Sixteen experienced officials, policy-makers, planners and forest resource managers from 11 economies in the Asia-Pacific Region (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Chile, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand) convened in Kunming, China to discuss forest governance enhancement in the context of timber legality verification during a training workshop from 2 to 13 July, 2015.
Mr. Xia Jun (third from the right), Assistant to Executive Director of APFNet introduced APFNet’s capacity building program during the opening ceremony of the workshop.
In the area of regulating timber and forest product trade, efforts have been made on the international, regional and local levels. However, the need to build understanding remains among forest-reliant economies in the region, on the relationship between good forest resource governance and of forest products from legal sources. The workshop on “Enhancing forest governance in the context of timber legality verification” was organized in response to the needs identified by the Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT) under the APEC framework, to fill the above-mentioned knowledge gap and foster regional cooperation.
The training consisted of six-day indoor sessions and a four-day field trip. During the indoor sessions, lectures were delivered by selected experts on 6 thematic issues related to timber harvesting and trade, timber legality verification, legal frameworks and policies, legal system enhancement and capacity building, indicating the assurance of legally sourced forest products trade from improved governance of forest resources.
Participants shared their experience on the impacts of timber legality verification on forest governance and resource management in their respective economies. They also discussed what future actions could be taken to improve regional timber trade, such as policy dialogue and projects, and agreed to encourage their respective governments to further engage with key stakeholders to reform forest governance. Finally, participants identified the importance of implementing transparency mechanisms on monitoring trade in legal timber and timber products in the region indicated that the workshop provided a significant platform for sharing knowledge and enhancing collaboration.
During a field trip to Pu’er City and surrounding areas, participants visited two state-owned forest enterprises, the Wei Guo Plywood and Medium Density Fiber board mill and the Pu’er Huhai Plywood mill. Both plants showcased efficiency in wood processing, particularly the reuse of wood waste. It was an opportunity for participants to see, first-hand, the application of forest resource management in the timber industry in Yunnan Province.
The field trip to state-owned forest enterprises in Yunnan was an opportunity for participants to understand sustainable resource management efforts in the province.
“We were impressed with the forest management practices in Yunnan - in particular, how stakeholders (forest enterprises, communities and individual households) are provided with the support to participate in forest management, to ultimately increase forest cover and reduce deforestation and forest degradation.” said Dr. Kwame Asumadu, the facilitator of the workshop.
This workshop was the seventh training delivered under the APFNet Thematic Training program, and was jointly hosted by the APFNet, Chinese Academy of Forestry and the APFNet-Kunming Training Center. It was supported by the European Forest Institute, EU FLEGT Facility, China-UK Collaboration on International Forest Investment and Trade Programme, the Southwest Forestry University, and Forestry Department in Yunnan Province. The event was also carried out as part of a capacity building project proposed by China and approved by the EGILAT under the APEC framework in 2014.