The Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC) provides extensive support to countries in the region by developing regional guidelines for best management practices and by building capacity for the implementation of these guidelines at the national and local levels.
The following are current APFC activities being implemented in support of better forest management.
Codes of practice for forest harvesting
APFC continues to promote the adoption and effective implementation of national codes of practice for forest harvesting and reduced impact logging through various training and awareness-raising activities. The Regional Workshop on Progress with the Implementation of Codes of Forest Harvesting Practices and Actions for the Future was held 13-18 May 2007, in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia. The workshop brought together 35 experts and practitioners in forest management and forest harvesting to assess progress in implementing national codes of practice for forest harvesting, identify barriers to improved harvesting, and consider links to forest certification. In addition, JOFCA (Japan Overseas Consultants Association) has been contracted to develop, refine and promote effective auditing and monitoring procedures for assessing forest harvesting compliance with national codes of practice in Cambodia, China, Laos and Viet Nam. The Japan-funded project on Enhancing Sustainable Forest Harvesting in Asia has been implemented in Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam since 2003. The project supported the development of national codes of practice for forest harvesting, provided training and actively promoted the implementation of reduced impact logging (RIL), established demonstration forests, and worked to raise awareness and build political support for sound forest harvesting within the overall framework of sustainable forest management. The project is scheduled to end in June 2008.
Forest invasive species
Recent activities under the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network include the development of a regional strategy for implementing the activities of the network and the appointment of the APFISN Executive Committee to provide strategic guidance and direction to the network. Workshop on Developing Invasive Species Management Plans was held 7-10 May 2007, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The workshop was followed by a one-day meeting of the newly-appointed APFISN Executive Committee. In collaboration with the State Forest Administration of China, APFISN co-organized a Workshop on Biological Control in Bejing, China, 12-15 September 2007. A workshop on Risk based targeted surveillance for Forest Iinvasive Species is being held in conjunction with Asia-Pacific Forestry Week. Dissemination of a monthly newsletter, Invasives, has continued to provide countries with information on the latest developments related to forest invasive species. E-mail information networking is on-going. APFISN is also conducting a series of country visits to help some countries in the Asia-Pacific region to prepare national reports on status of forest invasive species activities.
FAO co-organized the International Agroforestry Education Conference: integrating conservation in upland agriculture in Southeast Asia, in collaboration with the Southeast Asian Network for Agroforestry Education (SEANAFE), 24-26 October 2007, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The publication of the half-yearly Asia-Pacific Agroforestry Newsletter (APANews), now merged with the SEANAFE Newsletter, continues.
Field activities are ongoing under the project on assisted natural regeneration (ANR), which was launched in June 2006, in the Philippines, to support practical, low-cost forest rehabilitation techniques. The project includes a regional promotional component that will support a regional workshop in 2008.
A workshop on edible forest insects entitled “Forest Insects as Food: Humans Bite Back” was organized 19-21 February 2008, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The program focused on Asia-Pacific resources and their potential for development. The workshop provided an opprotunity for sharing of knowledge on all aspects of edible forest insects, including management, collection, harvest, processing, marketing and consumption. Participants developed recommendations and strategies for promoting forest insects as food on a regional scale.