January 12, 2022 - News

AFOCO, NTFP-EP Asia ink 5-year cooperation deal

NTFP-EP Asia and the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFOCO) formally signed a memorandum of understanding expressing mutual commitment for institutional and project cooperation in a virtual ceremony held last January 11, 2022.

The agreement is consistent with multilateral cooperation among regional and international organizations in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Forestry 2016-2025, and the Glasgow Climate Pact. It will also facilitate the joint implementation of project support from the Korea Forest Service and the ASEAN-Korea Cooperation Fund on non-timber forest products development and community forest enterprises.

“[The] forest is a very important natural capital harboring biodiversity, regulating climate and water, and supporting the livelihood of millions of forest dependent peoples. But as always, the challenge is on how people and government will value the forests to build resilient communities and healthy forest ecosystems for food security and sustainable livelihood,” said Ricardo Calderon, AFOCO’s executive director.

This framework of cooperation between the two organizations will support the synergy, complementarity and mutual reinforcement of assets and comparative advantages particularly in the fields of sustainable forest management, forest restoration and non-timber forest products (NTFPs). The specific cooperation areas are:

  1. Capacity building and civil society and institutional engagements in the regional and international forestry sector development;
  2. Developing and operating of projects in forestry through leveraging internal and external resources; 
  3. Supporting applicable initiatives including ASEAN and international partnership to address climate change in the forest sector; and
  4. Supporting research in and by AFOCO member countries to reduce poverty and build sustainable societies, particularly in the areas of non-timber forest products, livelihoods and enterprises and sustainable forest management.

“We look to build more innovations and good practices through an institutionalized partnership and collaborative projects with the AFOCO,” said Maria Teresa Guia-Padilla, chairperson of the NTFP-EP Asia board of trustees.

“A partnership with AFOCO towards improving local community livelihoods in Asia, expanding also to countries beyond our membership, through increased income from non-timber forests products and modeling scalable community-based enterprises in the region is indeed at the heart of NTFP-EP’s vision and mission.”

The AFOCO and NTFP-EP Asia will be collaborating in two projects from 2022 until 2026, with regional and country level activities in their respective member countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam. Other participating countries include, Bhutan, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Myanmar, Thailand and Timor Leste.

The Asian Forest Cooperation Organization is a treaty based intergovernmental organization that is committed to strengthening forest cooperation and taking concrete actions to promote sustainable forest management and address the impacts of climate change.

For more information on this partnership, please contact: info@ntfp.org

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