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APFW to look into forestry in future, address need for global efforts

KFS to share South Korea’s policy work on forestry preservation, global projects with China, Mongolia

The fundamental role of forestry in mitigating climate change and natural disasters, and its potential to create jobs and promote regional peace will be highlighted at a gathering of Asia-Pacific forest experts and officials taking place in South Korea this week. 

Ko Ki-yeon, the director general of International Affairs Bureau at the Korea Forest Service (KFS)
Ko Ki-yeon, the director general of International Affairs Bureau at the Korea Forest Service (KFS)

Ko Ki-yeon, the director general of International Affairs Bureau at the Korea Forest Service, told The Korea Herald that regional efforts on redefining forests and forestry would be discussed at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2019 to build global consensus before the nation hosts a bigger event in two years. The KFS is the co-organizer of APFW 2019.

“Korea was selected as the hosting nation for the 15th World Forest Congress, against other candidates such as Italy, Russia and Peru,” Ko said, adding that some 30,000 attendees are expected from over 160 nations during the Congress period in May 24 and 28 in 2021. The WFC meets every six years and is the world’s biggest forestry-related international gathering.

“This year’s APFW 2019 and APFC in Korea will be the time to discuss the next step after the Paris Agreement, and also a chance to promote the Korean model for green belt restoration, climate change reduction, smart forestry management, forest tourism and green jobs,” Ko said.

At the APFW, the South Korean forestry office will share its work on preservation projects as well as its joint international efforts to prevent desertification and restore forests in Mongolia and China.

We envision the APFW 2019 to be the opportunity to share with diverse countries our forest restoration experience and people-centered forestry policies,” Ko said, emphasizing an international empathy for added value creation from forests not only of lumber and forest products, but also leisure, jobs and peace.

APFW 2019 coincides with the biennial 28th Session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission.

Both events are jointly organized and hosted by the KFS and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The APFW 2019 will run under the theme of “Forest for peace and well-being,” with five topics in focus: “Restoring our forests and landscapes,” “People and forests living in harmony,” “Building a resilient environment,” “Promoting responsible trade and markets” and “Innovating governance and institutions.”

The APFW invites all forestry practitioners, including ordinary citizens driven to find out more about forestry conservation work, as well as those from governments, international organizations and community service organizations.

The APFC, on the other hand, is for representatives of 46 participating nations to gather heads for policies. Ko anticipated attendance of around 2,700 this year.

Both APFW 2019 and the 28th APFC take place at Songdo Convensia Convention Center in Incheon, Gyeonggi Province, for five days from Monday through June 21.

By Lim Jeong-yeo and Lee Kwon-hyoung
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