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APFNet and Shanghai Cooperation Organization strengthen cooperation on forest restoration
The Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Vladimir Norov, and Executive Director of APFNet Secretariat, Lu De, agreed to strengthen cooperation to enhance ecosystem security in Greater Central Asia.
Mr. Lu welcomed the visit of the Secretary-General on 11 March 2021 to highlight the development achievements of APFNet and other activities carried out under the framework of the Greater Central Asia Forestry Cooperation Mechanism, an APFNet initiative. 
Greater Central Asia is characterized by arid and semi-arid climates, and economies within the region share common environmental challenges such as water scarcity, low soil water retention and productivity, and severe desertification, which are all exacerbated by climate change and economic development.
Vegetation restoration and prevention of land degradation will help address drought and desertification problems.
Mr. Norov agreed that the organization is willing to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with APFNet. 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. A preliminary consensus was reached on methods of cooperation and issues of shared interest.

Secretary-General of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Vladimir Norov, meets with Lu De, Executive Director, APFNet Secretariat.