Improving economies' forest governance ability in the Asia-Pacific region Respond to the post COP26
The 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2021 was held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, from 31 October – 13 November 2021. UNFCCC COP 26 attracted eyes globally and caped a notable year for climate change and forestry.
Paying more attention to the relevant events in the region, staff at the APFNet Secretariat participated in a workshop on "Key Outcomes for the Land Use Sector after COP26 (Glasgow): An Asia-Pacific Perspective" was virtually held 1-3 March 2022 by RECOFTC, FAO, the ASEAN Climate Resilience Network, the ASEAN Secretariat, and UN-REDD. This virtual meeting brought 70 participants and many experienced negotiators and leading thinkers from the region to discuss and reflect upon critical issues raised during COP 26 in Glasgow.
APFNet Executive Director Dr Lu De was invited and attended the workshop as one of the panelists. In the meeting, he briefly reviewed the primary outcomes of the APEC 2020 Forest Cover Goal assessment report, which APFNet and FAO implemented. In addition, he informed participants about APFNet's latest workshop on "Forest Restoration and Sustainable Forest Management in Response to International Commitments on Climate Change", which was held in February 2022. He highlighted that APFNet Secretariat would keep following the critical progress and outcomes from the forestry sector regarding post COP 26.
During the discussion session on how Asia-Pacific economies positioned themselves within the context of COP 26 concerning agriculture and forestry, Dr Lu De mentioned that some of the economies in the region have already initiated domestic forestry policies and plans to address forestry issues. For example, Sustainable Development Goals Framework 2016-2030 and National Forestry Program 2010-2029 in Cambodia; Rehabilitation and Reforestation Program (2017-2027) and Natural Habitats Programme 2019-2029 in Myanmar; and China's National 14th Five-year Plan for Protection and Development in the Forest and Grassland Sector. These actions are active adaptation and contribute to achieving the Paris Agreement and Glasgow Pact goals. He suggested that UNFCCC could play a more critical role in financial support and technology transfer for balancing the current forestry management and land-use gaps among developed and developing economies. His comments were echoed by other experts and panelists, especially on improving economies' forest governance ability in the Asia-Pacific region.