The Regional Workshop on Forest Products Statistics was successfully held during 17-19 September in Kunming, China, gathering 18 participants from forestry authorities, customs departments and academic institutions from Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam. Jointly organized by ITTO, FAO and APFNet, the workshop seeks to strengthen data collection on forest products production and reduce discrepancies between trade statistics reported by participating economies.
Opening session: (left to right) Ms Yanshu Li, FAO; Mr Emmanuel Ze Meka, ITTO; Mr Qu Guilin, APFNet; Mr Jean-Christophe Claudon, ITTO (Chair)
Mr Emmanuel Ze Meka, Executive Director of ITTO, Mr Qu Guilin, Executive Director of APFNet, and Ms Yanshu Li, forestry officer from FAO, addressed the opening session. Mr Ze Meka extended his gratitude for APFNet on co-organizing the workshop, and says “reliable and timely statistics are also a key element for improving economic information and market intelligence on the tropical timber sector”. Mr Qu welcomed all participants. He stated that reliable statistics is an important tool to lobby for increasing attention on forestry, as the statistics can lively show how important forestry is and enable the policy makers to invest more in forestry development.
During the two-day indoor session, each participating economy presented its methods of collecting data, challenges met in the process and recommendations for improving reliability of data. To try to eliminate discrepancies of data provided by partner economies and enhance cooperation between them, participants from partner economies discussed on specific cases of discrepancies to find possible interpretations. Issues and constraints affecting availability and reliability of national forest products statistics were also discussed.
This workshop was another productive cooperation after the success of the National Workshop on Forest Products Statistics held in China last April.