To commemorate the 3rd founding anniversary of AFoCO on 27 April 2021, an MoU signing ceremony was organized for two research projects funded by the National Institute of Forest Science (NIFoS) of the Republic of Korea, as a part of the AFoCO-NIFoS collaboration. Representatives from Cambodia’s Institute of Forest and Wildlife Research and Development (under the Forestry Administration) and the Forest Science Center of North-Eastern Viet Nam (under the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam) attended the virtual signing event.
Under the 2021 call for research projects within the AFoCO-NIFoS collaboration framework, Cambodia and Viet Nam were selected for the said collaboration projects. Through these projects, appropriate technical methods and guidelines will be applied to restore degraded lands in Siem Reap province in Cambodia and enrich degraded natural forest in Hoa Binh province in Viet Nam. Additionally, these projects are expected to produce lessons learned and applications for future initiatives of AFoCO, NIFoS, and other member countries, and also enhance cooperation and cooperation for “a Greener Asia”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Ricardo L. Calderon, Executive Director of AFoCO Secretariat, highlighted that the MOU signing is an exceptional opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of AFoCO and highly appreciated the dedication and efforts of the governments of Cambodia and Viet Nam in making the MoU signing possible in spite of the re-surge of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cluster planting combined with the Miyawaki method will be applied to rehabilitate degraded lands in Cambodia to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the method and determine the survival rate of the test species (D. cochinchinensis). The effectiveness of coconut coir as a water-retaining agent on the survival of seedlings species will also be determined. In Viet Nam, research on forest enrichment using high-value native Species in Hoa Binh Province will be carried out to assess the status of forests in the province and build capacities on forest enrichment through the development of a technical guideline, organization of training activities, and the establishment of a demonstration model. These projects will be implemented for two years from 2021 to 2023, with a total budget of close to 69,000 USD.
Contributed by Pham Minh Thu, 2021 AFoCO Fellowship Official from Viet Nam