Since the ratification of the AFoCO Agreement with the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2019, the first ever country-driven project was signed between the AFoCO Secretariat and the Republic of Kazakhstan on 7 March 2022. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the project entitled: Pilot project on inventory of unaccounted forests in Kostanay and North Kazakhstan regions and automation of the collection of information on forestry (AFoCO/028/2022), took place at the AFoCO Secretariat, attended via online platform by Kazakhstan.
Warm welcomes and friendly exchange of latest news after the last meeting between Kazakhstan and AFoCO Secretariat during the 14th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum, which took place in Dushanbe, November 30, 2021, were shared between the Secretariat and participants from Kazakhstan. The signing ceremony began with congratulatory remarks from the Executive Director of AFoCO, Mr. Ricardo Calderon, who emphasized that the project will surely “contribute to the implementation of major forest rehabilitation and restoration in Kazakhstan, as we know that baselining efforts like forest inventory is essential in forest management as the saying goes: You Cannot Manage What You Cannot Measure.” The Deputy Chairman of the Forestry and Wildlife Committee of Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Yerlan Kutpanbayev, also expressed excitement and anticipation on the project to the first of many to come that exemplifies cooperation efforts for sustainable forest management, especially in Central Asia.
The signing ceremony adjourned with hopes that the COVID-19 situation would improve in the near future for Kazakhstan to visit Seoul and the Secretariat in person in time for the 15th World Forestry Congress to be held in May, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Submitted by Cha Jiyea, Assistant Program Officer