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25 JANUARY 2011
PHL LEADS ASEAN CALL FOR CREATION OF GLOBAL FOREST FUND, SUPPORT FOR INT’L YEAR OF FORESTS
24 January 2011 , New York – Speaking on behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines today called for the establishment of a global forest fund that will help developing countries implement their regional and international commitments on sustainable forest management.
The Philippines made this call as chair of the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry. In a statement at the opening of the Ninth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF), Philippine Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan also urged development partners of ASEAN to provide much-needed technical and financial assistance.
ASEAN is an accredited member to the UNFF.
“At present, there is political will to pursue sustainable forest management among the policy and decision-makers in ASEAN Member States to implement their international commitments fully and effectively. However, due to limitation on resources and capacity, ASEAN believes that the implementation could only be achieved through international cooperation and support,” Ambassador Cabactulan said in a statement.
He also called for continued dialogue on the development of forest financing mechanisms, including the work of the open-ended International Ad Hoc Expert Group on Forest Financing.
The Philippines also expressed ASEAN’s full support for the International Year of Forests 2011 which will be launched globally on 2 February 2010 at the sidelines of the UNFF.
“ASEAN recognizes the need to continue and enhance efforts in sustainable forest management and supports the International Year of Forests 2011. ASEAN will continue to support national initiatives and campaigns in raising the importance and profiles of forests as part of the international campaign. ASEAN will also continue to enhance its efforts, including awareness, in addressing forest and forest-related issues in the region,” Ambassador Cabactulan said.
There are many local communities in ASEAN that remain dependent on forest for their livelihood, especially those in the uplands.
ASEAN fully subscribes to community-based forest management (CBFM) as a strategy by which local people work in partnership with national agencies, non-governmental organizations, academe, private and other relevant stakeholders in the development, conservation and protection of forest resources.
A number of ASEAN Member States have already initiated CBFM as part of their sustainable forest management approach which involves organizational development, issuance of use rights or management agreements, participatory forest planning, implementation, assessment and reporting.
“ASEAN will further endeavor to widen the application and share best practices of CBFM as a tool to achieve sustainable forest development and management of the ASEAN forest resources,” Ambassador Cabactulan said. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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