APFNet Workshop on Forestry and Rural Livelihood Development was successfully concluded on 13th November, 2017

Updated:2018/1/19 16:27:47

In line with the Five-Year Strategic Plan (2016-2020) of APFNet Training Programme, the Workshop on Forestry and Rural Livelihood Development as the second training of Year 2017, was organized by APFNet-KTC in Kunming City of China on 1 to 14 November under the supports of Southwest Forestry University (SWFU), International Regional Cooperation Office of Yunnan Province and the Forestry Department of Yunnan Province. A total of 15 participants from 13 APFNet member economies attended the workshop, these economies including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. The workshop provided a good platform of information-sharing and aimed at strengthening the human resource capacity in the Asia-Pacific region with the following specific objectives:

- Assess the linkage between forest management and livelihood improvement and explore the ways in which livelihoods of rural communities may be improved through better forest management.

- Provide an overview of the experience and best forestry practices aimed at enhancing rural livelihood.

- Analyze and assess implications of key policy, institutional and technological developments and the potentials and limitations for livelihood improvement through biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.

On the morning of 2nd November, the opening ceremony of the workshop was chaired by Prof. Shen Lixin, Executive Director of APFNet-KTC. He introduced a development history of APFNet-KTC and expressed his warm welcome to all distinguished guests, resource persons and participants.

On behalf of Southwest Forestry University, Mr. Zhao Longqing, Vice-chancellor of SWFU extended warm welcome to the ceremony attendees and thanks to the long-standing supports from International Regional Cooperation Office of Yunnan Province and the Forestry Department of Yunnan Province. He also pointed out that forest as the main body of terrestrial ecosystem provides numerous goods and services to human beings. While it’s significant to sustainably manage and utilize nature resource in the ways of forestry-associated education and scientific research. The current workshop to be organized is playing such an important role and finally he wished the workshop a great success.

Mr. Wu Weidong, Executive Deputy Director of International Regional Cooperation Office of Yunnan Province, extended his welcome to all participants and highlighted the topic of the APFNet Workshop is significantly relevant to all economies in the Region. In this connection, he illustrated some important decision of the 19th National Congress of CPC and noted that the Chinese government has devoted itself to meet the ever-growing economic, political, cultural, social and ecological needs of the people, and develop a harmonious and beautiful China and this effort could also contribute green economy to the whole world.

Mr. Xu Zhijiang, Director of International Cooperation Office of Yunnan Provincial Forestry Department thanked to a long-term cooperation with APFNet/APFNet-KTC and SWFU. He introduced some background information about forestry in Yunnan Provinceand  highlighted some similar environmental problems faced by most of regional economies, then illustrated some international projects collaborated with neighboring economies (e.g. Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam) and looked forward more closed cooperation in a future. At last, he also expressed a warm welcome to resource persons and all the representatives from Asia-Pacific economies and wished they all have a good stay in Kunming and Puer City.  

Tailored for forestry government officials in the region, this workshop is designed by four interlinked segments namely key-note lectures in complementary with specific-topic group discussion, presentations by participants, field trip and group work.

A total of 11 thematic lectures were delivered by leading experts in the relevant subjects, which provided a holistic approach covering most of key issues associated with forestry-based livelihood improvement in the Asia-Pacific region (seen in Table 1). In addition to keynote lectures, four panel discussions were conducted in order to elaborate and give opportunity to clarify specific issues to workshop participants. Moreover, case study or overview presentations by participant provided detailed account of ongoing efforts focusing on livelihood improvement based on their specific-economy contexts.

On 8-11 November, a field trip was conducted in Pu’er City of Southwest Yunnan Province and help workshop participants to learn about various interventions in land use and how to involve local communities in the livelihood improvement and poverty alleviation programme. The field visiting sites included the Agroforestry Practice of uplands (e.g. Coffee intercropping with tea); Huge Garden (Dedrobium collection area and its closed to nature cultivation base); Dianrun Agricultural Development Co. Pty (bmboo plantation and bmboo water), Sensheng Forestry Chemical Industry (resin and turpentine production), Kanghe Wood-Plastic Processing Industry, Wanzhangshan Forest Farm (Pinus Cassia plantation area, resin-tapping, mixed forest plantation area and botanic garden); Pu’er Forestry Research Institute, Pu’er Tea Research Institute and tea garden. 

As one of important workshop components, group works provide a platform of information-sharing on key aspects of forest management and forest development in the past decade among the participating participants. It helps participants better understand forestry profile in each of regional economies, and able to learn some good practice/failure from each other that help in the forestry policy/decision-making on their own economies.

On 13th November, the workshop was successfully concluded in the morning. During the closing ceremony, Mr. Zhao Shucong, Chair of the APFNet Board of Directors and Dr. Preecha Ongprasert, chairman of the APFNet Council issued the workshop certificates to participants. Dr. Preecha delivered his closing remarks and highlighted numerous challenges being faced by forestry managers in meeting multiple demands from multi-stakeholders and managing forest sustainably. Also on behalf of participants, Ms. Nway Mon Mon Aung and Dr. Hoang Lien Son expressed their thanks to APFNet/APFNet-KTC and resource persons for providing a good learning opportunity. Ms. Pan Yao, on behalf of APFNet-KTC thanks all the participants, resource persons and collaborators and hoped that a networking among participants will be maintained and will have more cooperation in a near future. In the afternoon, Mr. Zhao Shucong, staffs of APFNet secretariat and participants were invited to visited SWFU and APFNet-KTC office. During a visit period, Mr. Jiang Zhaogang, Chancellor of SWFU and Mr. Zhao Longqing extended their warmest welcome to Mr. Zhao Shucong and other delegates. Mr. Jiang introduced the SWFU’s 13th Five-Year Development Plan and then they visited the Specimen Museum, Arboretum and others in the University.  

 In a summary, the Workshop on Forestry and Rural Livelihood Development was successfully concluded and some key conclusions of the Workshop were indicated as followed:

1. The nature of dependence on forests changes in line with the larger societal changes. The level of livelihood dependence of pre-agrarian societies on forests is very high. Livelihood needs of an agrarian society are different from those that of industrial and post-industrial societies.

2. The differing nature of livelihood needs results in conflicts. Managing such conflicts remains a major challenge for forestry in most economies in the Asia-Pacific region.

3. Increasingly environmental services, especially clean water, air and climate change mitigation are becoming more important than the material livelihood needs.

4. For most developing economies the provision of material livelihoods will remain important, especially in situations where there are large number of forest-dependent people who are poor.

5. For many of the forest dependent people the access to other assets is extremely limited and this makes them highly dependent on forests.  

6. A wide array of strategies and approaches are being pursued to enhance the contribution of forests to rural livelihoods. These are highly context specific and a “one-size-fits all” approach is bound to fail.

7. Governance improvement remains the most important issue in improving the livelihood contribution of forests.  Good governance embodies six basic principles: participation, accountability, transparency, effectiveness, efficiency and fairness.

8. Though most countries have revised their forest policies and legislation emphasizing on livelihood  improvement a number of challenges persist in translating these policies into action:

9. Meeting the livelihood needs are dependent on a host of other policies and contradictions between different policies often undermines what is visualized in forest policies.

10. Conflicting objectives and absence of clarity on establishing trade-offs between them within the forest policies.

11. A major challenge in this regard is that most of the rural livelihood needs, are under the informal domain, outside the formal system of policies, legislation and institutions. This has made interventions in the formal domain ineffective and often counter-productive.

12.Tenure reform is a key to improving livelihoods of forest dependent communities.  Some of the economies like China and Vietnam have made significant progress in forest tenure reforms.

13.Tenure reform alone will not be sufficient to improve people’s livelihood.   Enhancing productivity and thus economic viability and equitable distribution of benefits are critical to enhance livelihood roles of forests.  

14. Merely producing products will not help. Value addition through processing is a key to improve livelihoods. This will require a better understanding of the value chains.  

15. In a globalized world the value chains are undergoing rapid and often unpredictable changes and understanding and adapting to such changes will remain crucial in meeting the livelihood needs.

16. The last two decades have witnessed significant efforts to develop systems for payment for ecosystem services (PES).  Yet many challenges persist in making PES an effective means to improve livelihood of rural communities.

17. We live in a rapidly changing world requiring continuous adaptation. What is successful now will cease to be successful tomorrow, and what is considered as failure may turn out to be successful tomorrow.

18. There is an urgent need to develop reliable data base on all aspects of forests, forestry and related areas. Group discussions revealed major challenges in collecting, analyzing and sharing reliable and up-to-date information on different aspects of forestry.  



 

 

 

 

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