The ASEM Symposium on Sustainable Forest Management to Address Climate Change was convened on 28-30 June 2011, in Lin’an, China. Proposed by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, hosted by State Forestry Administration of China and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, with Chinese Academy of Forestry and Forestry Department of Lin’an City as co-sponsors, the Symposium advanced practical cooperation amongst 45 senior forest policy officials and experts from 17 ASEM countries, the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, UN-REDD, APFNet and the United Nations University.
The Symposium highlighted the climate change mitigation and adaptation benefits of sustainable forest management and provided participants with an opportunity to exchange views and share experiences on forestry trends, challenges and opportunities for sustainable forest management through a mix of approaches, including thematic reports, case studies, group discussion and a field trip. Through the overviews presented by Mr. Jeremy Broadhead from FAORAP and Ms. Meike Rassbach from German Embassy, participants gained a comprehensive idea of the status of SFM in Asia and Europe. To convey a better understanding of combining SFM and Climate Change Mitigation, experts from Chinese Academy of Forestry and FAO identified the significant role of SFM in the context of mitigating climate change based on their observation, analysis and prospect of the implementation of UN REDD+. Five senior forestry officers from different countries (China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Romania) further introduced the best practices and frontier application of principles and techniques from the respective of policy making and implementation at national level. Participants then explored ways for potential cooperation among ASEM countries, in particular by identifying actions needed for cooperation fields, for example, strengthening academic exchanges, promoting transfer of technology and knowledge, as well as increasing investment.
Chaired by Mr. Jin Puchun, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation of State Forestry Administration of China, the Symposium began with the opening speeches addressed by Ambassador Ms. Zhang Xiaokang, ASEM senior official for China, Mr. Wu Hong, Deputy Director-General of Forestry Department of Zhejiang Province and Mr. Bian Ji’an, Mayor of Lin’an Municipal Government. During the opening speech, Mr. Jin extended his gratitude to the local organizers. The Symposium closed with concluding remarks delivered by Mr. Jin Puchun, who reiterated the necessity and significance of further regional collaboration to maximize the climate change mitigation benefits of sustainable forest management.