To enable forests to meet diverse human needs in a sustainable way, close international cooperation in forest science and related disciplines is crucial – this is where APN’s niche lies.
The Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN) will highlight a number of APN forestry-related activities in the region at the International Union of Forest Research Organisation (IUFRO) 23rd World Congress 2010 – “Forests for the Future: Sustaining Society and the Environment” that will take place in Seoul, Republic of Korea, 22-28 August 2010. IUFRO is one of the oldest and largest international institutions with a growing membership of 700 institutes and universities in 110 countries to date. As the world is currently challenged with economic depression, scant resources and environmental degradation caused by climate change and other stresses, the APN is committed to joining IUFRO and other key organisations worldwide to ensure that forests are managed sustainably for current and future generations.
IUFRO World Congress is held every four to five years and this will be the third time in IUFRO’s history to host the World Congress in Asia. The APN is maximising this opportunity by sharing its recent findings and achievements by the forestry research community through completed and ongoing activities under its scientific regional research (ARCP) and scientific capacity development (CAPaBLE) programmes. Mr. Tetsuro Fujitsuka, APN Secretariat Director and Ms. Lizhier Coralde, APN Programme Fellow, will participate in the Congress on behalf of the APN. An exhibition booth will showcase APN recent activities.
For several years since its launch, the APN has been funding a wide array of forestry-related projects in the region recognising that forests are vital to global sustainable development. The APN has supported around 25 projects on ‘Forestry’ and has provided over US$ 1.3 million for both scientific research and capacity development activities in response to the challenges in the forestry sector under the broad umbrella of global environmental change.
To cite a specific activity, one of the APN completed projects under the ARCP Programme developed technical capacity of participants from Southeast Asian countries through a training workshop in carbon cycle science, carbon financial markets, and measuring, monitoring and managing forest-related carbon projects. This activity was also selected as one of the eight outstanding projects among the 80 project sets that were evaluated recently under the APN’s Second Strategic Phase (2005-2010). Key highlights of this project and other forestry-related APN activities are outlined in a two-page bulletin that will be disseminated at the IUFRO World Congress 2010.
In addition to the forestry-related projects that APN has supported, it also conducted a synthesis of APN-funded research that focussed on understanding land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) as an agent of global change in Asia and the Pacific. The Synthesis Report is available for download on the APN website.
APN is also currently screening proposals for funding under the focus topic: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, Conservation of Forest Carbon Stocks, Sustainable Management of Forests, and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (REDD+). This continued support in forestry-related activities is very promising and timely as the United Nations General Assembly has officially declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests. The APN looks forward to strengthening its relations with other organisations working on forest-related issues and together, contribute towards sustainable forest management.