ASFN Partners rally behind the Asia Pacific Forestry Week 2016

  • 4 March 2016

Representatives of the ASFN partners visited the Network’s exhibit area before the formal opening program of the APFW 2016. From left to right: Alfi Syakila, ASFN Secretariat; Mary Ann Batas, SEARCA; Sagita Arhidani, ASFN Secretariat; Dr. Ujjwal P. Pradhan, ICRAF; Dian Sukmajaya, ASEAN Secretariat; Ria Susilawati, ASFN Secretariat; Amy M. Lecciones, SEARCA; and Femy Pinto, NTFP-EP. Photo courtesy of the ASFN Secretariat

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga, Philippines – The ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) Partners which include the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Non-Timber Forest Products-Exchange Programme (NTFP-EP), Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and SEARCA joined forces to support the Asia Pacific Forestry Week (APFW) 2016 on 22-26 February 2016.

The APFW, which is done only once every four years, gathered more than 1,000 government officials, international and non-government organization representatives, and forest industry representatives from over 30 countries. The event was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and hosted by the Philippine government through the Forest Management Bureau - Department of Environment and Natural Resources (FMB-DENR). APFW 2016, with the theme “Growing our Future”, is considered as one of the largest and most important forestry events in the region this year.

APFW 2016 ran five parallel thematic streams. The ASFN, of which SEARCA is one of its implementing partners under the ASEAN-Swiss Partnership on Social Forestry and Climate Change (ASFCC), led eight sessions under Stream 3 titled “Serving Society: Forestry and People.” Other thematic streams were: Pathways to Prosperity: Future Trade and Markets; Tackling Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities; New Institutions, New Governance; and Our Green Future: Green Investments and Growing our Natural Assets. At the end of each stream, the lead organizations were expected to come up with actionable recommendations that are responsive to the need of the region’s forestry sector. Some of the recommendations generated by the ASFN are: 1) strengthen local tenure and rights; 2) invest in local institutions and capacities; 3) recognize swidden (rotational) cultivation as legitimate land use practice; and 4) mainstream agroforestry in national forest restoration.

SEARCA supported the participation of Dr. Eri Indrawan from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in Indonesia under Stream 1 session “Innovative Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) Marketing Channels and Mechanisms” through its Travel Grants Program. Dr. Indrawan presented the paper titled “The NTFP Sentra Initiative.

The team from the SEARCA Research and Development Department (RDD), which manages the ASEAN Social Forestry Network Strategic Response Fund (ASRF), participated in the APFW 2016 and the back-to-back meeting of the ASFCC on 25 February 2016. The ASFCC meeting discussed the external review of its second phase, the planning meeting for its third phase, the ASFN 10th Annual Meeting in the Philippines, and the APFW Stream 3 summary and recommendations. The team, headed by Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, Program Head for Research and Development, had as members Ms. Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, RDD Program Specialist; Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, ASRF Regional Program Coordinator; and Ms. Mary Ann Batas, ASRF Project Coordinator.

SEARCA optimized the event by organizing side meetings. Ms. Lecciones and Ms. Batas met with the ASFN National Focal points of Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Philippines to discuss updates on the ASRF project and project development assistance workshops. Dr. Burgos and Ms. Rogel also met with representatives of the World Agroforestry Center to discuss collaboration on an integrated research-in-development program on greening the ASEAN economic corridors. (Mary Ann A. Batas)

The ASFN–ASFCC partners catch up on the APFW sessions and side events before the ASFCC meeting. Clockwise from left: Ms. Sagita Arhidani, ASFN Secretariat; Ronnakorn Triraganon, RECOFTC; Alfi Syakila, ASFN Secretariat; Dr. Doris Capistrano, ASFCC; Dr. Bessie M. Burgos, SEARCA; Ms. Carmen Nyhria G. Rogel, SEARCA; Ms. Amy M. Lecciones, SEARCA; Ms. Mary Ann Batas, SEARCA; Tomi Haryadi, RECOFTC; and Ms. Cynthia Maharani, CIFOR. [br] Photo courtesy of the ASFN Secretariat