Sustainable forest management following the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals topped the agenda in the discussion among forest experts from ASEAN countries, the ASEAN Secretariat, and development partner organisations, who met in Vientiane yesterday.
The discussions centered on current international issues affecting forestry and forest products.
In his opening remarks at the international seminar, Department of Forestry Deputy Director General Mr Somchay Sanontry noted the challenges encountered by forestry and forest products in fulfilling global needs of green development, specifically in relation to demands on the sustainability of the forests as “world lungs”, sources of biodiversity, and many other functions of environment sustainability.
He furthered highlight the problems in achieving sustainable forest management such as degradation of forest resources due to illegal logging, forest fires, and among others, calling for wise and accurate care of the problems so that ASEAN member countries can maintain their forest resources to contribute to global climate change mitigation.
Delivering her keynote at the international seminar, forest expert from the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Dr Maria Brockhaus pointed to Article No 5 in the Paris Agreement, which she said provided guidance on payment for the countries, which have made efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.
She said the Article recognised the importance of adequate and predictable financial resources, including for result-based payment, as appropriate, for the implementation of policy approaches and positive incentives for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest and degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks, as well as alternative policy approaches.
Dr Brockhaus also raised the example of Brazil in the success of forest management, saying the use of command-and-control disincentives (forest law enforcement, enforcement of protected areas and others) had been most cost-effective for achieving the target of an 80 percent reduction in deforestation.
However the selection of the direction of forest management will depend on certain surveys and certain countries, according to the CIFOR expert.
Topics of discussion at the seminar were related to how social forestry contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how relevant SDGs and the Paris Agreement towards ASEAN forestry, social forestry can serve as joint mitigations as well as adaptations following up from the Paris Agreement.
Rattan management and certification for sustainable development in Laos, Malaysia’s experience in dealing with sustainable forest management and climate change, forest law enforcement governance and trade in Laos, and how voluntary partnership agreements contribute to global development goals were also tabled for discussion at the seminar.
Source: Vientiane Times