This week, some 1 500 participants are discussing forest issues at the Second Asia-Pacific Forestry Week (APFW) taking place in Beijing under the theme “New Challenges – New Opportunities”. Organized by FAO, the week is held in conjunction with the 24th Session of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission and will include events in celebration of the International Year of Forests 2011.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ms. Jan McAlpine, Director of UN Forum on Forests Secretariat (UNFFS) within DESA, noted that the forestry sector has been facing various challenges and opportunities for a long time. The question is how we deal with the ones we face now.
Forests are complex systems, shaped by numerous private and public bodies, and relied upon by countless others for their livelihoods. Ms. McAlpine stressed the importance of viewing forests not from simply one perspective, but instead appreciating the multi-functionality of forests. She cited the restoration works on the Loess Plateau in China as an example of multi-functionality of forests. The Loess Plateau has recovered from a denuded landscape to one that is vibrant with forests, benefiting not only the ecosystem, but also the local community.
In celebration of the International Year of Forests, this year’s event will also include film screenings from the International Forest Film Festival, launched by UNFFS in partnership with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
“Every seed is a dream, waiting to be fulfilled. Every tree is a reality… Every forest is a community, joining together to stand as one,” wrote Randell Terre Aranza’s from the Phillipines in the winning essay of the APFW Essay Writing competition.
Source: UNFFS and Asia-Pacific Forestry Week Blog