Recognizing the importance of creating healthy ecosystems, the global community has been working together to engage in ecosystem restoration. AFoCO and International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) have been co-organizing online capacity-building workshops focussing on “Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region” since the first year of the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration, 2021-2030. The first Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) workshop focused on spreading the understanding of the ITTO Guidelines for FLR, particularly the Six Principles of the FLR among the implementing agencies and policymakers in the Region. During the workshop in 2021, all 72 workshop participants from 15 countries noted the increased availability of public and private finances for climate change mitigation and adaptation at global and national levels and, in many countries, even at the provincial and local levels. Moreover, it was recognized that very little of these finances are actually being made available for the forestry sector and there is an emerging need to build capacities among the FLR implementing agencies in the region on accessing climate change public and private finances at varied scales.
To enhance understanding of the role of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement in promoting FLR and improve FLR practitioners’ knowledge of carbon sequestration to aid the preparation of FLR proposals aimed at accessing climate funds from multilateral and bilateral financing agencies, AFoCO and ITTO virtually organized “Capacity Building Workshop on Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region: Accessing Climate Change Finance and Carbon Benefits for FLR” from 28 to 30 September 2022.
Speaking at the workshop, Dr Hwan-ok Ma, Officer-in-Charge, Forest Management Division, ITTO, said “This year’s workshop builds upon the expertise and network of ITTO and AFoCO and last year’s AP FLR capacity building workshop which were jointly organized by ITTO and AFoCO. Bringing together policymakers, researchers, and practitioners engaged in promoting FLR in the Asia-Pacific region, I believe this workshop will be an excellent opportunity to review the potential of climate change financing and carbon benefits for effective restoration initiatives in policies, programs, and projects at any scale. Further, I am certain that the outcomes of this year’s workshop will be of great value to enhance FLR interventions as well as to mainstream sustainable supply chains for sustainable timber consumption and trade.“
The workshop welcomed 49 government officials and forestry experts from 14 member countries of AFoCO and ITTO. The workshop consisted of two keynote addresses and six lecture sessions to give participants a fundamental understanding of the climate change financing mechanisms and carbon benefits synergized by FLR intervention:
- (Keynote Address 1) Decoding Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and its potentials in the promotion of FLR/REDD+ activities – Dr. Kim Raehyun, Division of Global Forestry, Korea Forest Research Institute
- (Keynote address 2) Accessing climate change finance for forest restoration and REDD+ projects: An analysis of good examples from around the world-Dr. Benjamin Singer, Senior Forest and Land Use Specialist, Division of Mitigation and Adaptation, Green Climate Fund
- Session 1. Cooperative action under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement-Mr. Mathieu VanRijin, Forestry Officer and Regional Focal point for REDD+ in the Asia Pacific Region, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Session 2. Assessment of Carbon Sequestration in FLR Intervention- Dr. Chakrit Na Takuathung, Assistant professor, Department of Forest Engineering, Kasetsart University
- Session 3. Joint Crediting Mechanisms on REDD+ in Northern Lao PDR-Dr. Motoshi Hiratsuka, Associate Professor, Waseda University
- Session 4. REDD+ Case Studies in AFoCO Member Countries-Ms. Kim Kayeong, REDD+ coordinator, Korea Forest Service
- Session 5. ITTO’s Programs relevant for FLR/REDD+- Dr. Ma Hwan-Ok, Project Manager, The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)
- Session 6. AFoCO’s Cooperation for FLR/REDD+-Dr. Kim Dong Hwan, Program Officer, AFoCO
As the workshop was designed to create a social learning environment, the workshop included presentations from the participants on country reports and action plans with regard to FLR/REDD+ implementation in their countries highlighting salient features of model FLR/REDD+ ongoing projects in their countries and proposed FLR/REDD+ projects. On the last day of the workshop, the participants proposed country projects on the restoration of peatlands, degraded forest areas, capacity building and national planting campaigns and developed recommendations to enhance the management and implementation of FLR/REDD+ programs in the Asia-Pacific Region. A post-workshop session was organized in Cambodia from 5-7 October 2022.
Publications from the previous FLR Workshop:
- (Training Report) AFoCO-ITTO Capacity Building Workshop on Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region
- (Policy Brief 1) Forest Landscape Restoration in the Asia-Pacific Region
Contributed by Khin Nyein San, 2022 AFoCO Fellowship Official from Myanmar