The AFoCO Secretariat has been working to enhance the capacities of its member countries’ forestry sectors and working environments through various measures. As a result, the Regional Education and Training Center (RETC) has received donations of various types of forestry equipment and machines, and donations have also been made directly to specific interested member countries. Over the past four years, several central and local government agencies in the Republic of Korea (ROK) have donated forest fire management equipment and related items to the AFoCO Secretariat.
In 2022, the Korea Forest Welfare Institute (FoWI) donated fifty-nine desktop computers to support technology transfer and enhance the capacity and working environment of AFoCO member countries. Recently, a donation ceremony was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, to deliver ten desktop computers and two laptops to Timor-Leste. The donation was made upon request from Timor-Leste for AFoCO to support the enhancement of technology and build the capacity of forestry officers and staff in the General Directorate of Forestry, Coffee and Industrial Plants (GDFCIP), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor-Leste.
The donation ceremony was attended by the Executive Director of AFoCO and H.E. Pedro dos Reis, the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor-Leste, who expressed warm pleasure of having the chance to visit Seoul again after the 15th World Forestry Congress (WFC) in 2022 and gratitude in AFoCO’s continuous support to Timor-Leste.
The donated computers and laptops will be used to build capacity and enhance technology for the staff involved in the ongoing AFoCO projects in Timor-Leste, which include
- Development of Agroforestry Models for Promotion of Reforestation in the Different Zones in Timor-Leste (AFoCO/018/2020)
- Re-greening the Bare Lands through Promotion of Locally Customized Restoration Models in Timor-Leste (AFoCO/026/2021)
- Improved Local Community Livelihoods through Increased Income from Non-timber Forest Products (NTFP): Modeling Scalable Community-based Enterprises in Asia (AFoCO/035/2022)
At the donation ceremony, the Executive Director of AFoCO, Dr. Park Chongho, assured the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Timor-Leste, H.E. Pedro dos Reis, that AFoCO will continue to support Timor-Leste in its efforts to restore and re-green its forests, improve livelihoods, and build capacity. The ceremony ended with an exchange of gifts, where the Minister presented a traditional woven tais scarf from Timor-Leste as a token of gratitude for the donation.