APFNet Workshop on Forest Rehabilitation and Management (5-18 July, 2016)

Updated:2016/7/28 15:17:57

INTRODUCTION

APFNet’s thematic workshops

The Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation (APFNet) is established with the main mission of promoting and improving sustainable forest management and rehabilitation in the Asia-Pacific region.  One of the main thrust of APFNet is to strengthen the human resource capacity. This is being accomplished through a number of programmes, including thematic workshops aimed to enhance knowledge especially through sharing of experience gained within and outside the Asia-Pacific region.

Since 2009 APFNet has organized thematic training workshops on two themes namely (a) Forest Resource Management and (b) Forestry and Rural Development and hitherto 15 such workshops have trained more than 230 professionals from economies such as Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Papua New-Guinea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. These training workshops have become important platforms for knowledge sharing and strengthening inter-economy collaboration in promoting sustainable forest management.

In order to further strengthen the implementation of these training workshops, APFNet has developed a five year strategy for 2016 to 2020. Accordingly every year APFNet-KTC will organize two training workshops on the themes (1) Forest Rehabilitation and Management and (2) Forestry and Livelihood Development. Both these themes are key priority areas for almost all the economies in the Region. It is in the above context that APFNet-KTC is organizing the first regular training workshop on “Forest Rehabilitation and Management” during 5 to 18 July 2016 in Kunming City in Yunnan Province, China.


Forest rehabilitation and management

Forest degradation, which is defined as “changes within a forest that affect the structure and functions of the stand or site and thereby lowers its capacity to supply products and services”, remains a major problem in many parts of the world in particular the more densely populated areas in Asia-Pacific region. It is a complex phenomenon influenced by multiple factors – economic, social, political, institutional and cultural.

Although significant efforts are being made to rehabilitate degraded forests, forests continue to decline, undermining their capacity to produce timber, wood fuel, non-wood forest products and a wide array of ecological services including watershed protection, biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration and amenity values. In many rural areas forest degradation has severely undermined the ability of land to support livelihood of local communities, accentuating poverty. The Global Partnership on Forest Landscape Restoration estimates the extent of degraded lands worldwide as about 2.00 billion hectares. As per an estimate of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) there are 500 million ha of degraded primary and secondary forests in the tropics. In addition there are 350 million hectares of tropical forest land, which is so degraded that forest regrowth has not occurred and which are mostly occupied by grasses and shrubs. In South East Asia alone about 117 million ha or over 50% of the forest land is considered as degraded.

Most of forest degradation is caused by unsustainable land use practices.  Increasing demand for food and other products has led to cultivation of marginal areas, which lose their productivity rapidly and are then abandoned. Vast stretches of grasslands – especially Imperata cylindrica (or Aalang alang) – in South and South East Asia is an outcome of shifting cultivation followed by annual fires that prevent the process of natural restoration. Intensive logging and collection of wood and other products have severely reduced the regenerative capacity of forests and once soil is eroded and micro-climate altered, productivity of goods and services declines rapidly.  Faulty water management practices have led to salinization leading to loss of productivity.  

Efforts to rehabilitate degraded lands have a long history and a wealth of experience has been gained based on the work done during the last many decades. The recently concluded Paris Agreement on climate change has again highlighted the importance of reducing deforestation and forest degradation which will form an important component under the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution for global emission reduction. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of forest restoration/ rehabilitation at the site/ landscape level and to find effective ways to undertake these activities in the context of broader environmental, social and economic needs and interests. In fact restoration of productivity is an integral part of rebuilding the natural capital to ensure that the present and future generations are able to enjoy the full range of goods and services that the land is able to produce.


THE WORKSHOP

APFNet-Kunming Training Center (APFNet-KTC) will organize this workshop during 5 to 18 July 2016 in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China.


Objectives

The main objectives of the Workshop are to:

1. Analyze the current status of rehabilitation of degraded forests, the main drivers of degradation and future scenarios for forest rehabilitation in the Asia-Pacific region.

2. Identify the current challenges and/ or key issues of degraded forest rehabilitation in terms of policy, institutional, ecological, technical and socio-economic aspects in the Asia-Pacific economies;

3. Share experience and lessons learnt from forest rehabilitation and management from the Asia-Pacific economies; and

4. Enhance knowledge and skills in the formulation and implementation of forest rehabilitation programmes and projects.


Key issues and questions

Taking advantage of the vast experience and knowledge accumulated so far the Workshop will attempt to address the following issues/ questions:

• Are the efforts to rehabilitate/ restore degraded ecosystems making any impact and what is the net effect?  Are the efforts able to catch up with the pace of degradation?

• What are the major drivers impacting ecosystem degradation and what should be done to counter them?  What are the future scenarios in this regard?

• How do we determine the right level of intervention to ensure a process of sustainable ecosystem rehabilitation?

• What should be done to increase the flow of resources in support of ecosystem restoration? How effective are the international initiatives in support of rehabilitation of degraded forests?

• How do we improve the policy, legal and institutional environment for increased investment in restoration and rebuilding the natural capital?

• What are the key governance challenges in undertaking rehabilitation efforts?  

• What is the role of forest rehabilitation in climate change mitigation and adaptation? What has been the experience of implementation of CDM and REDD+ and what are the lessons that need to be taken into account in fulfilling the obligations under the Paris agreement?

Debates and discussions during the Workshop will generate more questions and encourage critical thinking and analyses aimed to provide practical solutions to the problems of forest land degradation.  


Main Topics/Areas

The Workshop will attempt to provide a broad analytical framework to assess the current state of forest rehabilitation specifically focusing on the following:

• An overview of degradation, deforestation and rehabilitation, including drivers of degradation and how forest transition has been accomplished.

• Policy and institutional aspects of rehabilitation.

• Forest governance and rehabilitation  

• Ecological aspects of rehabilitation and the development in the science and technology of forest rehabilitation

• Landscape approach to forest rehabilitation

• Social dimensions of rehabilitation

• Climate change mitigation and adaptation and forest rehabilitation

• Economic aspects of forest rehabilitation.


WORKSHOP STRUCTURE AND TRAINING APPROACH

The workshop structure is designed to provide the maximum learning opportunity to the participants and the entire thrust will be on dialogue, group work, discussions and field observations.

Thematic lectures:

Invited experts will provide an in-depth assessment of different aspects relating to forest rehabilitation and management focusing on the main themes.

Participant presentation:

Participants will make presentations which will outline experience in implementing forest rehabilitation at the economy level or at the programme or project level;

Group work and discussions:

Group discussions including panel discussions and argument will be an integral component of the workshop and all participants are encouraged to actively participate in these. As part of the group work participants will be required to develop a draft model programme for forest rehabilitation.

Field trip:

Field trip to Puer city forms an integral component of the workshop providing the participants an opportunity to see how forests are managed in Yunnan province and the ongoing efforts to rehabilitate and sustainably manage forests.  


PARTICIPANTS

The workshop is designed for forest land use policy makers, planners and managers, specifically dealing with degraded forest restoration from the Asia and Pacific economies. Depending on availability of funds a limited number of participants from other tropical regions will be accepted especially to facilitate sharing of experience. The total number of participants will be limited to 20.


WORKSHOP VENUE

The Workshop will be held at the Golden Spring Hotel (JIN QUAN DA JIU DIAN in Chinese pronunciation) No. 93 East Renming Road, Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China. Accommodation and meals will be provided at the Golden Spring Hotel.


List of Experts Invited:

Dr. C.T.S. Nair

Prof. David Lamb

Prof. Yongyut Trisurat

Dr. Yurdi Yasmi

Dr. Zhao Rong



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