In early 1999, a group of high-level officials from nine countries of the Asia-Pacific region traveled through the tropical rainforests of Sabah, East Malaysia, to learn about the practical issues surrounding the application of reduced impact logging (RIL) techniques in forest harvesting operations. Spending long days in the forest environment they gained first hand experience on issues such as pre-harvest planning, directional felling and other important components that make up RIL. The tour provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to gain insights into RIL, to share experiences with sustainable forest management in their respective countries, and to discuss the road ahead for further improvements. As an awareness-raising activity, the study tour was a success. However, the discussions during the trip indicated that far more needs to be done to encourage wider adoption of RIL.
Information sharing and the exchange of experiences were found to be extremely weak. Therefore, it is not surprising that study tour participants requested an improved communication and networking mechanism. In response to the request, and as one of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) follow-up activities, RILNET was established and has been in operation since September 1999.
RILNET is an e-mail list server managed by Tan and Associates for the APFC and supported by FAO and a USDA Forest Service grant. It currently has about 300 recipients. The objective of RILNET is to distribute information and synopses of research results and activities on reduced impact logging
RILNET sends out brief messages (usually one page or less) and indicates where and how additional information on a particular topic can be obtained. On average, one to two messages a month should reach recipients via the internet.
As RILNET is all about sharing information and experiences, it can only operate successfully if information is made available to the network operator. The topics that RILNET covers include:
Please send any materials that you would like to make available to a wider audience to:
16 Jalan Tan Jit Seng
11200 Penang, Malaysia
Tel: (60-4) 8999261
RILNET will be operated on a trial basis for one year. If it is found to be useful, its life will be extended. RILNET's address list is still developing. Anyone wanting to subscribe to the list should contact Thomas Enters at the contact points above.