Asia-Pacific Forestry Week

awg-0101Concept Note for Stream 3: Serving society: forestry and people

Asia-Pacific Forestry Week

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines, 22-26 February 2016



Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s land surface and their conservation and sustainable management are essential for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A fundamental component of this must be respecting the rights, interests and values of those living in and around forests, especially in the developing world. This includes the understanding that forest peoples are effective stewards of their forests when they have an enabling environment. Conversely if the enabling environment is lacking then the SDGs will not be achieved, with forest peoples, for example, continuing to suffer from poverty and forests being managed in an unsustainable manner.

Every four years FAO organizes the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (APFW). The last APFW was held in Beijing in 2011. The next APFW will be organized in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, the Philippines in February 2016. It is anticipated that over 700 people from across the forestry sector, and beyond, will participate in the event.

The main theme of the conference is “Growing Our Future!” This theme reflects the need for society to proactively integrate forestry into the wider context of sustainable development. The theme also explicitly suggests that forestry should no longer be seen as a separate extractive renewable sector, but rather encompasses a holistic approach to an integrated and sustainable development paradigm, under which economic, social and environmental objectives are equally addressed.

APFW 2016 will be held alongside the 26th session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission (APFC). Plenary sessions will be convened where leading experts and public figures will share their views pertaining to the common theme. The major part of APFW 2016 will be run as five parallel thematic streams:

  1. Pathways to prosperity: future trade and markets
  2. Tackling climate change: challenges and opportunities
  3. Serving society: forestry and people
  4. New institutions, new governance
  5. Our green future: green investment and growing our natural assets

The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC) and The ASEAN Social Forestry Network (ASFN) will together lead stream three, entitled “Serving society: forestry and people”[1].

Stream Theme

People centered forestry for achieving SDGs

Objectives of the stream

The aims of stream three at the APFW 2016 are to:

  • Develop understanding for the opportunities that forests can provide for achieving the SDGs;
  • Recognize and empower roles of key forestry stakeholders—smallholders, Indigenous Peoples and Community Forestry members—as major investors and forest landscape custodians for achieving the SDGs;
  • Determine support from ‘forest investors’ (government, the private sector, development banks) and encourage innovative thinking with actions to prioritize investing in people-centered forestry in Asia  and the Pacific, and thus support achieving the SDGs;
  • Raise awareness of the ASEAN Agenda and how this complements the work on the Asia-Pacific level in addressing issues of mutual concern, such as food security, forest conservation, community economy and livelihoods, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation; and
  • Develop key commitments and action points that key forestry stakeholders can deliver over the coming years in supporting SDGs under their respective roles and contexts.

Target audience

The stream sessions aim to attract around 100 participants at APFW who are key forestry stakeholders from government, development agencies, indigenous and local forest communities, small forestry farm holders, forestry investors, academics, civil society, and media.

Draft Agenda for Stream 3

Stream 3, with its eight 90 minutes sessions will cover seven thematic areas linked to people, forests and the SDGs (see table below), the eighth session brings together the previous sessions in the stream mapping out a way forward, including action plan for strengthening Community Forestry/Social Forestry (CF/SF) for supporting the achievement of the SDGs.

We encourage partners and leads for each of the sessions on sessions:  3, 4, 6, and 7.

Session Description and objectives Potential process Focal point and potential partners
1. Role of forests in achieving the SDGs

The role of forests has been identified in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss. Forests also contribute directly and indirectly to achieving other SDGs, and therefore full integration of the benefits of trees and forests in the SDGs is both desirable and feasible.

By the end of the session, participants will have a shared understanding of what the SDGs are, how important they can be in addressing the fundamental challenges facing rural communities in the Asia-Pacific region, and potential roles of forests in achieving those SDGs.

  1. Keynote presentation. Presentation introduces the SDGs, gives context including links to the MDGs.
  2. Introduction of the 17 SDGs by 17 countries. One country representative would introduce one goal and link to their country, particularly focusing on the why this goals is so important in their country, and provide a link to forestry in general.
  3. Wrap-up with roadmap and linkages with other 7 sessions in the stream and with other four streams.


Host Country, relevant national level stakeholders

2. CF/ SF as an opportunity for achieving SDGs

SF has been developed in significantly in the region in the last 30 or so years. In Southeast Asia, for example, this has been seen in the last ten years. Some countries have recognized the importance that forest needs to be managed by society. Although there is a trend that the forests that give to community is a degraded forests, there’s been good practices implemented. Also the strong policy has been launched in some countries.

By the end of the session, participants will gain more knowledge and extent more appreciation towards the roles of CF/SF in the region, and why these important initiatives deserve higher attention and significant increase of support.

Keynote presentation by ASFN Leader introduces the progress of CF/SF in ASEAN region

Introduction how some countries implemented CF/SF

Wrap up about the challenges and opportunities

3. Potential of Small and medium forest enterprises in achieving SDGs

SMFEs are a driving force in the development of social/community forestry, and will play a key role in achieving SDGs.

By the end of the session participants will have a shared understanding of the potential of SMFEs in the development of CF/SF, and in achieving the SDGs. There will also be shared understanding of the challenges they face and how these are being addressed.

The Event will highlight the potential and evidently extended support and investments for successful practices mentioned above.

4. The importance of agroforestry for achieving SDGs

Agroforestry is an important land use that can play a vital role in supporting the achievement of SDGs. (tenure issues, also in Forest Fires Control by Community Forestry/Social Forestry through clear access rights by practicing Agroforestry)

By the end of the session participants will have a shared understanding of the potential of agroforestry in achieving the SDGs. There will also be shared understanding of the challenges agroforestry faces and how these are being addressed, and why these deserve higher attention and significant increase of support.

5. Improving forest communication for people and forests, and achievement of SDGs

Achievement of the SDGs requires genuine coordination and commitments from all stakeholders. Effective communication becomes a critical means that does not only allow forestry people and public understand the value of forests in our society but seeking their changes.

By the end of the session, participants have a shared understanding of how various kinds of communication can contribute toward programme goals; how important communication is in addressing the fundamental challenges facing people and forests in the Asia-Pacific region; and potential roles of forest communication in achieving programme goals.

1. Keynote presentation from a top advertising and public relations agency about the power of good communications to reach different audiences, and 10 key tips for improving communication. Include real-time on-line survey of participants’ views of forest communication in their work in the region.

2. Introduction to participatory development communication (PDC), followed by panel discussion on 2-3 PDC case studies from the region.

3. Wrap-up with results of on-line survey, and introduction of the APFCN and FAO toolbox on forest communication.

FAO, APFCN, Forest Communication Network Global Group, private sector
6. Mainstreaming gender equity for achieving SDGs

Women play central roles in the use, management and conservation of forest resources and agricultural lands, however, they are often excluded from decision-making regarding land use management.

Customary practices and widespread perceptions that the forest and land-related sectors are more “suitable for men” result in women’s lack of opportunities to take part in landscape decision-making, lack of access to financial services, and lack of ownership of land.

This session would examine the value of SDGs in addressing gender issues for CF/SF, and vice-versa. The session will also give participants space to share ‘communication best practices’ on gender & forestry (i.e., innovative communication strategies and tools)

7. Payment for forest ecosystem services (PFES) and SDGs

Rural communities invest a great deal of time and resources in their land, often with little returns. The session would explore the value of payment for forest ecosystem services in supporting the communities in their work.

By the end of the session participants will have a shared understanding of potential of PFES in SF/CF, and in turn the implications for achieving the SDGs.

8. Way forward for People and Forests of the Asia Pacific region

SDGs are seeking practical and realistic commitments from all stakeholders.

By the end of the session, participants will have mutually agreed action plans and commitments for the coming years to ensure that Forestry and People can support the achievement of the SDGs.

  1. Presentation summarizing previous sessions on how CF can provide support in achieving SDGs and presentation of draft action plan based on previous sessions
  2. Workshop among audience: Discussion and agreement of draft Action Plan
  3. Presentations and discussion
  • Representatives from state members: Asia and Pacific
  • Private companies
  • Banks and development agencies
  • CSOs
  • Media

Stream Outputs

Various online materials pre/during/post conference including:

  • Brief on how Community forestry/Social forestry (CF/SF) supports the achievement of the SDGs.
  • Key findings and action points for the Asia-Pacific forestry community from Stream 3 sessions
  • Knowledge and information dissemination through meeting sessions and other channels including social media.

 How to get involved and request a session or side event

To request a session or side- event, register your interest using this online form[x1] . If you are unable to access the online form, please contact Ms. Valerie Wayte ( for further assistance.

Session costs

Organizations interested to host a session will need to cover the costs of US$ 4,000 (it is possible to share this with co-hosting partners). These funds will be used to cover costs of venue-hire, equipment, session set-up, materials, lunches and coffee-breaks, as well as the APFW field trip. All the logistics are arranged and the conference will give you exposure to a potential audience of hundreds of people very interested in the sustainable management of forests across the region.

Donors, development partners and projects working in this thematic area are invited to provide additional support. This will also include the availability of resource persons for the Stream sessions.

Individual Registration

Individuals wanting to participate in the session are asked to register online and tick Stream 3. This will allow us and the APFW organizers to plan accordingly.

We kindly ask those planning to attend the APFW to start making plans including seeking sponsorship if you do not have your own funding to attend.

Communicating Stream 3

A communication strategy is being designed and will be implemented building on the communication programs of the Stream and session leads and partners, this includes synergizing as efficiently and effectively as possible.


Technical focal points:

Communication focal points:

Logistical focal points:

[1] The demands of society continue to evolve and change and society’s needs from forests and forestry have become more complex. Forests are expected to play new and larger roles in poverty reduction, food security and nutrition. Issues of tenure, community participation, equity, gender and conflict are more prominent now than ever. These issues generate important questions such as, to what extent forestry can take up the new roles and meet current and future demands of society? What knowledge and capacities do we need to grow and enhance? How can we mobilize support from people and forest dependent communities to sustain both the future of forests and their own futures?  How can we provide more tangible opportunities for communities and smallholders to improve their incomes and livelihoods?