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At GLF Climate, youth shared 13 sustainable forestry innovations for the Asia-Pacific region

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More than ever, forests and trees are called upon to address the great global challenges of our times, among which are: climate change, deforestation, forest degradation, biodiversity erosion, poverty and food insecurity. Innovative technologies – including digital technologies, biological technologies, technical innovations in processes and products, innovative finance and social innovations – hold a huge potential to advance sustainable forest management and help address these challenges, globally and in the Asia-Pacific region. However, technology adoption has been slow and uneven in the region. As technology enthusiasts, forest guardians and forest managers of tomorrow, young people have a leading role to play in generating momentum and revolutionizing institutions from within to support the uptake and scaling-up of innovative technologies in Asia and the Pacific.

This is why, on Friday, 5 Nov. 2021, FAO and the CGIAR Research Programme on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) co-organized a session highlighting youth perspectives on innovative forest technologies. This event attracted over 400 attendees and was part of the GLF Climate hybrid conference, “Frontiers of Change.” “Instead of another meeting to exchange on the global and pressing issues, we wanted, during this event, to focus on innovative solutions and share a note of optimism and hope” said Vincent Gitz (CIFOR), FTA Director.

On behalf of FAO, Rao Matta, Forestry Officer, highlighted the important role innovation can play to make the forest sector more attractive to young people. He invited the youth to become “innovation champions,” to play a pivotal role in scaling-up innovative technologies, and to bring their unique forward-looking and out-of-the-box thinking perspectives to the discussion table. “FAO,” he said, “is fully committed to promote the visibility of youth and of their seminal work”.

During this event, FAO and FTA gave the floor to students and young professionals involved in the forest sector in Asia and the Pacific, to hear some of their ideas to unleash the potential offered by innovative technologies to advance sustainable forest management. 13 young people, aged 18–35, from nine different countries of the Asia-Pacific region who were selected by FAO and CIFOR after an open call for contributions presented their works in 3 minutes each.

Their talks illustrated, in various contexts, the huge potential of innovative forest technologies to advance sustainable forestry and sustainable forest management. Together, the guest speakers covered a broad range of topics, showing how technologies — both new and repurposed — can improve and facilitate monitoring and reporting, strengthen citizen engagement in forest monitoring and management and support process and product innovations in the forest sector in the Asia-Pacific region. These ideas are also inspiring globally and in other contexts.


The presentations gave way to a lively session of questions and answers with the audience. The back-and-forth discussions revealed some of the barriers to uptake and scale innovative technologies. These blockages include: (i) the limited internet connection in rural or remote areas; (ii) the high level of upfront investments that may be required for technology adoption, including for equipment, infrastructure development, capacity-building and involvement of local communities. Participants also noted that restrictive or rigid policies and regulations often lag far behind the quick evolution of innovative technologies, which can hamper their use and dissemination. For instance, current policies and rules may not allow the use of data collected by remote sensing methods in official statistics or as forensic evidence. Concluding this event, Rao Matta, indicated  that intensive, follow-up actions will be organized at country level, probably next year. Young experts will once again be invited to share their experience and views on sustainable innovations for the Asia-Pacific.

To access the 13 video presentations, please follow the links below:

Session 1: How can innovative technologies improve and facilitate monitoring?

  1. Shahrukh Kamran (Pakistan): Development, testing and implementation of insect-catching drones.
  2. Kyuho Lee (Republic of Korea): Drones for planning and monitoring forest ecosystem restoration: towards a forest degradation index
  3. Angga Saputra (Indonesia): Estimating tree height, canopy cover and tree diameter using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology.
  4. Cecille de Jesus (the Philippines): Follow the water: advanced technologies for demonstrating forest-water-community relationships.
  5. Thuan Sarzynski (Vietnam): Google Earth Engine, an innovative technology for forest conservation.
  6. Marie Jessica Gabriel (the Philippines): Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART).

Session 2: How can innovative technologies facilitate the engagement of civil society, local communities, smallholders and youth?

  1. Sony Lama (Nepal): Forest Watcher: employing citizen science in forest management of Nepal.
  2. Nur Bahar (Malaysia): How to effectively engage youth in satellite-based tropical forest monitoring?
  3. June Mandawali (Papua New Guinea): Community Based Tree Nurseries in Ramu/Markham Valley of Papua New Guinea.

Session 3: How can innovative technologies support optimization of processes and products for sustainable forest management?

  1. Sanjayaraj Tamang (Nepal): Invasive species management in Nepal: a pathway to sustainable forest management.
  2. Clarence Gio S. Almoite (the Philippines): Building back Philippine biodiversity through geotagging mother tree species for modernized and mechanized forest nurseries.
  3. Prachi Gupta (India): Advances in the wood anatomical studies with innovations in microscopy.
  4. Deasy Ramatia (Indonesia): Binderless particleboard: production process and self- bonding mechanisms.
Download the PDF!

All of these 3-minute presentations have been developed in detailed scientific articles and gathered in a FAO and FTA co-publication entitled, Innovative forestry for a sustainable future. Youth contributions from Asia and the Pacific.

This youth publication is part of a broader roadmap jointly developed by FAO and FTA on innovative forest technologies in the Asia-Pacific region.

Click here for more information on this roadmap process.


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Asia-Pacific Roadmap – Materials

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Presentations from the Final Validation Online Expert Workshop (23-24 November 2021)

Full report from the workshop can be accessed here

Day 1

  1. James Roshetko – Innovative Technologies, Main Findings
  2. James Roshetko – Innovative Technologies, Recommendations

Day 2

  1. Yves Laumonier – Primary Forests in Asia and the Pacific: Diversity, Status, Trends and Threats
  2. Alexandre Meybeck – Towards a Roadmap for Primary Forest Conservation

Presentations from the Online Expert Workshop (23-25 March 2021)

Full report from the workshop can be accessed here


  1. Yves Laumonier, Principal scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR): Primary forests in the Asia-Pacific region: status, extent and diversity.

Keynote address:

  1. Anne Branthomme, FAO, Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA): Towards improved global reporting on primary forests.

Expert presentations:

  1. Li Diqiang, Institute of Forest Ecology, Environment and Protection, the Chinese Academy of Forestry: The diversity, extent and status of primary forests in China and their importance for biodiversity conservation.
  2. Ate Poortinga, Senior scientist for the Servir-Mekong Project, Thailand will give a presentation entitled: Mapping forest disturbances using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  3. Rajan Kotru, Lead Strategist Trestle Management Advisors & Fellow of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD): Diversity, extent and status of primary forests in India.
  4. Jalesi Mateboto, Land Resources Division, Pacific Community (SPC): Diversity, extent and status of primary forests in the Pacific Island countries.

Session 2. Increasing pressures on primary forests

Expert presentations:

  1. Nguyen Manh Hiep, Vietnam Administration of Forestry: Natural forest in Viet Nam.
  2. Lilik Budi Prasetyo, Professor at the Division of environmental analysis and geospatial modelling, Faculty of Forestry and Environment, IPB University, Indonesia: Disturbance of forest ecosystem in Indonesia.
  3. Jennica Masigan, Center for Conservation Innovations Ph Inc., the Philippines: Extent of forest cover change in West Mt. Bulanjao and Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Palawan.

Introduction to breakout group discussions:

  1. Yves Laumonier, Principal scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR): Typology of the main threats facing different forest types.

Session 3. Priority areas for primary forest conservation


  1. Yves Laumonier, Principal scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR): Assessment of priority areas for primary forest conservation in the Asia-Pacific region.

Expert presentations:

  1. Edward Game, Lead Scientist for the Asia Pacific Region in The Nature Conservancy: The Nature Conservancy.
  2. Kasturi Devi Kanniah, from the TropicalMap Research Group, Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Water Security, Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia: Geospatial technology for identifying and mapping priority areas of primary forest for conservation in Malaysia.
  3. Riina Jalonen, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT: Conservation priorities for native Asian tree species from a multi-threat assessment.

Session 4. Primary forests: governance tools in the Asia-Pacific region


  1. Alexandre Meybeck, special advisor at CIFOR/FTA: What governance for primary forests’ conservation in Asia-Pacific?

Keynote address:

  1. Ryosuke Ujihashi, Forestry Agency of Japan: Initiatives in biological diversity conservation of national forest in Japan.

Expert presentations:

  1. Vongvilay Vongkhamsao, Director of the Forestry Research Centre, National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF): Policies and directions for primary forest conservation in Lao PDR.
  2. Ricardo Calderon, Executive Director of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO): Role of AFoCO to support primary forest conservation in Asia.
  3. Tetra Yanuariadi, International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO): Sustaining tropical timber trade: ITTO’s roles in preventing illegal logging and supporting primary forest conservation in Asia and the Pacific.

Conclusion of Day 2:

Keynote address:

  1. Robert Nasi, Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR): Asia-Pacific roadmap on primary forest conservation: food for thoughts.

Presentations from the Online Expert Workshop (Nov 30th, Dec 1st and Dec 3rd 2020)

Full report from the workshop can be accessed here

  1. James Roshetko, ICRAF/FTA, Indonesia: Introduction to Day 1
  2. Junqi Wu, Director of Communications, International Bamboo and Rattan Organization (INBAR), China: Harmonized system code for monitoring international trade of bamboo and rattan
  3. Tony Page, Tropical Forests and People Research Centre, Forest Research Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia: Development and deployment of teak germplasm in Papua New Guinea [pdf]
  4. Jalaluddin Harun, former Director General of Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) and Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM): Rubberwood – Valuable source of plantation grown timber for high value-added products in Malaysia
  5. Bas Louman, Programme coordinator, Tropenbos International, the Netherlands: Innovative finance for forestry
  6. Dr Vu Tan Phuong, Deputy Director in Charge of international cooperation, Academy of Forest Sciences, Vietnam: Forest technologies application in Vietnam
  7. Wu Shengfu, National Forest Products Industry Association, China: Innovative practices in the woodworking industry in China
  8. Oliver Coroza, Center for Conservation Innovations Ph, the Philippines: Geospatial solutions to conservation
  9. James Roshetko, ICRAF/FTA, Indonesia: Introduction to Day 2
  10. Lok Mani Sapkota, RECOFTC, Nepal: Social innovations in community forestry: an application and success case from Nepal
  11. Andrew Lowe, University of Adelaide, Australia: Using DNA to identify illegal and conflict timber in global supply chains
  12. Lobzang Dorji, Director of the Department of Forest and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan: Use of innovative technologies in sustainable forest management in Bhutan
  13. James Roshetko, ICRAF/FTA, Indonesia: Introduction to Day 3

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  • Natural Rubber Systems and Climate Change - Materials from the workshop

Natural Rubber Systems and Climate Change – Materials from the workshop

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Last June 23-25, together with the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), the International Rubber Research and development Board (IRRDB) and the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), FTA organized a digital workshop on natural rubber systems and climate change.

With over 500 registered attendees, the 3-day event showcased 30 presentations with the most recent research on the correlations between climate change and rubber production, with discussions on adaptation strategies and the potential that rubber plantations can offer to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The workshop was an occasion to stir a lively debate with the audience and to underline the research gaps and identify recommendations for future actions.

Now all presentations are available to download and recordings of all sessions can be replayed fully.

Click here to access everything!


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