Forest Resources Management

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Location: Kunming, China

Duration: 11-21 July 2012

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Participants at field trip

Jointly sponsored and designed by APFNet and the Mekong Institute (MI), the Workshop on the Role of Forest Resource Management in GMS was launched on 11 July 2012, in Kunming, China, with Southwest Forestry University (SWFU) and Yunnan Academy of Biodiversity (YAB) as the co-organizers.

25 forestry officials and researchers from Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam were invited, focusing  on the challenges facing GMS economies in terms of sustainable management and use of forest resources to improve watershed management. This workshop, following the “Symposium on Sustainable Forest Management in the Greater Mekong Sub-region” in 2010, was an attempt of APFNet capacity building program in GMS region, to share and promote information and practices for forest management.

July 11, Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony was chaired by Professor Li Yonghe, YAB president, and high-level representatives from the donors and organizers extended their appreciation to all the lecturers and participants, wishing a success of the workshop.

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Opening Ceremony


July 11 – 16, Indoor Session

Keynote Lectures

The importance of the forest and watershed management for sustainable livelihoods and development in GMS economies.
Dr. Appanah Simmathiri from FAO highlighted some of the major issues and challenges facing the GMS economies, and also noted the role of the forest sector in ensuring sustainable livelihoods and development of GMS economies, so that the forestry sector must be conscious of the changing demands in GMS through balance of economic and environmental interests, while safeguarding people’s livelihoods.

Governance and law enforcement for watershed based forest management
Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo from International Model Forest Network (IMFN) gave definition of basic terms and concepts including governance, watershed and integrated watershed management. He also stressed the importance of the governing principle in watershed management planning and detailed the essential steps to preparing and executing the watershed management plan.

Forest based management and biodiversity conservation in GMS
Dr. Dietrich Schmidt from Kunming Institute of Botany began by providing an overview on forest types, forest cover and biodiversity in GMS, which was followed by exploring how forest-based natural resources management affects forest biodiversity. He then highlighted two points, i.e. shifting cultivation as the dominant important land use in mountainous area in the past and how forest resources could be used and managed to conserve biodiversity.

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Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation: achievements and challenges in GMS
Prof. Saxena from Jawaharlal Nehru University described the major challenges facing participation in REDD+ and its potential economic benefits. He stated that participatory forest management has paved way for ordinary people and foresters coming and working together to reduce the cost of forest conservation and management over past decades, thus multi-stakeholder participation is quite necessary to reap the benefits from program like REDD+.

Watershed forest management and control of water and soil erosion
Prof. Saxena from Jawaharlal Nehru University noted the crucial roles forests play in facilitating the most desired functions of watershed including conservation of dry season stream and mitigation of storm flow to protect the infrastructure and agriculture in flooded areas etc. He mentioned that integrated watershed management offers full scope for addressing dozens of issues simultaneously as well as for designing and implementing a “win-win” solution that incorporates both environmental and economic concerns.

Best practices and tools to ensure forest protection and efficient utilization in watershed areas: linking fragmented nature reserves in Xishangbanna, China
Prof. Hu Huabing from Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve Management Bureau spoke about efforts to establish conservation corridors in the nature reserves in Yunnan Province. He then also introduced a case study on the practices and experiences to establish the project on “Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Initiative” (BCI). The most valuable lesson learned was the importance of respecting the perception, values and rights of local people, recognizing ownership over land and resources, relying on communities to implement and monitor operations, and providing incentives to promote continued involvement (e.g., training, services, subsidies, technical support).

Protection of a trans-boundary nature reserve: cooperation between China and Lao PDR in the management of a trans-boundary nature reserve
Mr. Luo Aidong from Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve Management Bureau briefed a six-year project, which was piloted to demonstrate new approaches for biodiversity conservation in trans-boundary nature reserves in China and other areas in the GMS.

Working Groups

Three working groups were convened during the indoor session to discuss key sustainable forest management issues and challenges in GMS as well as to make recommendations for developing APFNet demonstration projects in this region. Proposed action items under each heading are an indication of the measures which participants felt were needed to address the issues. In this regard, they could form the basis for the future development of joint regional projects.

    • Inconsistent policies and legislation
    • Review each economy’s policies and legislation on forests
    • Secure commitment of decision-makers to harmonize
    • Develop an integrated land use plan which balances development and protection
    • Draft guidelines for conducting environmental impact assessments
    • Weak collaboration among sectors and economies
    • Strengthen regional collaboration
    • Establish task forces to address specific issues, as the need arises
    • Enhance collaboration to develop demonstration project improving SFM, biodiversity conservation for poverty reduction
    • Exchange information and build networks at the regional level
    • Convene annual workshops and conferences
    • Insufficient human resources and capacity building
    • Assess current human resource capacity to determine training needs for capacity building programs (forest officials and foresters)
    • Develop and implement a training plan
    • Identify funding priorities and explore potential sources of financing
    • Destruction of habitats and biodiversity
    • Develop a regional plan for the management and conservation of biodiversity and wildlife habitats
    • Secure commitment and support from regional organization
    • Explore relevant demonstration projects

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Discussions


July 17 – 20, Field Trip to Puer City

A four-day field trip to Puer city, which was a major stop of the Ancient Tea-Horse Road. Located in the southern part of Yunnan Province, it connects Lao PDR and Vietnam on the south and Myanmar on the southwest. With a tropical monsoon climate at an elevation between365 and 3306 m, it is a famous area of tea production (Puer tea). The region is blossomed with cultural diversity, with 61% of the population comprised of ethnic groups such as Hani, Yi, and Dai. Throughout the trip, participants visited six sites, which showcased the efforts and achievements of the local authorities made towards sustainable forest resource management over the past years including reforestation at clear-cut forest land, treatment of rocky desertification, conservation of protected species, forestry development, wetland utilization and community livelihood development etc.

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Field Trip

July 21, Closing Ceremony

Feedbacks from participants showed that they were glad to be part of the workshop and were quite satisfied with the course design and arrangement. They were grateful for APFNet in sponsoring and organizing the workshop and expressed their interest in receiving regular updates on the activities and ongoing projects. At the closing ceremony, Prof. Li Yonghe from SWFU presented certificates to each participant.

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Closing and certification granting ceremony

References:

  1. pdf Program Overview 649.16 KB
  2. pdf Field Trip Guide Book 1.91 MB
  3. zip Workshop Proceedings 14.63 MB