During the meeting, Dr Lu De, Executive Director of APFNet, expressed that APFNet and IUFRO maintained very good cooperation. However, during the past two years, because of the COVID-19 situation, some activities listed in the current MoU are postponed or cancelled. He mentioned that APFNet is committed to making more efforts to increase the forest cover, and reverse forest degradation; With the 2021 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and UN Climate Change Conference COP 26 conducted, there are opportunities for the two organizations to work on climate change and the trend of reversing forest degradation through capacity building and policy development. Therefore, he suggested that two organizations can also work on how to help developing economies implement Glasgow Leaders' Declaration on Forests and Land Use to integrate with their national development plans through case studies and policy recommendations.
Mr Alexander Buck, Executive Director of IUFRO, mentioned that due to the COVID-19, the IUFRO secretariat is undergoing a transition to virtual meetings with IUFRO members and partners, which has caused a great challenge. He agreed that there is a lot of shared interest and potential for cooperation between the two organizations. He added that the post-2020 Strategy of IUFRO was released last year, IUFRO's mission is to advance research excellence and knowledge sharing, and to foster the development of science-based solutions to forest-related challenges for the benefits of forests and people worldwide.
Dr Michael Kleine, Deputy Executive Director of IUFRO, reviewed that a previous collaboration with APFNet’s Sino-Asia Network of Forestry Research Institutes (SANFRI) Mechanism so far is very successful. He added that all ranges of workshops are good areas of cooperation, particularly between IUFRO’S Special Program for Development of Capacities (SPDC) and APFNet’s Capacity Building Programs. He agreed that experts in different fields supported by two agencies can work together to have blended training, at the same time addressing ecological, social, and economic challenges and finding solutions for the benefits of people and nature.
Both sides expressed wishes to continue to deepen collaboration with institutions in the Asia-Pacific region and agreed to work on concrete work plans based on the new MoU to implement the activities discussed.