November 29-December 2, 2022 — With the aims of strengthening the capacities of government officers and other key actors in addressing forest-related conflicts and providing opportunities to exchange and learn best conflict management practices in the Asia-Pacific Region, AFoCO and FAO-Korea hosted a capacity-building training entitled “Resolving Conflicts to Advance Sustainable Forest Management and Restore Landscapes” in collaboration with Consensus Building Institute (CBI) and The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) . The training was implemented using a hybrid approach, virtual (17 & 22 November 2022) and face-to-face (29 November to 2 December 2022) at Forest Literature House, Seoul, Republic of Korea. A total of 19 government officials and forestry experts from 15 Asia-Pacific countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam) and 2 AFoCO staff joined the training.
The training was designed to be as interactive as possible by including various elements such as presentations, group discussions, field trips, and self-assessments/exercises. During the two-day virtual pre-training segment, the trainer and participants discussed perspectives on conflict, its drivers, and resolution by using connecting questions and case studies to understand the definition of “conflict”, and the range of institutions and processes available to manage and resolve conflict through a transparent and inclusive approach.
The training was held from 29 November to 2 December in Seoul, the Republic of Korea. The training began with a welcome remark from AFoCO Executive Director Mr. Ricardo L. Calderon, and Assistant FAO Representative of FAO-Korea, Ms. Lee Nara. In his welcome remark, Mr. Calderon highlighted the critical importance of building the capacities of the “Governmental Sector” in resolving forest-related conflicts within and among forest resource-rich countries.
During the face-to-face training, participants learned about the different types of conflict behaviors, stakeholder mapping approaches, and consensus-building processes by using tools and materials developed by CBI and other relevant case studies. The first day of the training saw participants presenting their own conflict stories/pictures based on the pre-assignment given during the virtual training sessions. The training participants also visited Yangpyeong National Healing Forest, located in Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea to learn and understand good practices, lessons, and experiences from multi-stakeholders engagement and collaboration in resolving the conflict over land uses. They also had the chance to apply the tools and strategies learned at the training to analyze conflicts and their dynamics and key success and failure factors of conflict issues at Yangpyeong National Healing Forest.
Contributed by Khin Nyein San, 2022 AFoCO Fellowship Official from Myanmar