Community involvement key to forest management
BRUNEI'S forestry official yesterday stressed the importance of the involvement of local community and not only rely on the government in a bid to promote sustainable forest management and easing reliance.
Mahmud Yussof , acting director of Forestry, made this statement as senior officials attending the fifth meeting of the Asean Social Forestry Network (ASFN) yesterday discussed common understanding to forward sustainable forest management in the region.
The two-day closed-door senior officials meeting, taking place at The Centrepoint Hotel, Gadong is chaired by Mahmud with his vice-chair Chea Sam Ang, deputy director general of Forestry Administration of Cambodia. Both were unanimously elected as the chair and vice- chair for the fifth ASFN. "We would like to take this opportunity to learn each other experiences in social forestry and also exchange of information as each member state has different approach and different challenges," Mahmud told The Brunei Times on the sidelines of the event.
He said that the meeting aimed at obtaining common understanding on social forestry to support both national and global agenda in coping with climate change.
In his remark, Mahmud reiterated the importance of local community involvement to drive the sustained forest management and not only rely on the government. "We have only 0.5 million population, while our forest reaches 0.5 million hectares. So, every individual has the responsibility to take part to protect the forest one hectare each," he said.
According to a statement, the delegates discussed several agenda including the reports on progress of policy framework related to the Asean Cooperation in Forestry, particularly the Asean Charter and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint, Country Reports on ASFN and its strategic plan of action. The statement said this supports the overall goal of the Asean Multisectoral Framework on Climate Change (AFCC) to contribute to food security through sustainable, efficient and effective use of land, forest, water and aquatic resources by minimising the risks and impacts of, and the contributions to climate change.
"All Asean member states believe that social forestry could contribute to the better forest management in particular in promoting sustainable forest management in the region," the statement read.
The ASFN brought together about 80 delegates from Asean countries, partner organisations, ASFN Secretariat and Asean Secretariat.
ASFN was established during the Eighth Meeting of the Asean senior officials on Forestry (ASOF) in August 2005 in Cambodia.