Summary Record

The First Session of the Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) was held on 13 November 2018 in Seoul, Korea. The Meeting was attended by Representatives and delegates from all Parties, namely, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Republic of Korea (ROK), Myanmar, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam. The delegates from the Signatory countries and prospective member countries, namely, Lao PDR, Mongolia, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Thailand, also attended the meeting. The officials from the AFoCO Secretariat were also present to provide the secretariat support to the Meeting.

Prior to the First Session of the Assembly, the Preparatory Meeting for the First Session of the Assembly was held on 12 November 2018, in order to review the program, agenda and composition of the documents for the First Session of the Assembly. The Preparatory Meeting reviewed and made improvements to the meeting documents for consideration and decision of the Assembly.

Decisions

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Recognizing the need for rules of procedure for the Assembly of AFoCO;

Recalling the requirements of Article 8 Paragraph 4 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO, which notes that the Assembly shall adopt the internal regulations of AFoCO at its first meeting;

Taking note of technical review and discussions made by the prospective members of AFoCO on the draft Rules of Procedure of the Assembly which preceded twice the first session of the Assembly;

Decides to adopt the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, as contained in the annex to this documents.

D-1-I-18R Rules of Procedure of the AssemblyDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

With reference to Paragraph 1 of Article 6 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO and Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedures of the Assembly;

Acknowledging the signing of the Agreement by Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, and the Philippines, and respective domestic procedures in progress for the ratification, approval, or acceptance of the Agreement;

Noting on the intentions of Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Thailand and their involvement and contribution to the adoption of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO;

Decides to:

  1. Approve Observer status to Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Singapore, and Thailand for a period of five years commencing from the date of approval;
  2. Task the Secretariat to prepare the list of Observers to AFoCO which will be maintained on AFoCO’s website; and
  3. Further task the Secretariat will notify the Observers and facilitate activities of an Observer in accordance with Rule 6.3 and Rule 6.4 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly.
D-2-I-18R Admission of ObserversDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

With reference to Article 5 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO (Agreement); and

Reiterating the objectives of the AFoCO to strengthen regional forest cooperation by transforming proven technology and policies into concrete actions in the context of sustainable forest management to address the impact of climate change

Decides to approve the Guidelines on the Application of Non-Signatory Countries to become Parties as below.

  1. Application of Non-Signatory Countries to become Parties
    1.1 Pursuant to Article 5 of the Agreement,
    a) A non-Signatory Country intending to become a new member of the Organization shall seek an approval of its membership by the Assembly prior to its accession to this Agreement.
    b) The membership in the Organization is open to a country which is geographically located in Asia.

    1.2 Any country which is geographically located in Asia may independently submit a letter of intent to become a Party; or any Party to the Agreement or the Secretariat may propose to invite a non-Signatory Country which is geographically located in Asia to become a new member of AFoCO.

    1.3 The Assembly shall consider and endorse the letter of intent or the proposal to invite based on no-objection basis.

    1.4 Upon concurrence by the Assembly, the Secretariat shall send invitation letter to submit an Application Form as in the template attached in Annex-1 to the Secretariat.

    1.5 Unless otherwise requested by the country, the countries that submitted the Application Form shall be given Observer status without application process for Observer provided for in Rule 6.1.2 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly.

  2. Accession by non-Signatory Country
    2.1 Pursuant to Article 17 of the Agreement, the Agreement shall be open for accession by any non-Signatory Country subject to Paragraph 2 and 3 of Article 5 of the Agreement.

    2.2 Upon approval of the Assembly on the membership of a non-Signatory Country, the Secretariat shall notify the respective non-Signatory Countries to take necessary domestic procedures for the accession of the Agreement.

  3. Entry into Force
    3.1 Upon completion of the domestic procedures for the accession by the non-Signatory Country, the instrument of accession shall be deposited in accordance with Article 18 of the Agreement.

    3.2 Once the Agreement takes effect for the non-Signatory Country in accordance with Article 19 of the Agreement, the country shall become a Party to the Agreement.

D-3-I-18R Guidelines on the Application of Non-Signatory Countries to become PartiesDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Pursuant to Article 8 Paragraph 5 of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (Agreement);

Acknowledging, with appreciation, the intensive works of the Committee to develop and conduct the procedures for announcement, deliberation, and selection of the Executive Director;

Underscoring the strategic role of the first Executive Director;

Noting with appreciation the applications for the position of the Executive Director;

Taking note of the recommendation of the Committee;

Decides to

  1. Appoint Mr. Chencho Norbu as the Executive Director for a period of 2 years, beginning on 1 January 2019 in accordance with Paragraph 1 of Article 9 of the Agreement;
  2. Task the Committee to conclude its activities; and
  3. Extend, notwithstanding the conclusion of Committee’s current activity, the validity of the Committee for further consideration.
D-4-I-18R Appointment of the Executive DirectorDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Recognizing the global megatrends including Sustainable Development Goals (SDG);

Acknowledge the objectives set out in Article 2 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO; and

Taking note of technical review and inputs of the prospective members of AFoCO on the draft Strategic Plan of AFoCO;

Decides to

  1. Approve the Strategic Plan (2019-2023) as contained in the annex to this documents; and
  2. Task the Secretariat to further elaborate the plan of action and report the progress and the output to the Assembly.
D-5-I-18R Strategic Plan (2019-2023)Decisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

With reference to Article 11 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO; and

Taking note of consideration and recommendation of the prospective members of AFoCO on the organizational symbol;

Decides to approve the organizational symbol of AFoCO as below

D-6-I-18R Organizational symbol of AFoCODecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Recognizing the need for rules of procedure for the Assembly of AFoCO;

Recalling the requirements of Article 8 Paragraph 4 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO, which notes that the Assembly shall adopt the internal regulations of AFoCO at its first meeting;

Taking note of technical review and discussions made by the prospective members of AFoCO on the draft Rules of Procedure of the Assembly which preceded twice prior to the first session of the Assembly;

Decides to

  1. Adopt the Financial Regulations, Staff Regulations, and Project Manual as attached respectively in Annex 1, Annex 2, and Annex 3; and
  2. Task the Secretariat to develop additional internal regulations as required for the effective operation of the organization and propose the draft texts at the next session of the Assembly for its approval.
D-7-I-18R Internal Regulations of AFoCODecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Recalling Article 9 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO, regarding the forming of the Secretariat;

Taking note on the decision of the Governing Council of the Agreement between the Governments of the Member States of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations and the Republic of Korea on Forest Cooperation (ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation), which agreed on the transfer of the functions, personnel, assets, and archives of the Secretariat of the ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation to the AFoCO Secretariat; and

Considering the state of assets and the progress report on the on-going projects approved under the ASEAN-ROK Forest Cooperation as appended in document A-11(I-18R),

Decides to

  1. Endorse forming of the Secretariat in accordance with Article 9 of the Agreement; and
  2. Receive devolved assets, archives, and legal liabilities including the management of on-going project activities of the Interim Secretariat for AFoCO.
D-8-I-18R Transition of the Interim Secretariat to the AFoCO SecretariatDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Welcoming the successful opening of the RETC in Hmawbi, Myanmar which completed its construction under the Landmark Program;

Reiterating the vision of the RETC to train leaders to ensure good governance for a Greener Asia, and its objectives to build capacity and develop experts in the field of forestry in AFoCO member countries through education and training programs; and

Noting on the need to provide more effective and stable management of the RETC;

Decides to:

  1. Endorse the RETC to function as a subsidiary organ of the Secretariat of AFoCO for stable management and operation;
  2. Endorse the Secretariat to allocate budget for the operation and management of the RETC within the operating cost of the Secretariat to serve the interest of the AFoCO member countries.
  3. Task the Secretariat to revise, in coordination with the steering committee, the work plan and budget of the Landmark Program accordingly for its remaining implementation period; and
  4. Task the Secretariat to make necessary arrangements, such as the Host Country Agreement with the Myanmar Government for the operation of the RETC as a subsidiary organ of the Secretariat of AFoCO.
D-9-I-18R Operation and Management of the Regional Education and Training Center (RETC)Decisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Having considered the appraisal and recommendations of the respective Project Appraisal Panel;

Taking note of the summary of project proposal as in the Annex to this document;

Decides to:

  1. Approve the project proposals as below:
    • Viet Nam (PP-2018-VN-001)
      Improving Pinus caribaea Morelet for Plantation on Degraded Land in Viet Nam’s Northern Mountainous Region
    • Cambodia (PP-2018-KH-002)
      The Registration of Small-Scale Private Forest Plantations
    • Timor-Leste (PP-2018-TL-003)
      Development of Agroforestry Models for Promotion of Restoration in the Different Zones in Timor-Leste
    • Bhutan (PP-2018-BH-004)
      Sustainable Community-Based Enterprises for Improved Rural Livelihood
  2. Task the Secretariat to facilitate the necessary follow-up actions, including fund mobilization and legal arrangements for project implementation, for its inception in 2019;
  3. Endorse the Secretariat to develop and enter general cooperation agreement with the donors for stable funding arrangements; and
  4. Further task the Secretariat to further develop the timeline of procedures to be undertaken after approval of the projects by the Assembly.
D-10-I-18R Approval of ProjectsDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Pursuant to the Article 8 paragraph 6 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO (Agreement), regarding the role of the Assembly;

Decides to

  1. Approve the operation of the AFoCO Fellowship Program on an annual basis starting from 2019 up to three officials from the Parties;
  2. Adopt the Guidelines for AFoCO Fellowship Program as attached as Annex to this decision which defines the responsibilities of the Fellowship officials with their terms of conditions in serving the Secretariat throughout the program; and
  3. Task the Secretariat to process the selection of the candidate officials for the 2019 Fellowship Program which will commence on 1 July 2019.
D-11-I-18R AFoCO Fellowship ProgramDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

The Assembly of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO),

Recognizing the needs of the legal instruments to ensure smooth day-to-day operation of the Secretariat;

Recalling the objectives set out in Article 3 of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO;

Decides to

  1. Task the Secretariat, subject to coordination and negotiation with the respective government agencies in the Republic of Korea and the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, revise and finalize the text of the Headquarter Agreement between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Secretariat, and the Host Country Agreement between the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and the Secretariat on Hosting of the Regional Education and Training Center (RETC);
  2. Task the Secretariat to report the final draft of the Agreements and follow-up procedures to be undertaken with the respective governments for their entry-into-force.
  3. Task the Secretariat to facilitate cooperation arrangements with other entities, particularly (i) registration of the Agreement on the Establishment of AFoCO to the UN, (ii) application to ODA-eligible international organisations of the OECD DAC, (iii) application for the accreditation by the GCF, and (iv) preparing arrangements or MOUs with potential partner organizations, including ITTO, FAO, RECOFTC, UNCCD and GGGI, as well as relevant entities in Korea, including Korea Forestry Promotion Agency and Korea Institute of Arboretum Management; and
  4. Task the Secretariat to update on the progress and report the final draft of arrangements or MOUs with partner organization/entities, highlighting organizational priority of AFoCO and justification on advantages of cooperation with partner organization, for consideration and endorsement of the Assembly.
D-12-I-18R Development and Strengthening External RelationsDecisions DownloadDecisions Download

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