A training workshop on forestry and sustainable rural development, sponsored by APFNet and organized by Southwest Forestry University of China, was held in Kunming, China during September 1-20, 2009, with an aim to enhance regional capacity of balancing ecological protection and economic development in community, and promote forestry and rural development in a sustainable way. The workshop invited 15 technical officers and project managers involved in forestry, rural development and poverty alleviation in the region.
Within mountainous countries in the Asia-Pacific region, a mutual-dependence has been developed between community and forests. Forests provide main resources and income sources for the rural communities. Hence, striking a balance between forest management and rural development is key to sustainable rural development. Main topics covered by the Workshop include forest policy on rural development, collective forest tenure reform, conflict management in community, gender participatory development and so forth. The Workshop generated in-depth discussions and exchanges through lectures, working groups, country reports and field trip to forest communities across Yunnan Province. Participants agreed that the Workshop is very successful in providing opportunities for inspirational views and ideas that will help with their future work, and that the Workshop achieves its goals.
The Workshop proves to be a good start for the middle to long-term training program, which is being considered by the APFNet. It provides a sound basis for further improvement of the training program and a better understanding of the regional needs, which will promote future regional cooperation within the APFNet framework and sustainable forest development.