On July 21st, the Korea Forest Service (Minister: PARK Chong-ho) invited Ambassadors of relevant nations to Korea in a briefing session to encourage their support for the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO), which was established under the leadership of the Korean government, in expanding its international activities to respond to global forestry issues.
* Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) : An intergovernmental organization that was first envisioned in the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit (June 2009) and later established in order to enable the Asian region’s collective response to global forestry issues, including climate change and desertification, and to secure the Asian region’s leadership in the forestry sector.
The briefing was held for attract the attention of the international community and call for its support for AFoCO’s efforts to obtain Observer status in the UN General Assembly and to be included in the OECD Development Assitance Committee’s (DAC) list of ODA-eligible international organizations.
* Observer in the UN General Assembly : A state or an organization that is granted observer status by the UN General Assembly through resolutions can, with limitations, be invited to participate in the works of the UN General Assembly.
** OECD DAC : The Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which is one of the three major committees of the OECD and is comprised of major ODA donors, enables OECD member countries to engage in mutual cooperation, exchange information, and coordinate policies. Its decision-making process requires the member countries’ unanimous agreement.
The briefing was attended by the Korea Forest Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, delegates and Ambassadors from most of AFoCO’s member states (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Timor Leste), donors of the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) (France, Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands), and international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Bank Group.
In the event, the participants built a consensus on the importance of international cooperation to conserve the forest ecosystem of Asia, especially in the post-COVID-19 and climate change era, and affirmed their strong support and interest for AFoCO’s future plans.
Obtaining observer status in the UN General Assembly and inclusion in the OECD DAC list of ODA-eligible international organizations would enable AFoCO to expand its global capacity by strengthening cooperation with UN and other relevant international organizations and securing diverse sources of funding.
During the briefing session, the Korea Forest Service also shared the key takeaways of Korea’s successful reforestation experience and introduced the Peace Forest Initiative (PFI), which was first launched in the UNCCD COP 14, September 2019.
* PFI (Peace Forest Initiative): A global initiative proposed by South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KFS at the UNCCD COP in September 10th, 2019, PFI supports afforestation and forest restoration projects in cross-border regions or regions with multiple ethnic groups.
Korea Forest Service will continue pursuing forestry cooperation projects of the New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy through AFoCO. KFS will also continue cooperating and supporting the international community to promote Korea’s excellent forestry policies.
Minister PARK Chong-ho of KFS noted that “the COVID-19 pandemic calls for strengthened global solidary and cooperation,” and requested the AFoCO members and relevant countries’ “undivided attention and unwavering support for KFS and AFoCO’s efforts.”
Source : http://www.forest.go.kr/