The third Asia-Pacific Forest Sector Outlook Study (FAO, 2019) highlighted that the use of innovative technologies, including ICT technologies, processing technologies and new wood-based products, creates significant opportunities and challenges for sustainable forest management in the Asia-Pacific region. Following-up on this important outlook study, FAO and the CGIAR research programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA), are developing a roadmap for the application of innovative forest technologies in the Asia-Pacific region (the “Roadmap”) with key recommendations (policy and concrete actions) informed by science.
To support youth participation in the development of this Roadmap, FAO and FTA, in collaboration with the International Forestry Students Association (IFSA) are organizing a competition to invite contributions from students and young people engaged in activities related to the forest sector in the Asia-Pacific region. This competition will take place in two steps: (1) the present call for abstracts; (2) the development of the selected contributions for the competition.
To participate to this call for abstracts candidates must be 18-35 years old. They must be citizens or residents of countries or territories of the Asia-Pacific region. The abstracts should comprise between 300 and 500 words and be written in English. The abstracts will then be evaluated based on a set of criteria including: clarity, originality and potential for transformative impact on the forest sector in the region.
The authors of the selected abstracts will be invited to develop their full paper by end February 2021. These papers will serve as technical inputs for the development of the Roadmap. The best contributions will be published online and their authors will be invited to present them during the XV World Forestry Congress in Seoul, South Korea (24-28 May 2021).
In these papers, authors are expected to analyze the main challenges and opportunities associated with the application of innovative technologies in the forest sector and to highlight the transformations needed to enhance technology transfer and dissemination and to ensure that these technologies effectively contribute to sustainable development. The contributions can be of different nature. They can, for example, rely on existing literature or specific case studies; adopt a local, national or regional perspective; analyze a broad range of technologies or focus on specific technologies considered as the most promising; cover the whole forest sector or focus on specific stages of the forest value chain; embrace all the dimensions of sustainable development or focus on the economic, social or environmental impacts of innovative technologies.
Deadline for applications: 15 November 2020
 The geographical scope of the roadmaps covers the countries of the FAO region of Asia and the Pacific (see: http://www.fao.org/asiapacific/countries/en/). However, it excludes France and the United States of America (USA) mainland, situated outside the region. The Russian Federation, although covering 29 percent of Asia, is also excluded because issues related to Russian forests are usually discussed within the European Forestry Commission. The full list of 49 countries and territories covered by the roadmaps is accessible here.
 In terms of: regional cooperation, additional investments, infrastructure development, institutional changes, research and development, education and capacity building.