On 8 February, Mr. Ricardo Calderon, the Executive Director paid a courtesy call on Dr. Park Chong-ho, Minister of the Korea Forest Service.
With the recent announcement of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Forestry Sector Strategy of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Calderon highlighted that AFoCO’s activities are well aligned with the Korean government’s efforts in the forest sector. Both the Minister of Korea Forest Service and the Executive Director shared common sentiments for AFoCO to take advantage of the global forums, including UNFF, P4G Summit, UN Rio conventions among others, so as to translate global policy discussions into tangible regional actions while reflecting the priorities and issues faced by the Members of AFoCO.
Through such engagements, AFoCO will develop into a credible international organization with an effective platform for multilateral cooperation. This will also be an opportunity for AFoCO to share cooperation models and best practices in diverse types of forests and contribute to mainstreaming the issues of Asian regions in the forest sector in relevant international processes.
During the courtesy visit, Korea Forest Service also introduced Korea’s forest fire and disaster control center, including the operations and features of the integrated disaster prediction, monitoring and management system.
Mr. Ric Calderon had the opportunity to visit the Sejong National Arboretum located in Sejong City. Dr. Lee Youmi, the Director-General of the Sejong National Arboretum welcomed the Secretariat Team and expressed support for AFoCO’s works. Sejong National Arboretum, located at the heart of an urban area, is a good example of bringing the forest to the people.
Arboretum functions not only as a venue for exhibition for the visitors, but it has functions of conservation of biodiversity and scientific research of plant resources. Where possible, the Arboretum will provide technical support and looked forward to the opportunities of working with AFoCO and all members of AFoCO in introducing forest in culture and arts and bringing culture and arts to the forest. AFoCO is exploring opportunities for the development of the ASEAN-ROK Garden in the member countries of AFoCO.