APFNet encouraged to provide support through information sharing, best practice exchange and policy dialogues
29 October 2015, Port Moresby – The Asia-Pacific is one of the most dynamic regions in the world, and it is essential that APEC economies continue to cooperate on sustainable forest management in the region, said the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Honorable Peter O’Neil, calling for enhanced forestry collaboration among APEC economies as a means to address cross-cutting issues.
Peter O’Neil addressed the Third APEC Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Forestry (MMRF) held from October 27 to 29, 2015 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The meeting adopted the Eda Statement (meaning “Our Statement” in the local language), which aspires to strengthen cooperation among APEC economies to tackle key forestry issues, including policy development, illegal logging and trade, and cross-sectoral coordination.
“The Eda Statement recognizes the role of forests in the livelihoods of forest-dependent people and climate change mitigation and adaptation.” Peter O’Neil said, highlighting importance of forests for island economies.
The Eda Statement also acknowledges the progress that APEC economies have made in APFNet’s Assessment of Progress Towards the APEC 2020 Forest Cover Goal, and encourages APEC economies to share information and best practices through APFNet to support sustainable forest management.
“As the only high level dialogue mechanism on forest issues in the region, the MMRF meetings have added significant value to APEC economies. It continues to play an important role in advancing sustainable forest management in the Asia-Pacific region” said APFNet Executive Director Mr. Qu Guilin. Qu Guilin stressed that, as an initiative derived from APEC and as the co-sponsor of the MMRF mechanism, APFNet stands ready to transfer APEC commitments into concrete actions.
Ministers and senior officials from 18 APEC economies as well as various international organizations attended the high level meeting, focused on “Building inclusive economies, building a better world by building sustainable and resilient communities through sustainable forest management”.
Key agreements made during the meeting include: strengthening information sharing and policy exchange through APFNet, combating illegal logging and promoting legal forest product trade through APEC's Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade (EGILAT), boosting forestry research and education, and providing further support to the private sector in sustainable forest management efforts.
The third MMRF was hosted by the PNG APEC Authority and the PNG Forest Authority. APFNet supported the organization of the meeting, provided technical and financial support as well as input to the Eda Statement.