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FAO and AFoCo sign Memorandum of Understanding

FAO and ASEAN-Republic of Korea Forest Cooperation (AFoCo) sign Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

29/5/2015, Bangkok, Thailand – The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today formalized its collaboration with the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Forest Cooperation (AFoCo) during the singing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), at FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

The signing took place between Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific and Hadi S. Pasaribu, Executive Director of AFoCo.

The MOU is designed to provide a framework for co-operation between FAO and AFoCo with the overall goal of promoting technical cooperation, policy development, capacity building and partnership in areas related to sustainable forest management (SFM) and in particular the rehabilitation of degraded forest land and prevention deforestation and degradation.

“FAO and AFoCo have a history of previous collaboration though joint international events, exchange of information, capacity building and technical meetings. With the signing of this MOU, I expect such collaboration will continue and more strengthened in the future,” said Konuma.

“As we all know, forests and forestry face many challenges at all level. Larger societal changes such as economic development, demographic changes, as well social and technological changes have profound impacts on forests,” Konuma added. “We see that forests are under threat from climate change, which could make them more vulnerable to fires, storms, floods, droughts, disease and invasive species. In addition, illegal logging and associated trade in illegally-sourced wood products continue to undermine sustainable forest management. No single organization can address those challenges in isolation. Fostering collaboration is therefore a strategic choice.”

The continued collaboration and partnership between the Parties would focus on activities in the ASEAN Region, an important region especially as it is now embarking into ASEAN Economic Community. ASEAN is a major exporter of timber products (round wood, sawn wood, wood-based panels, paper and paperboard) sourced from both forests and commercial plantations. However, the long term sustainability of timber supplies from this region has become questionable in view of the substantial loss of its forests. The forest areas of ASEAN as a whole recorded an annual rate of decline of 0.7 percent over the period 1990–2010, a total loss of 32.97 million ha – around 8 percent of the total land area.

ENDS


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