The Third Asia-Pacific Forest Sector Outlook Study (APFSOS-III), launched in June 2019 at the Asia-Pacific Forestry Week in South Korea, highlighted two important areas of concern for the forest sector in the region: primary forests and forest technologies.First, of the region’s 723 million hectares of forest, only 19 percent (140 million hectares) is primary, which is much lower than the global average (32 percent) – and this share is still declining. The conservation of primary forests, and the sustainable management of other naturally-regenerated forests, is urgently needed to safeguard biodiversity, ecosystem services, and the quality and health of the physical environment in the Asia-Pacific region.
Second, it is critical to improve our understanding of the opportunities and challenges for sustainable forest management associated with the application of innovative technologies in the forest sector, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), processing technologies, and new wood-based products.
As a follow-up of APFSOS-III, and under the impetus of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, FAO and CIFOR – lead center of the CGIAR research program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) – worked two inter-related roadmaps for the Asia-Pacific region on: (i) primary forest conservation; and (ii) innovative forest technologies, including key recommendations on policy and concrete actions. These roadmaps, informed by science, have been developed through a participative process involving key regional stakeholders and technical experts, and include substantial participation by students and young professionals.
This side-event will present the main findings of these two roadmaps, and discusswith stakeholders the key recommendations emerging from this work, as well as how best to move forward with implementation.