Held in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines on 22-26 February, Asia-Pacific Forestry Week 2016 invited people interested, and committed to, sustainable forest management in Asia and the Pacific Regions to come together for one of the largest and most important forestry gatherings in 2016. The Republic of the Philippines' Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was co-host for the event.
The main theme of APFW 2016 was Growing Our Future!
This theme reflects the need for society to proactively integrate forestry into the wider context of sustainable development. The theme also explicitly suggests that forestry should no longer be seen as a separate extractive renewable sector, but rather encompasses a holistic approach to an integrated and sustainable development paradigm, under which economic, social and environmental objectives are equally addressed.
Five sub-thematic streams include:
The Thematic Stream 1: Pathways to Prosperity: Future Trade and Markets in the sessions of Small Forest Enterprises on February 25, 2016.
APCS was invited to join the Thematic Stream 1. Pathways to Prosperity: Future Trade and Markets in the sessions of Small Forest Enterprises: Barriers and Opportunities in Participating in the Responsible Wood Products Trade. The Managing Director of APCS, Mr. Loy Jones was chosen to be a speaker on the topic of forest and timber certification challenges for small and medium sized enterprises (SME). He was chosen because he has been involved with group certification since it was first established in the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) system in the US in 2008. Along with Mr. Jones there was Mr. Agus Sarsito, the Chief Technical Adviser FLEGT VPA Multi-Stakeholder Forestry Program Indonesia (MFP3) and Mr. Martin Greijmans, Senior Program Officer, The Center for People and Forest (RECOFTC).
From left, Mr. Agus Sarsito , Mr. Loy Jones and Mr. Martin Greijmans
Here's a piece of his speech: “due to capacity and cost issues, the standards need to be “simple” especially for landowners and concessions. Equally as important, a step-wise approach establishing milestones that provide the SME rewards at certain stages as they work to achieve FSC FM certification was crucial in providing market access for the SME before achieving full FSC FM certification, and provide encouragement and progress in a shorter time period since in some cases it can take as long as 3-4 years to achieve full FSC FM certification.”
Mr. Jones also hopes that the accreditation and certification bodies will take this message to heart and reduce both the complexity and bureaucracy of the systems as they exist now.