Friday, February 19, 2016

Philippines to host Asia-Pacific Forestry Week

From the Website of the President

Philippines to host Asia-Pacific Forestry Week February 19, 2016

Over 700 government and forestry officials, representatives of international and non-government organizations, and forest industries from 33 countries are expected to gather at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on February 22-26, 2016 for the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week.

Spearheaded by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO) and the Asia Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC), in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the event will be among the largest and most important forestry events in the region in this year.

It will also run in conjunction with the 26th session of the APFC, which convenes every two years to review progress, discuss issues and set new agendas on forestry.

“The selection of the Philippines as host country for these events is very timely. We have much to share with our colleagues from our experience in implementing the first phase of the National Greening Program (NGP), through which we were able to reforest more than 1.3 million hectares from 2011-2015,” DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said.

He added, “We also look forward to learning from other countries and international experts on how to improve the roll out of the expanded NGP and hit our 2018 target of reforesting an additional 7 million hectares of unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands.”

In FAO’s 2015 Global Forest Resources Assessment, the Philippines ranked fifth among 234 countries and territories, and first in Asia, with the greatest reported annual forest area gain (240,000 ha/year) from 2011-2015.

This year’s Forestry Week will run from 22 to 26 February, with primary emphasis on “growing our future” through effective integration of forestry with the other facets of sustainable development.

Patrick Durst, FAO’s Senior Forestry Officer for Asia and the Pacific explains that “forestry should no longer be viewed as a separate extractive renewable sector. It can significantly contribute to eliminating food security and poverty, conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change.“

More than 40 workshops, seminars and side events will take place during the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week and will serve as a springboard for inclusive dialogues related to future trade and markets, challenges and opportunities in the face of climate change, serving society, new institutions and new governance, green investment and growing natural assets.

“FAO is taking significant steps to support nations in approaching forest management while ensuring that long-term social, economic and environmental objectives are met. In the Philippines, we are working in close partnership with the DENR’s Forest Management Bureau in the implementation of three projects that will facilitate the adoption of Forest and Landscape Restoration principles as well as the development of a National Forest Monitoring System Action Plan,” said FAO Representative in the Philippines José Luis Fernández.

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