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Reforming Policies Favoring Forest Rehabilitation

Policy is a guiding factor affecting the way that forests are managed. Currently many economies are still struggling to achieve positive policy results. In supporting member economies to deliver policies on forest rehabilitation effectively, APFNet held a thematic session of Reforming policies to further favor forest rehabilitation on March 27, 2018 during APFNet 10th Anniversary. 150+ forestry policy makers, representatives of APFNet funded policy support projects, and other delegates from 30 economies attended the session.

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Session speakers and staff from APFNet Secretariat

Thomas Hofer, Senior Forestry Officer and Coordinator of the Natural Resources Management Group in FAO’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) in Bangkok observed that forestry institutions are among the slowest institutions to embrace change, and too much bureaucracy often prevents progress. Forestry institution should become less rigid and allow for continuous learning and adaptation, which is a basis for the success of forest rehabilitation.


To better direct forest rehabilitation, most speakers suggest a broader perspective should be taken by integrating forest rehabilitation into landscape management, integrating economic, social and environmental aspects, and further linking forest rehabilitation to SDGs.


Mr. Suvas Chandra Devkota, Executive Director of FACOFUN acknowledged that policy failure is often due to lack of support from wider public. FACOFUN ‘s experience in implementing APFNet funded project Supporting to Develop New Forest Sector Policy and Strategy through Consultation with Civil Society Organizations and Local Communities in Nepal has successfully brought representatives from Civil Society Organization(CSOs) and other stakeholders at all levels to joint decision-making processes. Policymakers who often paid overly attention top-to-down approaches are now realized the importance of down-to-top approaches.


In addition, incentives and good climate should be created to win public participation into forest rehabilitation. Participants from China, Malaysia and Fiji have shed lights on possible incentives to attract multi-stakeholders, particularly the private sectors to diversity financing pools.


Given incentives, policy targets are set quite often unrealistically high without data or science that backs them up. These speakers have shared how they developed toolkits to support wiser and science-based decisions on adapting forests to climate change, forest resource mapping and planning.