News

August 06, 2019

AFoCO’s 1st Global Forest Summer Camp

Connecting urban children with nature More than 60 children participated in AFoCO’s Global Forest Summer Camp between 26 and 29 July. The experiential 4-day camp focused on helping urban kids connect with nature while enjoying various hands-on activities at the  National Center for Forest Therapyin Yeongju, Korea. On the first day, our young participants visited the Forest Aviation Headquarters in Wonju, where they were learned about how the Korea Forest Service undertakes forest fire detection, protection, and control at the national scale. Participants were also given a rare opportunity to take the pilot’s seat in a fire suppression helicopter and explore its flight control system. Officials at the Headquarters also explained how forest fires across the country are constantly being monitored and managed through the use of advanced monitoring systems and remote sensing technologies. The second day began with a team bonding activity with KAPLA wooden blocks. In their groups, children used the blocks to construct houses and buildings from their own imagination. The 2-hour activity not only encouraged creativity, inventiveness, and concentration but also stimulated teamwork and cooperation. During the woodcraft activity on the second day, children had the chance to create and customize their own animal shaped coin banks with simple tools. The children also took respite from the summer heat in the Center’s Water Therapy Center, where they not only had fun playing with the water jets but also relaxed their muscles in the hydromassage area. Aside from such hands-on and experiential activities which aimed to develop their creativity and self-expression, the camp program also included a lecture on forests of the world to educate participants on the importance of forests. The lecture introduced basic facts about forests and gave an overview of the benefits that forests provide. Children gained a better understanding of how they can play a part in protecting and conserving the natural environment. Regardless of whether or not their interest is newfound or deep, the camp helped children deepen their appreciation for nature and the green spaces around them. The 2019 Global Forest Camps are only open to children from multicultural families residing in the Republic of Korea. CLICK HERE to visit our Facebook Page! INFORMATION ON GLOBAL FOREST CAMPS

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August 01, 2019

AFoCO-UNCCD Workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Forest & Landscape Restoration (F&LR)

Enhancing benefits from linking Land Degradation Neutrality and Forest & Land Restoration On 30-31 July, AFoCO and the UNCCD organized the Joint Workshop on Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Forest and Landscape Restoration (F&LR) at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok. The two-day workshop focused on bringing together the agencies responsible for land degradation neutrality and forest rehabilitation. 57 participants from 20 countries and 7 strategic partner organizations came together to identify the potential opportunities and challenges in linking different initiatives on the national level. The objectives of the workshop were to share implementation experiences and strengthen collaborative action on land degradation neutrality and forest landscape restoration, also identify potential forest-based project opportunities under AFoCO and Land Degradation Neutrality Transformative Projects and Programmes (LDN TPP). The strategic partners, including UN agencies as FAO and UNEP, Green Climate Fund (GCF), Asia Pacific Network (APFNet), Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) shared views on the co-relevance and consistency of forest-related commitments to land, climate, and biodiversity. The workshop shared about how countries are integrating global goals, particularly those related to land degradation neutrality and forest rehabilitation, with national-level policies and actions. Despite the ongoing implementation of various policies and practices, there are often gaps in the implementation of comprehensive activities under land degradation neutrality and forest rehabilitation. Participants of the workshop reiterated that collaborative actions and synergies will bring about more effective and efficient implementations on the ground. What is next? Many of the participating countries have national committees or steering bodies put in place to address these issues. The workshop provided an opportunity to reflect on the effectiveness of ongoing mechanisms. And further served as a reminder that local communities, as a stakeholder, should be engaged in planning and implementation processes. The goals can be only achieved when there is good coordination among stakeholders. By bringing together officials from the land management sector as well as the forest sector, the workshop was a leap forward towards strengthening existing cooperation among cross-sectoral stakeholders. Read More:https://www.unccd.int/news-events/asia-pacific-building-synergies-forest-and-landscape-restoration

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July 18, 2019

Highlights from the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (APFW) 2019 

The Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019 (APFW) was held at Songdo Convensia, Incheon, Korea, between 17-21 June 2019. The APFW is the largest forestry gathering in the Asian and Pacific region organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) bringing the government, private, academia, and research sector together in one venue. AFoCO, together with its partner organizations, APFNet (Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation) and SPC (Pacific Community), took the lead in Stream 1: “Restoring Our Forests and Landscapes”. Nearly 20 events and meetings were organized under this thematic stream, which is aimed at sharing about and enhancing understanding of the regional state and progress of forest and landscape restoration and exploring the way forward. Recognizing that forest restoration failures typically result from the complexity of technical, socioeconomic, institutional and financial challenges, the Stream’s Opening Session set the stage for genuine engagement and dynamic discussions over the week. AFoCO is exploring niche areas with partners such as CIFOR and FAO to translate sustainable forest management and climate change policies into effective initiatives on the ground in member countries.

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July 18, 2019

Technical Meeting on the Strategic Implementation of the Agreement

The Technical Meeting on the Strategic Implementation of the Agreement was held on 2-4 July 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand. 21 delegates from 11 member countries attended the Meeting. The Meeting provided a venue to obtain inputs and comments on draft texts of new policies, guidelines, and other documents drafted by the Secretariat. The amendment of existing documents such as the Staff Regulations and the Project Manual was also discussed. The Meeting also discussed about the plan of actions for the implementation of the Strategic Plan approved at the 1st Session of the Assembly. AFoCO is slowing shaping up and strengthening its institutional framework with the assistance of its member countries.

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June 27, 2019

AFoCO signs MOU with CIFOR

On 19 June 2019, during the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019, Mr. Chencho Norbu of AFoCO and Dr. Robert Nasi of CIFOR signs MOU to promote collaboration and complement each other’s efforts in the common and mutual objective in the area of scientific research, capacity and institutional building on forest landscape restoration and between the organization. The organizations looked forward to working together to achieve shared goals particularly on reforestation and restoration models in Asia, climate adaption approaches in forestry, as well as forest-based livelihood improvements. CIFORis a non-profit global organization dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation, and equity. CIFOR conducts research to help inform policies and practices that affect forests in developing countries. CIFOR is an International Research Center within the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) System Organization.

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June 27, 2019

AFoCO expands partnership to the Korea Institute of Arboretum Management

AFoCO, in the spirit and consistency with existing international processes, cooperation mechanisms, and standards, set the general cooperation framework with the Korea Institute of Arboretum Management (KIAM). Mr. Chencho Norbu of AFoCO and Mr. Kim Yong-ha of KIAM signed an MOU on 18 June 2019 at Songdo during the occasion of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019. Through this MOU, AFoCO looks forward to enhancing the implementation of capacity building programs, especially in the field of plant genetic resources.

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June 12, 2019

Study Visit by MGLEP Students from the University of Seoul

Last Friday, 7 June 2019, the AFoCO Secretariat welcomed 26 students of the University of Seoul’s Master’s Program for Global Leaders in Environmental Policy (MGLEP) to its office as part of a study visit. The students of the MGLEP came from diverse countries, including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Egypt, Kenya, and some of the AFoCO member countries. They were introduced to the various projects and programs being implemented by AFoCO as well as the organization’s strategic priorities. The visit ended with a question and answer session which saw students asking some probing questions about the expansion of AFoCO’s membership, the organization’s funding mechanisms, and future cooperative initiatives.

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May 13, 2019

International Workshop on Achievements & the Way Forward of AFoCO

On 23 April, the International Workshop on Achievements and the Way Forward was held to share past experiences and achievements of AFoCO and the way forward. The Workshop was attended by some 90 participants including speakers and representatives from the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), and Embassies of the AFoCO members as well as the relevant ministries in Korea. The Workshop shared on the specific projects and activities done under AFoCO and its initial phase. In addition to the overall summary of activities, specific achievements particularly on the forest genetic resources and forest rehabilitation, mangrove rehabilitation, and community-based forest management in the member countries were shared. The Workshop output constructive recommendations on: a. exploring regional actions and approachesb. converging different actors in forestry within each country;c. learning from experiences, multiplying best practices, and using available resources;  d. developing measurable outputs and outcome;e. overcoming challenges of procedural matters;f. keeping up with changing environment, needs, and technology.

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April 30, 2019

AFoCO Advisory Roundtable

The 2nd Session of the Assembly welcomed the formation and contribution of AFoCO Advisory Roundtable. The Advisory Roundtable meeting with eminent and reputable figures was initially held in March to share ideas and recommendations on stepping up the organization’s strengths both internally among the members and externally. Through formalizing the roundtable, consistent high-level support and recommendations are expected particularly in strengthening the institutional capabilities and expanding collaboration and outreach to be a key player in the region.

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