In the weeks to come, the GFIS Coordination Unit will establish contacts with these potential partners to finalize the link to GFIS and commence with the exchange of forest-related information resources. The presentations made during this session can be downloaded from the IUFRO website at A powerpoint presentation was shown be KFRI regarding the preparation and invitation to XXIII IUFRO World Congress to be held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in August 2010. A promotional video was presented showing the excellent meeting facilities of the congress venue in Seoul and various forested landscapes of Korea, which will be visited during the in-congress and post-congress excursions. For more information please visit the Congress Website at

Closing remarks

The IUFRO event concluded with closing remarks by the IUFRO President, Professor Don K. Lee. With 57 registered participants from 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, this event was very successful, providing latest information on IUFRO’s ongoing initiatives on the dissemination of scientific information for policy and management. Professor Lee thanked all the participants for their support and active participation and expressed his hope for further closer cooperation among scientists in the region under the umbrella of IUFRO.

The workshop:“Implementation of the fire management voluntary guidelines in the Asia-Pacific region”

Friday, 25 April 2008


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)


During the Forestry Week of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, a workshop was held to introduce the Fire Management Voluntary Guidelines, conduct a needs assessment and to discuss its implementation in the Asia-Pacific region. The workshop was aimed at those stakeholders in the Asia-Pacific Region from the Government, private sector or other civil society groups responsible for fire management, policy, planning, and practices. FAO introduced the scope and context of fire management in the Asia-Pacific region, detailed the justification, process and partners in preparing the Voluntary Guidelines and introduced the guideline framework of principles and strategic actions. Additionally FAO outlined the purpose, mandate and charter for the Fire Management Actions Alliance and the role of this international partnership in implementing the Voluntary Guidelines and enhancing international cooperation in fire management.

Presentation were made by fire management specialists from Government (New Zealand/Australasian Fire Actions Council, Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia), the private sector (APRIL Group of Companies, Indonesia) and NGOs (The Nature Conservancy, USA/Asia). Each specialist outlined the actions and experiences with regard to implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines and participation in the Fire Management Actions Alliance. At the workshop a Needs Assessment questionnaire was completed by participants to highlight strengths and weaknesses in fire management in their respective contexts. The workshop also discussed Voluntary Guidelines implementation opportunities and gave guidance to FAO and other organizations on their roles and technical support for capacity building in implementation of the Guidelines in the Asia-Pacific Region.


It was generally agreed that improved approaches to fire management were required in the Asia-Pacific region as they continued to be a tool that caused deforestation and forest degradation, whether directly, or indirectly. It was acknowledged that there was a need to address integrated approaches to fire management, taking inter-sectoral approaches, as other land-uses (agriculture and livestock) impacted forestry and vice versa. Additionally there was a recognized need to undertake monitoring, early warning, detection, preparedness, prevention, suppression and restoration activities. Investment in prevention was generally considered more effective and efficient. Of course investment in suppression was always needed, but needed to be balanced with prevention investment with communities, communities of interest and other stakeholders. The presentations from around the Asia-Pacific region highlighted that the Voluntary Guidelines provided the framework of principles and strategic actions necessary to adopt integrated approaches to fire management. It was also recognized that not fires were bad. Some forest ecosystems are fire dependent and fire can be an effective land-use tool if managed responsibly. However, fire in fire sensitive ecosystems could be very destructive and required prevention and early suppression. The Needs assessment highlighted that there were strengths and weaknesses in all countries represented at the workshop. The weaknesses highlighted will be used to target geographic, institutional and technical areas for future sub-regional workshop support in the region.



The seminar: “Poverty reduction through forestry-related activities in Asia”

Saturday, 26 April 2008




Recognizing the great potential of forestry as a promising livelihood option for mountain communities, several action research and development programmes are being conducted by ICIMOD, CIFOR and ICRAF, with financial support from IFAD. A seminar was organized during the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week to share the experiences from IFAD Projects and the Regional partners in this regard.

The Seminar brought together experiences and lessons learnt through different IFAD Projects under implementation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan countries and in South East Asia. The Seminar consisted of presentations that highlighted different approaches taken to address the issues of access to forest resources by disadvantaged communities, livelihood options based on forest resources and the linkage with private sector as well as policy dialogue that address concerns of marginalized communities in transition. The potential of payment for services as a possible tool to benefit the poor while ensuring conservation was also addressed in the Seminar with a presentation from ICRAF on their RUPES experience.

Linked with the seminar, there was also the launching of the booklet ‘Payment for environmental services – lessons and experiences in Viet Nam’. Representatives from IUCN, WWF, CIFOR, ICRAF in Viet Nam and FSIV made short presentations on the booklet.

Experiences from IFAD funded grants programs on poverty reduction through forestry The seminar started with Dr Ganesh Thapa, Regional Economist from IFAD’s Asia-Pacific Division welcoming participants and giving a brief overview of IFAD’s approach to harnessing the potentials of forestry for the benefit of the poor and disadvantaged, particularly in the context of less favoured and marginalized areas such as mountains. The first presentation was from CIFOR, IFAD’s Regional partner who had conducted a study on the potential of forestry in poverty reduction in China, India and Nepal. The presentation touched on the potentials of forest produces in generating income for the poor but also highlighted the institutional arrangements and policy constraints that hamper realization of the full potential of this sector. The CIFOR presentation was followed by a presentation from the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for Upland Areas (NERCORMP), an IFAD Project under implementation in three states of India’s northeast region. The NERCORMP presentation outlined the institutional approach that the project had taken to encourage decision making and governance at the local level, particularly the formation and capacity building of the Natural Resource Management Groups (or NarmGs) and the Self Help Groups. Some of the examples provided in the presentation emphatically demonstrated the powerful potential of community institutions in ensuring natural resource management and promotion of livelihoods based on forestry. Particularly encouraging was the significant area of forests conserved by the NarmGs for providing environmental services and livelihood needs.

The next presentation was from ICIMOD, another of IFAD’s regional partners and the coorganiser of the Seminar, working in the Hindu Kush Himalaya and extending technical support to IFAD’s projects in the mountain region. The ICIMOD presentation outlined the comparative advantages of forest produces in the mountain context and the institution’s strategic approach in promoting forestry as an option for livelihoods. The presentation touched on the support extended by ICIMOD in promoting MAPs and NTFPs for income generation involving Leasehold Forestry groups and private sector involvement. It then moved to interventions taken to enhance capacity of communities in land resource management and perspective planning, utilizing the Participatory 3 dimensional modeling for perspective landuse planning in the context of shifting cultivation. The presentation also touched on initiatives taken in regarding to fostering evidence-based policy dialogues in the context of management of shifting cultivation. The ICIMOD presentation was followed by a presentation from the Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Promotion Project from Nepal. The presentation outlined the objectives and the coverage of the Project in Nepal and also dwelt upon the Project’s components and activities undertaken to meet the objectives. The presentation also highlighted the fundamental challenge faced by the project implementers in identifying leasehold plots that had sufficient land capability to support forest resources which could be developed subsequently by the leasehold group members.

The next presentation was by ICRAF, the third regional partner and a coorganiser of the Seminar. The ICRAF presentation focused on ICRAF’s experiences in three countries while implementing the project on Rewarding the Asian Uplands Poor for the Environmental Services they Provide (RUPES). The presentation started the rationale behind the project and gave a conceptual framework within which the project was implemented. Examples from Nepal, Indonesia and Viet Nam were used to emphasise the conceptual argument. These examples also provided the audience with varied contextual situations where opportunities for payment for environmental services could be designed to convince the buyers to reward the upland poor for their services. The presentation also provided insights to innovative approaches that can be adopted in designing payment for environment services initiatives and showed how the services of even marginalized communities can be appreciated enough by buyers to agree for payments for the environmental services. The presentations were followed by a discussion with questions raised and clarifications sought from the participants. IFAD’s efforts were highly appreciated, particularly in regard to their approach of conducting research on specific concerns before embarking on larger interventions. A concern was raised, however, in regard to the rationale of the leasehold forestry project, in particular, in regard to the issue of extremely degraded leasehold plots being handed over to marginalized and disadvantaged households with the expectation that such disadvantaged households would be able to develop the land and earn a reasonable livelihood from such plots. The issue required attention and ways to address the situation and the presenter informed that the Project was extremely sensitive to the issue and was trying to address this by deliberately avoiding leasing of degraded plots.

"Mists Swirl at 3,000 meters in the forest of Takengon, Aceh"
David Gibert 2008

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