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8 April 2015 – APFNet convened its first meeting of the Board of Directors at the secretariat office in Beijing. In attendance were twelve board members from Australia, China, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Minister of the Chinese State Forestry Administration, Mr. Zhao Shucong, was elected as chair of the board.

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During the meeting, APFNet Executive Director Mr. Qu Guilin presented an overview of the key accomplishments in APFNet since its establishment, with a focus on its evolving governance structure and notable programs. The board also established its rules and operational procedures, and reviewed various components of APFNet’s operational framework, such as the draft administrative and financial regulations, workplans for 2015 and the draft strategy paper for 2016 to 2020.

Board directors also agreed on the importance of balancing APFNet’s four activity pillars – policy dialogue, demonstration projects, capacity building and information sharing – and the need to further integrate these areas in future project design in order to maximize impact.

The APFNet Board of Directors is the main decision-making body of the network, responsible for the strategic direction of the organization, establishment of operational standards as well as procurement and diversification of funds. It is responsible for leading APFNet in realizing its various objectives in promoting sustainable forest restoration, rehabilitation and management.

“I trust that the board will work in a collaborative spirit in order to guide the development and maturity of APFNet.” Mr. Zhao stated during the meeting.