AFoCO in Brief

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As the world faces compounding challenges of climate change and pandemic risks, the international community continues its collective efforts to contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Although Asia is laden with rich forest resources, it remains highly vulnerable to the threats of climate change and forest devastation due to socio-economic growth pressures and natural disasters.


Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) is a treaty-based intergovernmental organization that promotes cooperation towards achieving the shared SDGs and regional and global forestry objectives. Through action-oriented practices, AFoCO aims to contribute to the global goals of increasing forest cover and implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Agreement on the Establishment of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) is registered with the Secretariat of the United Nations under Treaty Collection Number 55833 (Multilateral). AFoCO also became a Permanent Observer to the United Nations General Assembly and an ODA Eligible International Organization enlisted in the OECD DAC list.

Since the initial phase, AFoCO has been committed to facilitating the transfer and translation of best policies and experiences into site-specific actions where it is most needed. Through its member-driven approaches, various contextualized projects have been developed and implemented to achieve its mission.

These include promoting sustainable forest management practices, maintaining healthy ecosystem services, addressing climate change and its impacts through REDD+ initiatives, forest landscape restoration, and building resilience of forest and communities against forest-related disasters like forest fires. In over 30 project sites, more than 4,500 ha of forest have been is restored and managed. AFoCO has implemented participatory forest management for empowering local communities in 42 community forests in Member Countries, and overall. AFoCO programs and projects have also promoted ecosystem services in 8 model forests, contributed to livelihood improvements through forest-based activities in 46 villages, and strengthened the institutional framework of the members through supporting improvements of national forest policies and law

Vision & Mission

AFoCO envisions “A Greener Asia with climate-resilient and sustainable forests, landscapes and communities,” the achievement of which is supported by our mission to “Promote action-oriented international cooperation for creating enabling policies, building capacities, and fostering inclusive multi-level partnerships to drive Asian forests onto a climate-resilient and sustainable path.

AFoCO will promote and undertake realistic action-oriented forest cooperation programs and projects to achieve its mission. In sustainable forest management, AFoCO works to rehabilitate degraded forest land and address deforestation and forest degradation. It also explores common interests and positions among the member states as a unique intergovernmental organization in the forest sector.

Member Countries

Currently, AFoCO’s membership is composed 14 Parties including Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam as well as 2 Observers, Malaysia, and Tajikistan.

Country Date of Membership
Bhutan 27 April 2018
Brunei Darussalam 22 September 2018
Cambodia 9 September 2018
Indonesia 7 August 2019
Kazakhstan 4 October 2019
Kyrgyzstan 29 September 2022
Lao PDR 27 June 2019
Mongolia 31 July 2020
Myanmar 27 April 2018
Philippines 22 March 2019
Republic of Korea 27 April 2018
Thailand 26 July 2019
Timor-Leste 27 April 2018
Viet Nam 27 April 2018
CountryDate of Membership
Malaysia24 March 2020
Tajikistan13 October 2023

Partner Countries & Partner Organizations

The Assembly recognizes that the participation of various countries and entities complements the organization’s actions by providing access to new knowledge, expertise, financing and broad networks – resources that are critical to advancing the organization’s work. 

Based on Decision 41-V-21R, Promotion and Enhancement of Partnership, Partner Countries and Partner Organizations provides new category of participation and engagement for AFoCO. The Sixth Session of the Assembly endorsed the Rules of Procedures for Partners Countries and Partner Organizations of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization.

Institutional Arrangement

The principal organs of AFoCO are the Assembly and the Secretariat.

The Assembly is the policy-making body composed of the Representatives of all Parties. The Secretariat, headed by the Executive Director and located in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, is responsible for implementing its policies and strategies. Subject to guidance by the Assembly, the Executive Director enters into agreements on behalf of the organization for the implementation of activities of the Organizations.

Strategic Priorities

Based on the analytical study of national forestry priorities of our members and AFoCO’s specialized areas, we identified five (5) priority areas for five years (2019-2023). AFoCO will continue developing and implementing new programs and projects under the strategic priorities framework.

Initiating customized reforestation models

Establishment of locally customized restoration and reforestation models in target communities and adoption and application of such models in a balanced and integrated approach of forest landscape restoration for the benefit of target communities, natural habitats, and forest ecosystem

Research and development in climate change adaptation approaches

Implementation of scientific studies on forestry adaptation approaches and policy adoption of vulnerable member countries to apply relevant adaptation methodologies and approaches

Introducing technology in managing forest-related disasters

Establishment of demonstration sites for control and management of forest-related disasters and application of technology-based preventive and control measures where appropriate

Local livelihood improvement and community-based small enterprise development

Establishment of locally customized restoration and reforestation models in target communities and adoption and application of such models in a balanced and integrated approach of forest landscape restoration for the benefit of target communities, natural habitats, and forest ecosystem

Strengthening organizational capabilities and regional actions

Strengthening institutional capabilities to address diverse socio-economic settings among the members and expanding collaboration with other organizations


Proposal to establish the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) by the Republic of Korea (ROK) at the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit in Jeju, Republic of Korea


Formalization of the initial phase through ASEAN–ROK Forest Cooperation


Implementation of activities under the ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation mechanism and the Dialogue for the Establishment of AFoCO


Adoption of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO and preparations for its entry into force


Establishment of AFoCO

Opening of AFoCO RETC in Yangon Region, Myanmar


Convening of first AFoCO Ministerial Meeting


Granted Permanent Observer status to the UN General Assembly

Accreditation as an observer intergovernmental organization to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)


Convening of 2nd AFoCO Ministerial Meeting

Admission as an observer intergovernmental organization to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Became an official Supporting Partner of the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UN Decade)

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