October 20-21, 2022—With Kyrgyzstan joining AFoCO as a new Party recently, AFoCO’s membership of 16 member countries now includes 2 Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The formulation of a long-term action plan with current and potential Central Asian member countries is relevant and critical in order to foster member involvement and ensure that member countries’ training needs are satisfied and well-aligned with national policies and objectives. To develop a plan for capacity-building activities in the region, a Consultation Workshop on Capacity Building in Forest and Forestry Sector for the Central Asian Region was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from October 20 to 21. 13 government officials from Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan participated in the 2-day consultation meeting and shared insights and experience on forestry-related capacity development programs and activities in their countries.
The Consultation Workshop was conducted to identify the needs and specific topics for capacity building in Central Asia and develop a collective long-term plan of action for capacity building for Central Asia. The expected outputs of the consultation workshop are as follows:
- Collective action plan for capacity building of AFoCO in the Central Asian region
- Matrix of situational analysis on capacity building and potential training topics for the Central Asian region
- Information on the existing facilities available in each country
- Pool of potential resource persons from each country for future training
- Plan of the ad-hoc Working Group in 2023
The workshop provided an opportunity to share country-specific information necessary for enhancing capacities in the forestry and forest sectors in Central Asia. On the first day of the consultation workshop, participants discussed their country’s government structure in the Forestry and Forestry Sector, what training is required within the scope of capacity building for the forest sector, how to address the scarcity of domestic specialists in the field, priority areas for capacity-building in the forest sector, and themes that require training urgently. Participants also discussed about the roles they foresee AFoCO playing in the terms of forestry-related capacity building in their countries.
On the last day of the consultation workshop, the previous sessions on capacity building of forests and forestry in Central Asia were reviewed and discussed. As well, the needs and expectations for the capacity building of forestry and forestry sector at the Central Asian Regional level were identified, as well as the role of an ad-hoc working group. At the end of the meeting, we were encouraged to expand the cooperation between the AFoCO and the current and future Parties in the Central Asian Region on Capacity Building of Forestry and the Forestry sector and to share the best practices of their countries in mutual priority areas.
The preceding sessions on capacity building for forests and forestry in Central Asia were reviewed and examined on the final day of the consultation workshop. The requirements and expectations for the development of the forestry sector and the forestry sector at the Central Asian regional level were also outlined, along with the roles and functions of an ad-hoc working group. At the end of the conference, participants were encouraged to increase collaboration between the AFoCO and current and prospective Central Asia member countries on forestry-related capacity-building, as well as to exchange best practices in mutually-prioritized areas.
Contributed by Janchivdorj Altangadas, 2022 AFoCO Fellowship Official from Mongolia