The Third Annual Meeting of the APFNet Focal Points was held in the APFNet secretariat in Beijing, China on 19 April 2012 to strengthen the information sharing among all the focal points, review APFNet’s annual work plan 2012, the final draft of APFNet Operational Framework, and the Procedures for the Development APFNet Membership. With the assistance from the APFNet secretariat, the meeting gathered 36 participants in the Asia-Pacific region, including 30 focal points and their representatives from 17 regional economies and 6 focal points or representatives from 6 international / regional organizations.
Mr. Ab Rahim Nik, chair of the meeting and Deputy Secretary General of Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Malaysia, delivered opening remarks, during which he looked back the previous meetings of focal points and underscored the importance of the meeting to the development of APFNet. Meanwhile, he summarized the outputs of the Second Meeting of APFNet Interim Steering Committee held one day earlier. Mr. Qu Guilin, Executive Director of the APFNet secretariat, welcomed all the focal points and representatives and extended gratitude for their support for APFNet. Ms. Teresa McMaugh, representative from Australia and co-chair of the meeting, echoed her appreciation to APFNet for the contribution to the Asia-Pacific region in 2011.
Mr. Qu Guilin, Executive Director of APFNet Secretariat, delivered APFNet report for 2011, which was then followed by detailed reports respectively on capacity building program and five demonstration projects respectively implemented by Chinese Taipei, the GMS and Malaysia, Nepal, Viet Nam and FAO/RAP. Those introductions aroused great interest among the focal points, who interacted among themselves and with the Secretariat for more information.
Building on the previous discussions and recommendations of the Interims Steering Committee, participants reviewed the?APFNet Operational Framework?and agreed with the Interim Steering Committee’s consensus to provide further written feedbacks to the document. Participants then deliberated on the APFNet annual work plan 2012 to expand its work, and also discussed and adopted in-depth the Procedures for the Development of APFNet Membership.
During the open discussion, further cooperation fields and opportunities between the regional economies and APFNet were explored. Many economies expressed the need for more funding resources for activities related to REDD+, timber certification system, etc. As to the role of focal points in providing information on forestry updates and best practices to APFNet’s newsletter and website, many focal points responded actively and suggested the information sharing be more focused and clearly targeted.
In the end of the meeting, Viet Nam was selected as the chair of the next annual meeting; while Malaysia, chair of the current meeting will be the co-chair.